This is a very interesting take on mythology and the Persephone myth! I have never read another idea quite like this one!
Haden Lord lives in the Underrealm and has been disgraced by all of his people, even his own father, the king. So it is a surprise for everyone when Haden is chosen as the Champion, whose job is to go to the mortal world and bring back a boon (a girl). As there are no girls born in the Underrealm). But this time is different as Haden has to bring back a specific girl: Daphne Raines. Bringing this girl back could mean the future of the Underrealm, and bring back Haden's honor.
Daphne Raines has lived in a small town all her life and has never been allowed to leave it (thanks to her mother). Then, her famous father that she never knew shows up, proclaiming that Daphne has to live with him. She moves to a whole other town and into an arts school. But things get odd when mysterious murders occur and she suspects that another new student has something to do with it.
My favorite thing about this book is the awesome world-building and ideas. I also mentioned a few of them in my little mini-summary, but there is so much more involved in this book. Overall, all the the ideas are completely unique and the way they were used in this book was very well done!
This book was told in alternating point of view from both Haden and Daphne. Haden is basically Zuko (from Avatar: The Last Airbender, for those who don't know). He did something as a child that everyone basically judges him for, so he does everything he can to restore his honor, to no avail. He sees being the Champion as his opportunity. I felt a bit sorry for him and hated how much those of the Underrealm treated him. Especially since he shouldn't have to regret what he did (I will not say what he did exactly, as that would be a spoiler). It was very interesting to see him in the mortal world, as he had no idea how to be mortal and what many objects were. As he didn't know how to act, he did act like a jerk at times, though mostly because he isn't really used to the way humans act.
Daphne is a pretty average YA main character. There's not much I can really say about her. She has the usual YA story. It really bothered me that she was just so perfect and I couldn't quite understand why she left with her dad that she didn't know (I know her dad has legal paperwork, but I kind of wish she would have fought more). Overall, she is an okay character.
The romance wasn't bad. I, again, can't say much on it. Not because of spoiler, but because of how I just don't have very many feeling towards it. Did I want them to be together? Sure, but this isn't a new romance. I've read many books with very similar romances, so it didn't wow me.
Overall, this was a very interesting take on mythology and the ideas were so unique! The main girl character and the romance are the usual for YA, but they still worked with the book. As for the sequel, I am definitely planning on reading it!