Review: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

The Shadow Prince - Bree DespainPublisher: Egmont USA (March 11th 2014)
Hardcover: 512 pages
Series: Into the Dark #1
Source: Edelweiss
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.


Yes, this review gets a soundtrack one song. I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Death Cab for Cutie

So The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark) is a Greek Mythology inspired story that’s heavily based on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice (Orpheus is a musician that uses his skills to try to bring his wife back from the underworld). Therefore it’s greatly  influenced by music.

We have our two main characters Haden & Daphne. Haden is our disgraced dark underlord, who is The Chosen One, sent to bring back the Cypher by the Oracle and therefore restore his honour. Daphne is the unsuspecting key to the power of the Underworld, and (super-de-duper) talented musician, who only wants to leave her small town for the big stage. So, right away it’s pretty obvious the characters are pretty darn cliche. Yet at the same time, I still actually really like them. Daphne, is basically Miss Perfect. She is the music protege that can’t seem to do any wrong, and can sooth the savage beast even though no one could be before, etc. etc., even people who don’t like her, end up liking her. I think Daphne’s major saving grace from being your typical Mary Sue is that she doesn’t just let the universe pull her along, she actually stands up and gets what needs to get done.

Haden, oh Haden. For some reason, I just love this boy. Haden is your brooding disgraced Lord with some major daddy issues. Actually, I was expecting him to be the High-and-Mighty god-like jerk who eventually turns into a sweetheart when he falls in love, kinda guy, but he’s actually a big cutie as soon as he’s on earth (and a little bit before too, he’s got a cute hellcat name Brimstone, and they hang!). What I loved most was his hilarious fish-out-water experiences. He doesn’t know how to do human and I love that he uses Google and Youtube to learn all the things. For example, Dax tells him: “Just don’t use the Internet for dating advice. That’s never a good idea, trust me.” and than this happens:

I hit one of the phone’s icons and pull up a search engine. I am not sure which questions to research first: “What does it mean to be human?” or “How do I get a girl to like me?” Because when it comes to those queries, I haven’t go a clue.


I worry my new strategy is failing. My online research into “how to get girl to like me” had suggested, time and time again, that to win a human girl over, I had to be mean to her. I’d spent the bulk of the class either ignoring her, contradicting her, or acting liking a “bad boy,” which I gather meant showing off my muscles and leaning in my chair after saying something sexually derogatory.

himym - oh honey

Daphne makes a comment about how Haden sometimes talks like Thor. He is basically like Thor (of the Marvel movies).

thor - wink
Obligatory Thor gif.

Overall, The Shadow Prince is pretty predictable, from the overly heroic hero and heroine to the scheming bad guy, to the expected romance. That begin said, I still really enjoyed the adventure. Haden and Daphne actually developed a pretty sweet romance, and there’s lots of cute music moments. The friendship and interaction between the supporting characters are enjoyable and there’s some good ol’ action, too. The ending sets up for book 2, and there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be picking that. Sometimes it’s okay going into the book, knowing what’s going happen when you like what’s happening. Just don’t expect new revelations (expect for maybe that one at the end, but that was sorta expected too, still good though).

{*Thank to EgmontUSA & Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for the an honest review.

Find Bree Despain:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:
Book Depository | Barnes & Nobles | Chapters Indigo |

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Replies to “Review: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain”

  1. I love Greek Mythology, and I was really looking forward to it. And was completely disappointed. I thought it was good, and I really wanted to like it more. I had no complains on the world-building or the actual story, but the characters really, really grated on me. Like you said, it is cliché, and I just found it really cheese overload, and found myself rolling my eyes a lot. For such a long book, it should’ve built up at a great pace, and to an extent I thought it did, but then it just seemed to drag and ended up just being trivial and boring. I’m still going to read the next, but if I find it the same, I’m quitting the series.

    Kirsty @ StudioReads

    1. That’s too bad that it didn’t quite live up to expectations! Oh, I totally forgot to mention how (extra) long this book is for the amount of content (aka, too long for too little stuff lol), I definitely have to agree with you there. The characters were definitely cheesy! I ended up not finding them super annoying though, so that’s probably why I liked it a bit more than you haha. But yeah, hopefully the pace of the next book picks up!

  2. Cyn, I loved this quote in the book and even tagged it for use on my review too. I think this is why I liked Haden so much. He has no clue as how to interact with “humans” let alone seduce or get a girl to like him, which I thought was really sorta sweet and cute.

    ”What does it mean to be human?” or “How do I get a girl to like me?” Because when it comes to those queries, I haven’t go a clue.

    The story was somewhat predictable, but still enjoyable. For some reason I was hoing for a tad bit more in the underrealm/underworld. Maybe in the next one. Great review 🙂

    1. That’s why I adored Haden, definitely adorably clueless! I think it was a nice surprise that he wasn’t all “alpha” and was kind of bumbling with Daphne (:
      That’s how I felt about it too, cliche, but it was still a fun, easy read. I hope the next book has more underrealm too! It was so intense at the beginning when they were in the underrelm!

      Can’t wait to see your review! Thanks Kim!

  3. Sometimes predictable is the perfect escape read. I can see that you really enjoyed this despite the cliche characters. It looks like there was some laughter and cute moments as well. Thanks for the song while I read your post and for the Thor gif..hehe

    1. Exactly! I definitely did, it was such a easy and fun read. I really adored Haden haha.
      Your welcome (: You can never have too much Thor ;).

  4. Kate Tilton (Froze8) says: Reply

    This sounds excellent! I was a little nervous when I saw the 3.5 rating but after reading your review I think it is one I’ll enjoy even if it is a bit predictable. (and now I have that song stuck in my head!)

    1. It got a little bit of a lower rating because it was a bit on the predictable side and didn’t really blow me away. But for entertainment it was still very enjoyable! (I was playing it when I wrote the review, it’s been on repeat for 2 days now haha).
      I hope you enjoy it!

  5. Great review, I guess it was predictable but comfortable at the same time for you. Sometimes when I’m in the right mood I can find those types to be comforting in some way too. Lovely review cyn, I have to read this one soon and will have to find the right mood for it.

    1. Ah. yes! Comfortable, that’s the perfect description! I totally agree,sometimes you just want comfy 😉 I hope you enjoy it, can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!

  6. I have heard so many adorable things about Haden, so I’m pretty excited about that! I’m personally just okay with predictable things, as long as the book’s well written and interesting to read. Lovely review, Cyn!

    1. Haden totally surprised me with his adorableness. I hope you love him 😉 I know you mean, sometimes predictable is okay, as long as it’s still enjoyable, and that’s how I felt about this book. Thanks, Aimee!

  7. I agree with most of the points you made. It wasn’t the best book ever written, but I still enjoyed the adventure! Great review.

    1. I’m glad you still enjoyed it, too! Sometimes predictable can still be good, as long as it’s those predictable things we love right? 😉 haha. Thanks Rachel (:

  8. HAHAHAHA, Haden = Thor, love! I actually kind of agree with that 😀 I can totally understand about the predictability – and especially with the length of the book, you’re just like, I know what’s going to happen, so you can condense the book by about 150 pages! But I am totally glad that you enjoyed this book overall!! I did too 🙂

    Fantastic review, Cyn!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  9. Sometimes I really want something predictable too. Great Thor gif, BTW.

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