Early Book Review: Hades: Lord of the Dead by George O'Connor

Hades: Lord of the Dead by George O'Connor is a young adult graphic novel scheduled for release on January 31, 2012. It is volume four in the Olympian series. This is another look at the legend of Hades and Persephone. Those already very familiar with the tale will not have many surprises, but there are some new perspectives to the story in this interpretation. Nothing mind blowing, but a reasonable and well-done look at the story behind why we have seasons and the personality of Persephone. This volume would serve well as an introduction to the story and the way it can change with the perspectives of the teller and reader.

In the Olympians series, O’Connor draws thoroughly researches and then retells Greek myths with his own touch. Hades: Lord of the Dead is no exception. O'Connor gives Persephone, or Kore, some strength and say in her future that is often missing in the more traditional re-tellings. The art is vibrant and gives the characters some personality and small details from the story that might otherwise be lost in this condensed myth re-telling. I also liked that O'Connor added notes at the end of the graphic novel explaining why he made certain changes to the original story, and how he felt about certain aspects of the book. He also includes factual tidbits that will be useful to those not already well-versed in the Greek gods and the related myths.

As someone that loves mythology and the many ways the classic stories can be re-imagined, I felt that Hades: Lord of the Dead was lacking some depth. Hades could have used more background story, particularly in how Persephone caught his eye. However; readers that are looking for a fun read, an introduction to the story, or a basic re-telling of the story will be well pleased with what they find here.
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