I received this book for free from Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Written by Meg Cabot
Published May, 2011 by Pan Macmillan
Provided by: Pan Macmillan Australia
Genres: Angels & Demons, Mythology
Add to Goodreads
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.
It feels so wrong awarding a book by MEG CABOT a mere 2 stars – but, unfortunately, that’s all Abandon was for me. It lacked the certain ‘Meg-ness’ I’ve come to know and love in her books, as well as a gripping plot. The only redeeming points of the book (the interaction between Pierce and John) were too few and far between.
Let me stress this before I go any further – I am a huge fan of Meg Cabot’s other books; namely The Mediator series (which is an all-time favourite of mine in the YA genre) as well as Avalon High. So when I heard about Abandon, a new YA series by one of my favourite authors, I was beside myself. I was thankfully able to get my hands on a beautiful paperback copy thanks to Pan MacMillan AU and I started it as soon as I was able. Unfortunately, what was inside the pages didn’t live up to my high expectations.
A lot of the promotion for this book rests on the myth of Persephone and Hades, but I found that the myth itself takes a backseat. Looking back on the book I’m not entirely SURE what Abandon is really about. If you’re interested in the book for it’s myth-factor, I urge you to check out another Persephone/Hades re-telling in the form of The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter.
This book isn’t very well driven by plot. It’s really a mash-up of all different events with no evident seam. Sadly absent were the plot twists and clues evident in The Mediator – storylines that I hungrily ate up because they were just so damned intelligent. I also found myself having a hard time forging a relationship with any of the characters. Pierce is quite lackluster, as are the slew of supporting characters. A lot of the plot focuses on what is known on Isle Huesos as ‘Coffin Night’, yet nothing in THIS book (it may later in the sequels) comes to fruition regarding the event. It just seemed quite pointless.
I was also left scratching my head when the true nature of the people around Pierce was revealed. The whole Mr. Mueller thing, as well as Hannah Chang, was also lumped into the ‘pointless’ box for me.
As mentioned, the only thing that redeemed the series for me (in order for me to finish the book) was the relationship between Pierce and John. Meg knows how to write romances – I’ve seen evidence of this in her other books – but to my disappointment (although it claims to be the spine of the story) the love story was quite scarce. The few interactions we glimpsed between the couple were great, but I felt they were rushed, too.
I was constantly confused throughout the chapters. Pierce keeps hinting at things that have already happened, and how she ‘should have known’, but doesn’t tell us until a few chapters later. While it could have been craftily ambiguous, it just felt puzzling.
I wanted to like Abandon, I really did, but I couldn’t make myself. There are two more books in the series but I think I’m going to have to skip this one. I rarely point my readers to other reviews of the books I’m reading, but if you’d like to read another review that mirrors my thoughts pretty exactly, head on over to The Book Eater.
Recommended to: Check it out, I suppose, if you’re curious. If you’re dead-set on reading Meg Cabot (as I was) no review is going to dissuade you from doing so!