Hades: Plot Points*
There are a few plot points that I found disatisfying in this book. The first occurs relatively close to the beginning, when Bethany goes out in search of a portal that can take her back home. First off, it’s good that she’s out there doing something to try to free herself. But when she finds the portal, with the help of an old friend named Taylah who was apparently damned upon her death, she has trouble getting through and a bunch of monster-things pop up to threaten her new friend Tuck.
Taylah escaped through the portal easily, but Bethany has more trouble because she still has a body. Still, she is on the verge of getting through when the monster-things show up, but decides to go back to save Tuck. As Tuck is a spirit, why didn’t she pull back to let him go through once she realized how difficult it would be for her. At that point, she knew trouble was coming, if I remember correctly. The scene would have played out much better if she had and then, say, a monster-thing grabbed her leg and dragged her back. I mean, we all knew that she couldn’t escape that easily; it would have ruined the plot. But the way it works out, Bethany can’t even do a thing to help (sigh, so disappointed in those angelic powers) and Taylah must come back through to sacrifice herself as a distraction so they can run. The portal closes.
At least if it had played out my way, we would have seen the stakes raised when the demon finds out she helped Tuck escape. As is, nothing is accomplished and almost everything goes right back to the way it was.
And while we’re on the subject of Tuck, let’s talk about him and Hanna, two characters who, in revealing their backstories, cause Bethany to question whether the system here is really just. The author opens up all these questions but never really addresses them in a meaningful way.
Let’s look at Bethany’s angel powers again for another example. One of the coolest parts of the book is when Bethany sees a demon hurting the soul of a young child and she rushes over to heal it using her powers. An actual butterfly is generated by her gesture, and the demons get freaked out because it’s a sign of goodness and hope. It seems that these things alone could make the entire structure of Hell fall apart if spread widely enough. The demons decide to punish her by burning her at the stake, but the flames can’t touch her. Awesomest. Part. Of the book.
But after she gets rescued from the jail they throw her into, she apologizes! Repeatedly! And says she won’t do it again! As far as I was concerned, that was both the best thing she’d done yet and her ticket out of that place. All she had to do was go around spreading more goodness and hope and she would either break everything apart or force the demons to throw her out. That would have made an excellent victory for our main character and the forces of good she represents as an angel. Instead, we get no further attempts by her and the book reaches its conclusion when the other angels and her boyfriend break in to rescue her.
Another unanswered question is the demon who kidnapped her in the first place: Jake Thorn a.k.a. Arakiel. Throughout the book it seems that he may actually be able to feel love for Bethany, and that certainly led me to wonder whether this could lead him to become a slightly better being. But in the end, Gabriel just kills him. Poof! Done. If all the book was leading up to that, we either need to question whether it was right for Gabriel to kill him or the lead up needs to do more to indicate that this is in fact the best solution. As is, it’s just not satisfying.
So there were several plot points I found issue with, especially the way it ended. Although the book did have better points, I think some of these issues majorly detracted from how much I enjoyed it as a whole.
- A Literary Depiction of Hell (Or Hades if You’d Prefer) (dste9.wordpress.com)
- Hades: Demons and Angels (dste9.wordpress.com)