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Review: Destined by Jessie Harrell

Title: Destined
Author: Jessie Harrell
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: E-book
Source: Personal purchase
Pub. Year: 2011
Purchase: Amazon/ B&N/Smashwords

Blurb from Smashwords:
When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she’s come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

What I will remember: Stockholm syndrome is apparently really popular in Ancient Greece

I think Greek mythology is fantastic and the story of Eros and Psyche is actually really nice if you like Stockholm Syndrome novels. I do like those type of novels since  the myth of Persephone and Hades is exactly that. Stockholm Syndrome is where the kidnapped fall in love with the kidnapper.  Kidnapping is the way to happily ever after. Just ask Beauty and Beast from Disney (Seriously, do not kidnap anyone).

Like I said, Stockholm Syndrome is probably the dominant theme of the novel. Psyche is taken by a lovesick Eros to live in a castle where she is the only human around. He expects her to fall in love with him really fast because he in deeply in love with her and hopes she can see it. It’s unrealistic on his part because Psyche has just abandoned civilization and she needs time to adjust and question everything. I truly like that she still question his motives even though he truly did love her. It’s not enough to just constantly hear the words “I love you”; they need to be proven. Love wouldn’t have been proven if they just stay in the castle forever.

Psyche does have to prove his love for Eros by doing the two tasks that Aphrodite asks of her. Eros also has to prove his love for Psyche as well. He had to convince himself that he loves Psyche without the help of his arrow. This is a spoiler but Eros nicked himself with his own arrow. More importantly, he didn’t take off the spell that he place on himself while he was with Psyche in the isolated castle. He didn’t really know if he truly love or didn’t. I’m glad that his feelings for Psyche were real and he didn’t need the arrow’s spell to love Psyche.

I like the inclusion of multiple gods and I personally find that their personalities were captured really well. Actually, there are a few on I’m on the fence about. Aphrodite was lovely as she want into seeking retribution for a slight against her family. I thought Persephone was enchanting (of course, I would). Hermes and Charon were quirky characters. Eros was quite developed. He felt more than just love for Psyche but also anger towards her eventually. He did try to move on by hanging out with Iris. I don’t know Iris very well in Greek mythology so she could have been after Eros.  Zeus and Hera as a loving couple? Totally on the fence about this. On the one hand,  Zeus has hide his mistresses in the past and on the hand, he could have been under the influence of Eros. Would Hera still love him enough to look at him with tender eyes? I’m not sure but I’ll go along for now.

Let’s talk about Hades. It’s not the most inviting place with Cerberus at the helm but he is an excellent guard dog (Not that anyone would willingly want to come to Hades). I really like the river filled with souls or shades of individuals. Talk about adding a dark atmosphere. Charon is a charismatic god and I’m glad that it was shown.

One of the things that did irked is the fact that Harell used Ceres instead of Demeter to describe the goddess of agriculture. The entire novel uses the Greek names of the gods and goddesses but Ceres is the Roman name of Demeter (Greek name).  It didn’t really jive with me and I don’t understand why it is the Roman name. All I can think of is the fact that Persephone said her mother allowed her to extend her time in Hades for a little while. I call bull on that since Demeter would never allow that. Maybe it was a way to trick the readers into thinking that Ceres and Demeter are two different goddesses when they are not. I do not like this.

Overall, the end result is 4.5 butterflies. It’s a fantastic read. Great use of mythology figures.

4.5 BB-Ready for capture, Total keeper


16th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Self-Published, E-book, YA Mythology, Where are you reading?-Ancient Greece