Abandon: John Hayden

Usually I don’t review a character in a trilogy until I’ve read all three books. But (1) I talked up this book in my Hades and Persephone post and (2) I went crazy on the Twitter after I read Abandon. So I’m just going to do it and go more in-depth when I’ve read all three. This review will be fairly short because I don’t want to spoil anything.

The summary from Meg Cabot’s website:

Seventeen-year-old Pierce knows what happens to us when we die.

That’s how she met John Hayden, the mysterious stranger who’s made returning to normal life—or at least life as Pierce knew it before the accident—next to impossible.

Though she thought she escaped him—starting a new school in a whole new place—it turns out she was wrong. He finds her.

What does John want from her? Pierce thinks she knows… just like she knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven. But she can’t stay away from him, either, especially since he’s always there when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she might find herself back in the place she fears the most.

And when Pierce discovers the shocking truth, that’s exactly where John sweeps her:

The Underworld.

Going into this after analyzing the original myth, I had some doubts. Was John going to be an ancient being with stalker tendencies? Was he going to be a kidnapping creeper?  While I won’t tell you what John is (Oh I am going to frustrate all of you with this review, aren’t I?) I will say that there are few similarities between him and the original Hades. No rape-y Greek god here. The book keys into the elements attractive about the idea of Hades. We get the sense that John is a dark, brooding character seeking light and love that comes in the form of Pierce.

What sold me on John is his protective nature. Pierce isn’t a shrinking violet. She fought to return to life after she died. She fights against the injustices she sees around her. And she stands up to John on multiple occasions. (I’m trying not to gush about Cabot like the misty-eyed fangirl I am but she always delivers on the girl power. Her heroines kick ass.) Still, she winds up in situations she can’t escape on her own. John does go a tad overboard in protecting Pierce but she is there to tell him to stop and to scold him for it later. It’s a good balance.

I’ve found that when Cabot is writing a series, she keeps the swoon at a minimum in the first books. Abandon focuses more on Pierce, the events leading up to the present day where she is starting a new life on Isla Huesos and discovering just who John Hayden is. John’s appearances are limited but I’m sure that the next book will feature him a lot more. And I’d rather be left wanting more than get tired of him too fast. (Don’t worry. There are a couple swoontastic scenes tucked in this book)

I’ll hold off on a final grade until I’ve read the whole trilogy. But for now, I am excited about where this is going. Cabot uses just enough of the original myth for the drama/romance/intrigue but remakes the characters into good modern versions of their ancient counterparts. I just hope I can hold out a whole year before book 2 comes out.


1 Response to “Abandon: John Hayden”

  1. 1 SUZE August 11, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I just love JHON!!!! so cute and mysteries always with his endless love and the ability as a death deity.
    THE Impossible….BUT Interesting!!!!

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