Long story short – these are great, and you should read them! A rare romance series where I was invested in the world building as much if not more than I was in the One True Pairing.
Neon Gods is a take on the Hades & Persephone myth, set in what is essentially modern day New York or Chicago. The Underworld is the wrong side of the river. A cabal of The Thirteen “Gods” rules. A lot of these are legacy roles – there must always be a Zeus, for example, with the roles handed down from father to son or mother to daughter.
Zeus here is a more lascivious Logan Roy; Hades helms a simpler, more honest realm. When Persephone runs from her surprise engagement to Zeus, Hades sees it as a chance to exact some revenge. Persephone proves to be more of a partner than a pawn, and their romance is a lot of fun. I found myself looking forward to the second book, just to see how the power dynamics of the world played out.
Neon Gods is an Eros & Psyche retelling. Eros is a fixer. He doesn’t question the commands of his petty, vindictive mother (Aphrodite), though he worked out long ago she only cares for her own goals. Until one day he asks her for Psyche’s heart on a plate, and he finds he can’t deliver. An act of random kindness from Psyche touched him, and he is finally in a place where he can refuse to kill an undeserving victim for his mother.
This is a size positive book, and while I’ve seen a few better, I’m glad to see the attempt made – so many books introduce plus size characters only to have them work out with their love interest and lose weight in order to “deserve” their happily ever after.
Looking forward to the third in the series – the politics of the universe are fascinating to me. Highly recommended!