Hades: Lord of the Dead

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Overview

Volume 4 of the highly acclaimed Olympians series!

Hades: Lord of the Dead tells the story of the great God of the Underworld and one of the most famous of all Greek myths: Hades’ abduction of Persephone and her mother’s revenge. Be prepared to see a new side of Persephone in this dynamic adaptation of the story of the creation of the seasons.

In Olympians, O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But...

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Hades: Lord of the Dead

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Overview

Volume 4 of the highly acclaimed Olympians series!

Hades: Lord of the Dead tells the story of the great God of the Underworld and one of the most famous of all Greek myths: Hades’ abduction of Persephone and her mother’s revenge. Be prepared to see a new side of Persephone in this dynamic adaptation of the story of the creation of the seasons.

In Olympians, O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren’t sedate, scholarly works. They’re action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama adventures with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology.

 

Hades is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The fourth book in O’Connor’s Olympians series retells the myth of Hades and Persephone as a dramatic, romantic saga of a controlling parent and a rebellious daughter. Although a more family friendly version than the darker source material, O’Connor’s version is still set in ancient Greece and opens with an introduction to the realm of the dead that sets a fittingly grand tone for the narrative. Hades, the lord of the dead, is a lonely ruler of the realm of mortals’ souls while the other Greek gods joyously celebrate on Mount Olympus. One of the most celebrated is Demeter, goddess of agriculture and also mother to Kore, a daughter tired of being kept away from anything that could possibly do her harm. When Kore wanders off, she’s kidnapped by Hades, who showers her with gifts and promises to make her his queen. Kore slowly begins to enjoy her newfound luxury, changing her name to Persephone, even as Demeter frantically searches for her daughter and becomes so distraught she allows the crops of mortals to wither and die. O’Connor’s brand of classical mythology for modern sensibilities serves as a good introduction to the gods and settings of the Greek myths. Ages 9–14. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"An outstanding addition to a first-rate series."

Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

 

"O’Connor’s brand of classical mythology for modern sensibilities serves as a good introduction to the gods and settings of the Greek myths."

Publishers Weekly

 

"The writing is well done, the story line is interesting and moves quickly, the characters are colorful, and this adventure is exciting."

Children's Literature

 

"O'Connor's artwork remains as strong as ever, especially in the glorious illustrations of the underworld."

VOYA

 

"Atmospheric, with descriptions and images of the Underworld that are so captivating that readers will pore over those pages again and again. O'Connor's illustrations, filled with lots of color and haunting illuminations, are well suited to this exciting story and will attract even the most reluctant readers."

School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
At the beginning of the story the reader is told what it is like to be dead. It is stressed that after death a coin should have been put inside the mouth in order to pay to go down the river where everything will be made clear and everything will be forgotten. Without the coin, the person must wait a hundred years on the bank of the Styx. Under the earth is a place where spirits are waiting for the end of time. The ruler of this place is Hades and everything is fine until he decides to marry. This truly complicates matters and everything goes wild. It is the fourth in the acclaimed "Olympians" series. The writing is well done, the story line is interesting and moves quickly, the characters are colorful, and this adventure is exciting. At the end of the book, the author includes a page of Author's Notes where he explains that Hades is really not an Olympian and that the book is really about Persephone. There are two pages about Hades and other facts including information about plants, Roman names, and other interesting facts. There are several pages that give the page numbers and the panels which explain the storyline more fully, and finally, there are discussion questions. The books will be enjoyed best if read in the proper order. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
VOYA - Mark Flowers
Despite the title, and breaking from his usual custom of combining multiple myths about his title god, this newest entry in O'Connor's fabulous Olympians series is actually a retelling of Persephone's abduction. The decision to use a single myth pays off enormously: instead of grappling with multiple, sometimes contradictory, stories, O'Connor focuses on developing characters and themes. By reorganizing the details of the story, O'Connor keeps the main lines of this beautifully simple creation myth while subtly transforming it into a multi-layered modern narrative, complete with mystery, romance, and pathos. Moving the timing of one crucial event, for example, changes the motivations of several characters, adding multiple levels of betrayal and manipulation. In this version, Kore (Persephone's pre-abduction name) loves her mother, Hestia, but feels trapped. Her abduction becomes a chance for her to find out who she wants to be, including finding love with her abductor, Hades—a love which explains for O'Connor why later Greek myths refer to Persephone only as Queen of the Underworld, never mentioning her time on Olympus. If there is a flaw, it is O'Connor's uneven sense of dialogue; but since this unevenness errs on the side of colloquial speech, it is unlikely to bother the young teens of the target audience who may find it more approachable. O'Connor's artwork remains as strong as ever, especially in the glorious illustrations of the underworld. It is hard to imagine later books in the series surpassing this one, but O'Connor seems to have new surprises each time out. Reviewer: Mark Flowers
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—O'Connor explores the story of overprotective Demeter; her spirited daughter, Kore (aka Persephone); and Hades, Lord of the Dead. This retelling will encourage readers to think about these characters' motivations, see how and why each of them was conflicted, and empathize with their struggles. This book is atmospheric, with descriptions and images of the Underworld that are so captivating that readers will pore over those pages again and again. O'Connor's illustrations, filled with lots of color and haunting illuminations, are well suited to this exciting story and will attract even the most reluctant readers. Several resources for curious readers, including an Olympian family tree, character profiles, endnotes, and lists of recommended books and websites, are included. An author's note explains that it's technically Demeter, not Hades, who is the Olympian, but since the story is about three mythical characters, he decided to put Hades front and center because he would be the biggest draw.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A tempestuous mother-daughter relationship makes up the centerpiece of O'Connor's latest carefully researched and simultaneously fresh and funny Olympian portrait. Snatched down to the Underworld in the wake of a screaming fight with her mother Demeter ("Butt out of my life!!" "You ungrateful brat"), raging adolescent Kore (meaning, generically "The Maiden") initially gives her quiet, gloomy captor Hades a hard time too. After grabbing the opportunity to give herself a thorough makeover and changing her name to Persephone ("Bringer of Destruction"), though, she takes charge of her life--so surely that, when offered the opportunity to return to her remorseful mom, she lies about having eaten those pomegranate seeds so she can spend half of each year as Queen of the Dead. O'Connor expertly captures both the dramatic action and each character's distinct personality--Demeter in particular, with her big hair and temper to match, is a real piece of work--in easy-to-follow graphic panels. Effortlessly folding in other familiar and not-so-familiar tales of figures associated with his title character, he opens with an eerie guided tour of Hades' realm, closes with fact boxes about each of the major players and in between ingeniously preserves the old tale's archetypal quality without ever losing sight of its human dimension. An outstanding addition to a first-rate series. (notes, study questions, resource lists) (Graphic mythology. 8-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596434349
  • Publisher: First Second
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Series: Olympians Series , #4
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 142,777
  • Age range: 9 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

