About the Book:
Title: Persephone’s Curse
Author: Sandra Bats
Series: Persephone’s Curse #1
Page Length: 491
Publication Date: Aug. 5, 2018
Synopsis: Escaping from the government-run labs had only been the beginning of Elin’s fight for survival. Quickly running out of options she’s wary when good-looking Jayden offers her shelter — and wants nothing in return. In their dystopian world trust and friendship gets you killed.
Jayden doesn’t need another life to be responsible for, another mouth to feed. He already has enough people counting on him, but something about that stubborn redhead intrigues him enough to offer her help.
They need to make a choice: Will they manage to work towards a better future together or will they allow their pasts to drive them apart?
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links.
Persephone’s Curse presents a dystopian world that is vivid, immersive, and grim. In a terrifying future where women aren’t safe, the government is ruthless, and even the rebels seem to have evil intentions, life is brutal. A deadly disease plagues pregnant women, which results in their deaths. In a supposed effort to cure the disease and repopulate the world, girls and women are experimented on and sexually assaulted in labs, boys and men are forced to work for the government, and there is little hope of escape. The story begins as Elin, a lab prisoner, fights for her freedom and flees from governmental imprisonment.
Elin meets Jayden, a leader of people who live on the fringes of society, and she must decide whether to trust this charming and helpful man or continue to go it alone. With her sisters still imprisoned in labs and cold weather looming, Jayden’s offer to help sounds too good to be true.
When Jayden sees Elin, he is drawn to her and offers her safety among his people, something Elin hasn’t felt in a long time. Weighted by the responsibility and a haunted past, Jayden, as the leader of his people, must deal with dissenters, illness, food shortages, and more. Can this pair find a bit of happiness, especially considering their pasts and the hopelessness of their situations?
I really enjoyed this novel. It is well-paced, dynamically developed, and the love story is wonderful. Elin and Jayden’s romance is a spark of happiness in an otherwise brutal and dark world. Theirs is a slow-building love built on trust, friendship, and respect. Jayden is so patient with Elin. He understands her trauma and knows that she needs time to grow accustomed to her new environment. Elin has been alone for so long that she finds it difficult to trust others, and she questions Jayden’s motivations. No one has ever helped her without wanting something in return. I love how he slowly gains her trust with his honesty and support and helps ingratiate her into his community. Of course, as she gets to know Jayden, she begins to realize what a good man he is, and she slowly lets her guard down.
Jayden is not without scars from the past, and I like that he and Elin find each other and help each other heal. He’s also irresistibly charming, and he cares so much for his people. He doesn’t let guilt, fear, or the uncertainties in their lives defeat him. Like Elin, he is a survivor. Their characters are so well crafted and dynamic, and their growth throughout the story is fantastic. The fact that they connect on such a deep level, listen to and support each other, and accept each other unequivocally makes their relationship very special. Plus, they are super attracted to each other, and their chemistry is wonderful.
I also love the found family trope. Jayden and his group welcome and accept Elin as one of their own, and it is the first time in a long time that she feels part of something bigger than herself. I love how everyone in their group contributes and has something to offer. They are treated as equals and are valued as people of worth. Jayden has worked hard to ensure that theirs is a safe community, and he doesn’t take kindly to anyone who threatens it. Though most of these people aren’t related, they treat each other like family and trust each other implicitly. This is the perfect place for Elin to heal and feel less alone in the world.
A word of warning – There are elements of the story that might trigger some readers and include sexual harassment, rape, violence, death, and forced prostitution. That being said, I’m a fan of dystopian literature, and Persephone’s Curse is so engrossing. Wild chases, daring escapes, dangerous altercations, a lovely romance, a terrifying setting, and tons of nail-biting suspense kept me entertained and immersed throughout the story. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series and find out how Elin and Jayden’s story continues. Thanks so much to Sandra Bats for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance. Elin and Jayden have a slow-building and promising connection.
- The found family. Jayden and his people are wonderful!
- The dystopian elements.
I like to believe that there is always the possibility of something good developing from something awful.
I knew he meant to be kind, but kindness sometimes broke you as easily as coldness.
I’m not the kind of person who gives up when things get tough. I won’t give up on you.
We both knew that sometimes when darkness was about to swallow you, you just had to hold onto something steady.
This is a great book for readers who like dystopias with great character development and a slow-building romance.