Hades Speaks! by Vicky Alvear Shecter

Hades Speaks! by Vicky Alvear Shecter (Boyds Mills Press, Sept. 2014)  is the second installment of a series revealing the Secrets of the Ancient Gods (the first being Anubis Speaks!).    It is a non-fiction tour of the Greek underworld, with Hades himself serving as guide--one with more than a bit of attitude.

For Hades, with good reason, has a chip on his shoulder that's more a plank--Zeus is undeniably not the baby brother anyone would want, and being lord of the Underworld has considerably less pizzazz than throwing thunderbolts around from the top of Mount Olympus (and poor Hades' planet Pluto lost its planetary status; at least he can take some comfort from that fact that Jupiter is just a big ball of hot gas....)

So Hades, grumpy, defensive, and rather, um, dark describes the places and people of his realm (with a brief interjection from his wife, Persephone).  Stories of the various mythological visitors, and residents, of the Underworld are interspersed with the descriptions of its geographical features; I myself found the introductions to the dead Greek philosophers a nice touch (you don't hear much about them in other books about Greek mythology!)

Although Hades is something of a one-note grouchy pants, the use of contemporary allusions and idioms makes his voice one that should go down very easily indeed for the target audience--kids who prefer their mythology with a bit of modern edge to it, and who aren't necessarily die-hard Percy Jackson fans yet! 

disclaimer:  review copy received courtesy of the author


  1. It seems like Hades has become the de facto guide in these sorts of books.

  2. This reminds me of the Myth-O-Mania series based on Greek mythology by Kate McMullan. Will add this book to my TBR pile


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