“Heir to the Underworld” was, I’ll admit, a bit of a surprise, not least for the fact that I did not expect it to be nearly as good as it has turned out to be. The basic premise is that our heroine, “Freddy”, basically gets dropped into the stew pile between legends such as the Wild Hunt and godly pantheons. With the help (and hindrance) of Deg, her erstwhile romantic interest and the titular ‘heir’, she basically has to save both herself, her semi-adopted family, and even Deg from time to time, from the forces that be that seem on a never ending quest to stay in the backwaters of cultural evolution. Confused yet? It’s okay; once you start reading, it clears itself up, though a general knowledge of Greek mythology would be a big help.
I really enjoyed this book, even though the author took a few minutes to get away from telling-the-story-at-you. All the characters are funny and real, and both of our protagonists get their own say. Freddy, despite her odd name, is very relatable and genuine; you never get the feeling that she shows any emotion that would not be completely justified for any of the odd situations she seems to find herself in. She’s strong and persistent, yet she is always just a (relatively normal) 16-year-old girl. And Deg is definitely the hotness of the story, but is progressively shown as more human than any other god, mostly due to Freddy’s influence. Lots of kissing and an ever deepening romance (including a triangle involving a ring ) intrigues throughout, yet still keeps this tale clean enough for the young adult. One caution, however: there is mention and an unsuccessful (and thankfully, non-graphic) attempt of rape in the book. Nothing nearly as disturbing as what might be found in, say, the Twilight series, so young and old YA readers should enjoy this tale even more. Kudos go to Ms. Walker for her deft handling of some serious issues throughout!
Overall, the only detractors I could say of this book are its length (which did go one a bit longer than it probably should have), the slightly awkward narrating style (only) at the beginning, and… well, Deg. I could only wish that his resolve showed itself a little earlier in the story. But it all did fit very much into the progression of the tale, as all characters slowly grow and find themselves by the end. The result is a solid book and one I’d definitely recommend. Enjoy!
Frederica always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even a bit boring. Then a hottie dressed as a reject from Gladiator, almost ran her down on the sidewalk. With his horse. The weird keeps coming from there: zombie dogs running around the suburbs, insane crows stalking her, and said hottie asking her on a date. But the cute stranger has secrets he isn’t sharing. Trouble follows him like his shadow. The closer they grow, the weirder life gets, until Freddy discovers something about her own past that changes everything she ever thought she knew about herself. And her world.