Despite being an art history student, Summer isn’t thrilled to be stuck with her archeologist family all summer in Greece. While the rest of her college friends are posting a million selfies by the pool together, Summer is stuck alone, trying to entertain herself alone in a place where she doesn’t even speak the language.
Upon her arrival to Greece, strange dreams and even stranger shadows seem to haunt Summer, leaving her to ponder the meaning of pomegranate seeds and twisted, darkened faces.
Suddenly, her stay abroad leads to tragic twists, leaving Summer in the arms of a dark stranger, who claims to be the god, Hades, whom she feels like she knows from another life. In a whirlwind through the busy streets of Athens, Summer is seduced to the lowest point of Greece where Hades’ lair awaits…the Underworld. Determined to find out who she is and where she belongs in an age-old myth, Summer joins Hades to discover that the secrets about her past life are beyond anything she could have ever imagined.
It must be said first and foremost that there is something absolutely enchanting about Blinding Night by Chantal Gadoury, and that foreknowledge of Greek Mythology is surely a plus, but it is certainly not a requirement to enjoy the book. The two hundred ninety plus pages flew by quickly, and they seemingly turn themselves. The consistent word omissions, typos, and terminology confusion (i.e. the mix up of the words mortar and “morder”), that there has to be a lot of assumptions on the part of the reader, and the fact that Summer Mavros (the reincarnation of Persephone) is a protagonist that is admittedly difficult to like lost this book one star in its review. That’s nothing, however, compared to the solid character dynamic and development present from the first few sentences. Just as the reader begins to become fed up with Summer’s petulance, author Gadoury shows there is something different about Summer. Then, tragedy strikes, turning the world upside down, and the book really gets moving. Darce (an embodiment of Hades) is immediately easy to love and root for because of more than just his sex appeal. He’s remorseful, mysterious, tormented, and misunderstood. All of the makings of a wonderful romance novel. Gadoury proves a master with transition as she swaps seamlessly between the tone of the creatures from the draconian Greek Underworld and those characters from the modern era as well as nailing down the voice of multiple characters from several points across time. The reader is swept up during this journey, from the early 17th century to the Roaring Twenties. At 81%, the reader has been given very few answers even though they’ve been driven to this point in the book by a tremendous load of questions and vicarious emotional turmoil. Even though there was very little resolved by the end of this book, it seems to have been left open for a revolution of a sequel. So despite the flaws, the fact that this book is difficult to put down and seems to be the beginning of what could be a phenomenal series has warranted a very bright four stars.