George O’Connor is an author, illustrator and cartoonist. His first graphic novel, Journey Into Mohawk Country, used as its sole text the actual historical journal of the seventeenth-century Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, and told the true story of how New York almost wasn’t. He followed that up with Ball Peen Hammer, the first graphic novel written by playwright Adam Rapp, a dark, dystopian view of a society’s collapse. Now he has brought his attention to Olympians, an ongoing series retelling the classic Greek myths in comics form. In addition to his graphic novel career, O’Connor has published several children’s picture books, including the New York Times best-selling Kapow, Sally and the Some-Thing, and Uncle Bigfoot. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fun way to learn about mythology!

    What a great idea! Graphic novels about Greek mythology. I was unaware of this series until I saw the Hades book. I read this book with my son (age 10) in less than an hour. Due to the current climate of mythology in children's books, he has become fascinated with the Greek Pantheon. This is a wonderful, action packed, retelling of the classic Hades-Persephone-Demeter myth. Unlike the books I has to read in school, this book is far from boring. It is fast paced, has wonderful pictures, and is a great retelling of the myth. There is nothing objectionable in this book, Hades looks like the Lord of the Underworld but does not look frightening, nor is he mean or evil towards Persephone. My son's response when we finished, "Mom, can we get the other books? You know I love this stuff." I highly recommend this book, as well as others in the series, for anyone who enjoys mythology. It is a wonderfully exciting way for children to learn about the stories of the the ancients.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Three Reviewers From Book Sake Loved It!

    Book Review by Chris
    This book is called Hades, but it’s really about Persephone. It’s still an entertaining read. I didn’t know much about Persephone, the wife of Hades, and according to the author not much has been written about the Queen of the Dead. So I guess this book is the author’s imaging of how Persephone came to be and I think it is pretty good.

    However if you were really looking forward to some Hades lore, the start of the book does give a good amount of details regarding Hades and his realm. The delivery of these facts is quick and fun, so it doesn’t feel like you are reading an encyclopedia.

    The artwork is simple and bold, nothing too complex. Also it is part of a series, all by the same writer/artist. It’s an exciting delivery method of the Greek Myths. Instead of laborious text, you get energetic images bringing these Gods to life. I think they’d all make a great addition of a kid’s bookshelf. Book Rating: 4/5

    Book Review by Jessica
    I love anything mythology related and the story of Persephone is a good one. (Just as Chris said, it’s not really about Hades.) I especially liked the spin that the author put on this version of her. I learned some new things about the character, as well as tidbits about other characters. The back of the book features a panel-by-panel play-by-play telling you what all of the different characters and places are and what words that may be unfamiliar to the reader mean. Hades is shown to be nicer than I ever would have thought him to be and I think that’s partially because of the twist with Persephone. This is definitely a story that could be loved by any reader, no matter if they usually pick up graphic novels or not. Readers will be entertained and learn something new all in one read, I would love to read the rest of this series. Book Rating: 4/5

    Book Review by Kole
    I’ve read many stories about the Olympians and the Titans but this is the first to say that Persephone actually liked being with Hades. I don’t know if this is true or if it’s just a creative turn from all of the other stories. Either way it’s a fresh new look at the story. Not only is the story great but the artwork compliments it very well. I found myself looking at the art for longer periods of time than I spent reading. I liked Hades not being portrayed as evil. It’s another part of the story that makes it fresh. Although it was a little short for me. I feel like they could have extended the story or gone more in depth. I haven’t read any of the others in this series but I hope that they are as different from old myths as this is. I feel like this series has lots of promise. I look forward to reading all of the Olympians series. Book Rating: 4/5

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    Posted August 11, 2013

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