Thursday, March 12, 2009

If only someone could tame him, or; Goddess of Spring

The title: Goddess of Spring
The author: P.C. Cast
Publication: Berkley Sensation
Got it from: Freemount Books

Dang. I feel like I've been tearing through books like a woman on fire, and I can barely come up with three snarky things to say between them all. I hate to say it, but I keep coming up with winners here. Goddess of Spring was just too good.

Basic premise: Lina is a 43-year-old baker who needs money for her business, badly. So she summons the Goddess Demeter (half jokingly) and asks her help. Presto, Demeter appears and tells Lina she'll exchange Lina's body with her daughter Persephone's so Persephone can save Lina's business. All she'll have to do is spend six months as the Goddess of Spring. Easy! Oh wait, wasn't there something about Hades and a rape?...crap, too late!

I didn't think I was going to like this book for the first 100 pages or so. I have to admit, it was a bit slow going. Not bad, mind you. It was like wading through gummi bears while the rest of the book was swimming in chocolate silk. I like gummi bears, though. Just like I liked the description of Lina's bakery. I happen to have a strong interest in the pastry business, since my two favourite men work there. (One is my husband and the other is this guy). So I felt like I could really picture Lina's shop. The way the author described everything made me hungry.

Once Lina descends into the underworld to pay a visit to Hades (the rape doesn't happen here) things really pick up. Lina continually describes Hades as her "Batman" and I think the comparison is apt. There's definitely a case for describing Hades as the original model for all the brooding, misunderstood Batman/Mr. Rochester types out there. How could any woman read this book and not love Hades? Apollo seems like a whiny sissy boy next to this guy. Hades is passionate, he's devoted, he's romantic. Even the Underworld seems like a pretty great place to be when he's around. And it's full of DEAD people.

You don't have to be familiar with Greek mythology to understand or enjoy this book, but it helps. For instance, if you know the story of Orpheus and Eurydice already, you'll know where their characters are coming from (although Orpheus only makes a brief appearance). Also, knowing the various gods and semi-gods make their appearances funnier (Lina refers to the Limoniades as the "Lemonades").

Greek mythology is already fully of hilarity and sexiness and it's nice to see the stories updated so skillfully for a modern audience. I'll definitely read the other books in the series if I have the chance.

One teeny, tiny, complaint:
I am so, so sick of every single woman in the romances I've read recently having a cat. I don't have anything against cats, but why does every romance heroine have to have one? Not every single woman, or every woman in general for that matter, likes cats. Also, if you're going to give your character's cat the stupidest name ever (Patchy Poo the Pud), please don't tell me in your author bio that your OWN cat has the same stupid name. It isn't cute, it's vomit-inducing. It almost made me want to stop reading the book, and that would have been a terrible shame since I ended up loving it so much. Thank Hades that Lina left her cat back in the mortal realm.

Sorry, P.C. Cast, if you ever read this. I think you're an incredible writer, but that cat name - don't. Just don't.


Amalia said...

The only thing I didn't like about this book was that you sort of got the feeling that P.C Cast had never in her life met an italian. I say this because I have so many Italian friends (though I myself am not) and none of them would talk or act or think like Lina. She was pretty much a WASP. Also, I wasn't fond of the end. but the rest was quite wonderful.

KJH said...

Sorry Amalia, I'm just catching up on my comments, thanks for posting! I'm currently reading Warrior Rising and I'll be doing a post soon about the similarities between that and Goddess of Spring. Didn't catch the Italian/WASP thing when I first read this, that's an interesting point.