Friday, January 06, 2006

Goddess of Spring by P. C. Cast

My first P. C. Cast book and, sorry to say, I didn't enjoy this modern day version on the mythological story of Hades and Persephone. I bought this book solely because I loved the beautiful glittery cover so I really wanted to like it. ::sigh:: That'll teach me.

The heroine Lina owns an Italian bakery called Pani Del Goddess in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As the book opens she has just been informed by her accountant that due to his mistake she now owes the IRS a big chunk of change. After firing him she walks away with thoughts of how she is going to increase her sales so she does not lose her business. Lina decides she needs a fantastic new recipe to expand her menu to make more money. So she visits a UBS (my kind of gal) and takes home a stack of Italian cookbooks. In one very old cookbook entitled The Italian Goddess Cookbook she finds a wonderful recipe for pizza that also involves a chant to summon the Goddess of the Harvest, Demeter. When she finds herself face-to-face with the goddess, Lina is understandably stunned (who wouldn't be).

Demeter proposes to Lina that if she will swap bodies with her daughter Persephone for six months, Demeter will fix all Lina's business problems. Demeter feels that Persephone is not mature enough to take her place with Hades, God of the Underworld. So Lina agrees and finally finally the reader meets Hades when Lina (in Persephone's body) descends to the Underworld. I really dislike when a major character takes too long to make an appearance. So when the hero Hades doesn't show up until chapter 6, I found myself getting extremely twitchy (i.e. irritated).

The biggest problem I had with this book was the sagging middle. Nothing very much happens (at least nothing I cared about) between the first 1/4 and the last 1/4 of the book. There were lots of descriptions of the beautiful lakes, flowers, streams, and forests, but I prefer much more dialogue. There was a scene where Hades and Lina hold court with his underworld subjects, but it was a big yawn to me.

I liked both Lina and Hades. Lina had a wonderful way with animals and I enjoyed how she could tame any fierce or scary beast, like the three-headed dog and Hades' magnificent horses. Hades was a yummy hero and a thoroughly romantic figure. But unfortunately good characters didn't save this book for me. To top it off, I really disliked the ending. No spoilers here, you'll have to find out for yourself. Those of you who love fantasy will probably like this one better than I did.

My grade: C+

: I misread my reading log. This was a C+ not a C-.


CindyS said...

Ah, hell. I had this one in the TBR pile. Is it sensual or is it not really a romance?


ReneeW said...

Yes, it is a romance and it is sensual, in fact the best part of the book (I should have mentioned that in the review). I think you should go ahead and try this anyway.

I have decided I really don't like fantasy romance. I prefer more paranormal with vampires, demons, and werewolves (well, monsters I guess you could say) I also don't like magic or fairies or witches. And this book was more like that. They just aren't dark enough for me I think. You seem to like lighter books (as well as dark) so you might enjoy this one more than me.

Wow, I'm up late (finishing a review for Twilight). I better get to bed, my eyes are glazing over.

Rosario said...

I've read conflicting reviews of this one, and all by people whose taste I trust. I'll probably give it a try myself anyway, since I do enjoy fantasy romance.

Tara Marie said...

I've been trying to decide whether or not to read these books.
You know how we have people who have similar reading tastes, I've discovered that the people who have opposite taste from mine, love these books, which leads me to believe I'd hate them--LOL

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