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Traversing Life And Death

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When fifteen year old Pierce drowns in her swimming pool, trying to save the life of a bird, death is inevitable. However, instead of dying she finds herself in a subterranean cavern on the shore of a windy lake. Her serendipitous encounter with John Hayden, the deity of death as well as her underground captor and their subsequent relationship comprises the storyline of Meg Cabot's latest novel, Abandon.

Although Pierce is revived to health by slew of doctors, she is unable to adjust to her new found life which has changed drastically ever since her heart missed a beat. She is in possession of a fabled diamond; an ostentatious stone which changes its hue according to the aura of the wearer. Constant reminders of the mysterious world which continues to plague Pierce's thoughts incessantly pose as impediments in her normal life. Her mental recovery fails to keep pace with her physical health and she is forced to grapple with the repercussions of this apparent mismatch. Pierce is therefore estranged from her close friends and her grades at school plummet to the lowest levels. Her woes are worsened when her parents get divorced. They in turn are unable to fathom the sudden transformation in their daughter while their marriage consequently collapses under this strain.

In an attempt to ameliorate their daughter's degenerative condition, Pierce's parents pack her off Isla Huesos, where she runs into John on several occasions, who refuses to leave her aside. He naturally gravitates towards the role of her guardian angel and arm twists anyone who is viewed as a potential threat to her well being. John, as we are told, has privileged access to the living and underworld alike and has the macabre job profile of sorting the dead and deciding their final destination. He is also stunningly good looking with a towering physique that makes him riveting and ethereally handsome.

After magicians and vampires, apparently it is now the turn of Greek mythology to captivate the minds of the readers. Cabot's novel is a twenty-first century adaptation of the ancient Greek mythology of Persephone, the daughter of Zeus, who was kidnapped by Hades, the god of death, and forced to live with him in the Underworld.  The tale was an endeavor on the part of the Greeks to offer an explanation for the changing seasons. Through her latest offering, the author has adroitly managed to touch base with young readers.

Abandon is the first in the three part series and effectively lays down the framework for the examination of Pierce's relationship with John. Their mutual chemistry and accompanying thrust and parrying provide the key elements often pervasive in most romantic fiction. The author has patiently played around this template, fine tuning it to add freshness.  It will be interesting how how life flirts with death literally, in the books to follow.

Meg Cabot is a  prolific writer whose literary oeuvre reflects different facets of romance and paranormal worlds. Her famous works include, The Princess Diaries books - which were made into successful films by Walt Disney- and The Mediator series.