By: Beth Ann Masarik
In The World Among Us, Hades, the god of the Underworld, plots to take over the world, and remove Gaia, the head Deity, from power. In order to do so, he plots against his own son, Damien, and cons him into killing his soul mate, the beautiful goddess of the moon, Selene. Hades does so, because Gaia is his natural enemy, and Selene is her favorite grandchild. He thinks that by killing off Gaia’s favorite grandchild, he will weaken her. With Selene out of the way, Hades then moves in on the Creatures of the Night. He wants to kill off their leader, Jason Aysel. Jason is the go-between person between worlds, and another person that Gaia highly regards. Hades manipulates and cons Jason’s best friend, Leon Greene, into murdering him, by offering him Jason’s position as his reward. Because of these actions, a war is to take place on earth between the gods and other Creatures of the Night. During this time, Selene is reincarnated, and kept hidden as a secret weapon to win the war against Hades. In order to win the war of wars, the gods and some of the demons will have to fight together, and learn to co-operate with each other. Will the Titans and Olympians be able to set aside their differences, and take back the world from Hades? Or is the world as we know it, doomed to fall under dark shadows, forever? -- author
Imagine having to live through 3000 years of teenage angst. That is what the main character of this story seems to be forced to do. The story focuses around Damien, the son of Hades, who is also a vampire. He is a prince of hell and is due to inherit all of the powers of his father, but he is put into decisions that are very hard to make. On one hand he wants to please his father, and on the other hand he wants to break away from him. Hades wants to rule the universe, and his machinations require war with all of the other gods and titans. He has elaborate plans that force Damien to chose sides. Damien makes choices and regrets them; so he tries to make amends for his misdeeds. He dedicates himself to protecting his true love which forces his allegiances to be tested.
This book is written primarily for a teenage audience, so the plot is pretty straight-forward. The character development is not as advanced as it would be if it were intended for adult audiences. Sometimes the logic of the characters is not easily followed. For example: one character is having an audience with Hades, and Hades asks this person to promise to perform a deed before he is told what it is. If that were me, I would have serious reservations about agreeing to anything before I knew what it was; especially if it were for Hades. In the story it seemed that Leon Greene had little thought before agreeing to the deed, which of course he regretted as soon as he found out that he had to murder his best friend. The book makes good use of the Greek mythology, incorporating gods, titans (predecessors and often fathers/mothers of the gods), and even Gaia (the mother of all the titans). If you have teens that are into the “vampire” genre, this could be an interesting read for them. This isn't a genre I read, but I can see how others can be fascinated with it.