I am a mythology junkie. If a book that comes along based on a myth, I jump all over it. Obviously, if you couldn't tell, Abandon is based on the Hades/Persephone story. Loosely.
Yes, there were obvious similarities between the Greek myth and this modern retelling, but Meg Cabot really changed things up a bit. I'll be honest, I thought Abandon was going to be "familiar" (if you know what I mean). I was really afraid it would be like the other versions out there. But, I was wrong! In this case, I love being wrong.
Abandon has a very dark feel to it. It's not scary or anything, but it's certainly not rainbows and sunshine. The Hades character is a moody, anger-prone type. Seems fitting, right? Pierce (Persephone) is not very surprising. To be very honest, the characters were just so-so. I think John (Hades) was my favorite because he was (and still is) so mysterious.
What really got me about this book is the timing. Everything takes place within a matter of days, which leads me to believe book 2 (Underworld) will pick up where the last page ended. There were a lot of questions left unanswered that I am certain will be resolved (or at least further developed) as the series progresses. Think of Abandon as a stepping stone. It's needed to set the stage, but doesn't really leave a lasting impression on its own. However, I can certainly say it's needed as a part of the series because it gives a lot of background details that will be important later on.
Overall, it was a quick and easy read. I would even say a 'page turner' because I read it in a few hours. Another myth retelling to add to your collection.
Like most Meg Cabot books, Abandon is a quick absorbing read. Having read most of her extensive ouevre, I would place this roughly in the middle of the pack so far as quality goes. The idea of Abandon was amazing; I was looking forward to this one so hard, because I was obsessed with Greek myth as a child. The myth of Persephone being tricked into the Underworld is not one of my favorites, but any Greek myth is better than none Greek myth.
Foreshadowing can be a super handy writing tool. However, it ought to be used sparingly and carefully. Meg Cabot did not follow this rule in the creation of this novel. Almost every chapter ended with a dramatic bit of foreshadowing of the "had I known what would happen next..." variety. Sigh. Just put 'to be continued' at the end of each chapter and be done with it. There just was not any need for it. If you have to try to force people to keep going with a lure of future drama, clearly your book wasn't interesting enough. Really, I think this would keep the intended audience going without these constant, hackneyed warnings.
Another weakness here was the odd subplot wherein Pierce tries to befriend the popular kids at her school (who usually ignore the D-Wing, aka truobled kids) students of the school) so that she can make them leave her cousin, Alex, and his friend Kayla alone. These sections really do not seem to fit with the rest of the plot very well. I imagine the need for this might be clear later in the series, but, for now, they were rather obnoxious, largely because Pierce's behavior seemed both out of character and completely illogical.
So far, the romance in the series has been pretty much entirely uninspired. I do not ship anyone and I actually find Pierce and John's relationship to rather creepy and Stockholm Syndrome-ish. The ending is not a resolution, so much as a stop because this novel had reached the requisite number of pages.
Mostly, Abandon was not what I was hoping for, but I will still be reading the rest of the series for sure. If you need a beach read for this summer, Abandon will likely suffice.