Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe is a graphic novel series which gives a modern update to Greek Mythology, particularly the love story between Persephone and Hades. In Volume One, Persephone leaves the mortal realm for city life, despite her mother’s protests. At her first party, Persephone immediately catches the attention of Hades. While excited to live on her own and explore her new world, Persephone quickly learns that not everyone is kind.
I first read Lore Olympus on WebToon, where is was originally published. One day when I was walking through Target, I couldn’t believe to see the series in print form! I have always loved the artwork of Lore Olympus, so I knew I had to purchase physical copies of the series. Volume One of the printed series contains the first 25 episodes of the series in addition to a bonus scene. As a result, most of this book was a reread for me. That being said, I enjoyed Lore Olympus just as much as I enjoyed it the first time that I read it and look forward to rereading the series in their book forms.
One of the best aspects of Lore Olympus is the artwork, particularly Rachel Smythe’s use of color. Each character has a color which they are typically drawn in, so it makes it easy to keep track of the large track of characters. Also, the colors used for each character really embodies the mood of the character and where they frequently appear. Consequently, the artwork shown throughout the book is colorful and expressive. Rachel Smythe also portrays different events throughout the book in a thoughtful and considerate way. At the beginning of the novel, Smythe gives a content warning, as there are some triggering situations which occur throughout the series. I believe her artwork concerning these situations are handled with care.
Another aspect which I enjoyed in this book were the characters and tropes. Persephone and Hades have a grumpy/sunshine relationship, so if you enjoy that trope, you will enjoy many of their interactions in this book. Persephone, the narrator of the story, is a likable character who has the potential to show a lot of character growth throughout the series. That being said, I wish I could have seen more interactions between Persephone and Hades in this volume, as their interactions are limited to the beginning of this volume.
If I had to nitpick this graphic novel, I would say the story ends quickly within this book and it was more of a set-up for the entire series than a complete story on its own. There is a major event which happens at the end of this novel, and while I know it is resolved later in the series, this may be off-putting to new readers of the series, as it is a very traumatic event. Additionally, there were some plot lines, like with Psyche, which I wish were swapped out for sections with more focus on Persephone or Hades. I understand that this sets up for later story lines, but it leaves a lot of loose ends for the first installment.
Overall, I highly recommend the Lore Olympus series. All of the published versions of this series are on my to-read list for the year, and so far, this has been my favorite book of the year. I give this book four out of five stars.
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