Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.
Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld. (Image and Summary from Goodreads)
Released May 2011
The first thing I noticed about Abandon is its rich look and feel. The cover is beautiful even the inside pages are gold with a floral design matching the design on the front cover and the gold pages are a heavier stock of paper than the rest of the pages in the book. It suggests a rich, lush tale is in between those beautiful covers and gold pages. Or perhaps, the beauty and the heavy pages are covering up something meant to be kept inside the pages of the book. Meant to be trapped there. Maybe they are trying to make something ugly appear beautiful. Maybe it's all of the above. That was my impression as I read.
We all know by now that this is a "dark retelling of the Hades and Persephone" myth. I'm not sure how much darker you can get than what Hades did, but Abandon does put a different twist on the story and it doesn't get any prettier than Hades and Persephone. Pierce dies while trying to save a bird she believes is hurt. She drowns in her own pool in winter sucked down by her clothes and the pool covering that gave way because it was broken. She dies and everything that happens after that she thinks is a dream. She's brought back to life, but not before meeting a modern Hades, John. Now, not only does she think she's crazy but also that she's being stalked by John. She escaped the Underworld and he wants her back. But why?
The plot thickens and it only gets more thick as the story goes on until you feel like you're trying to find you're way through a labryinth of stories and possibilites.
Abandon is told from Pierce's point of view so we get a full if somewhat one sided account of everything that happens. Since we only see things from her perspective, we get a very skewed version of what's going on. Because of her narration, I was a little lost in the first half of the story. I didn't like how it unfolded, it felt choppy and disconnected and I felt irritated just wanting to know what happened and to get on with the story. There were too many allusions to the "Hannah thing" and Pierce not saving her without the telling of the whole story. We were fed bits and pieces of information when I would have rather had the whole story told upfront and gone from there. And until the story was told, I didn't understand why Pierce had been kicked out of school or why she was thought to be a troubled student.
But, then, when all that got smoothed out the story moved on at an even pace showing more of Pierce's character and motivations and it all made sense. Her "troubled child" label and her other problems run much deeper than what any psychiatrist can fix, though they try with pills and talk therapy. More Greek characters continue to weave their way through the novel and new characters are added to the story after Pierce and her mother move to Isla Huesos, her mother's birthplace where she still has family. Pierce attends the local public school and is enrolled in a program for "at risk" students. The high school students call them D-Wingers. The upper class, smart students are, of course, in the A-Wing. But they make friends with Pierce because her father is extremely rich and well known
Though you might think it is, the plot is unpredictable from beginning to end. I liked the second half better than the first half, though there were a lot of interesting moments in the first half. Pierce seems to be the kind of girl that gets into trouble without even looking for it, but doesn't look for a rescue, just needs one. Pierce set the pace of the story and despite that need for rescuing, she was brave and a strong female character. She drove the plot looking for answers which came from some really unlikely people in some very unlikely
The ending of Abandon was a complete surprise to me. I thought even that this book may be a stand alone book. How foolish of me. It does say trilogy. And there were too many characters that had been introduced with nothing happening with them. Too many issues had been left unresolved, but I felt like it was a good ending and it didn't leave me hanging.
I've had time to think about Abandon since I've read it and I can't get John and Pierce out of my head. They were very memorable and likable characters despite their flaws. John would go all caveman whenever Pierce seemed the slightest bit in trouble and Pierce just seems to seek out trouble despite being warned. I think this is going to be a fantastic series and I hope Ms. Cabot can craft the next one quickly so I can find out what happens. I was satisfied with the ending, but that doesn't mean I don't want more. Next month please! Darkly and nicely done!