Ares (Guardians of Hades #1)
by Felicity Heaton
One of the things I love reading about are the Gods of Olympus. Whether they’re still residing in Olympus, or living in a more modern day society, I can’t seem to get enough of these characters and all their reimaginings. This story follows the children of Hades and Persephone, some of whom are named after very prominent Gods (their uncles). They are each tasked with guarding a gate to hell, and keeping the daemon population at bay in the mortal realm.
The premise of this novel, along with the promise of spicy romance, was more than enough to convince me to pick it up. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only was the world building better than anticipated, but so was the overall plot and development of the side characters. Each son of Hades and Persephone (to my understanding) will have their own dedicated novel in this series, so it was very entertaining to see how they were all introduced through Ares’ eyes and memories.
Despite knowing about the intended purpose of the future novels, I was still surprised when this novel included scenes with just the other brothers, without our main characters Ares or Megan present. It created a sense of intrigue and anticipation about what might happen in their own stories, and cultivated a desire to dive deeper into this series in the future.
The pacing of this novel in terms of the romance was a slower burn that positively sizzled around the halfway point. I appreciated that both characters, Ares and Megan, were trying their best not to fall for each other. However their attraction to one another was undeniable, and the resulting chemistry when they finally gave in to those desires was pretty explosive. That motorcycle scene will be a hard one to forget (and I don’t think I want to).
Overall my only complaint, and something I am personally bothered by in a lot of novels, was the repetition of what’s at stake for these characters. I tend to skim the internal monologue of the characters going back and forth, reminding themselves why x action is bad or what y action could cost them. I’m not sure if it’s just a me thing at this point, or if other readers actually find this repetition a way to curate more intense and suspenseful scenes? The action sequences in this novel alone held so much energy and power that they dwarfed any of the inner anxieties of the characters.
I’m very happy I decided to pick this story up. I can see this world getting stuck in my head, and think I’ll find myself wondering what Ares and his brothers are up to. I thoroughly enjoyed, and was impressed by, the displays of the god’s magic, and how it manifested differently in each character. The flashes of the other world reminded me so much of one of my favorite movies, Constantine, and I’m sure I’ll pick up at least one other book in this series in the future, if not just binge the entire series outright one day.
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