A Touch of Darkness Series Review


Rating: 2 out of 5.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warning: Attempted Sexual Assault, Non-Consensual Touching, Sex Scenes, Death, Drugging, Suicide, Gambling, Drinking


DNF @ 75% 

A Touch of Darkness series is an urban retelling of Hades and Persephone. While the premise is enticing, the books do not live up to the hype. The lackluster plot and dull characters make for uneven pacing throughout the series, one of which I had to drag myself to finish. A Touch of Darkness series was so hyped up so much that I had high expectations. So, let me warn you, you will be sorely disappointed with this series if you are expecting a cute romance. It is far from that. 


  • Side characters (Lexa, Apollo, Hermes, Hecate, and Demeter)
  • Growth in Persephone in book 3
  • Mother-daughter dynamic


  • No map
  • Lackluster plot
  • Ill-timed/too much smut
  • Irrational and infuriating Persephone for the first 2 books
  • Relapse of growth in book 2
  • Billionaire-lover vibes
  • Poor proofreading
  • Demeter’s death
  • Choppy pacing




Persephone, also known as Kore and Goddess of Spring, is the daughter of Demeter, Goddess of Harvest. Demeter has kept her daughter hidden from the world and other gods by housing her in a glass greenhouse. Eventually, Persephone convinces Demeter to allow her to attend college in New Athens disguised as a mortal, but there are strict rules and restrictions, of course.

This works out well for the pair for the first 3-4 years Persephone is away. However, things change as Persephone nears graduation, lands an internship with a local newspaper, and meets Hades, God of the Underworld.

On a night out with Lexa to celebrate her internship, the pair meet up with Lexa’s friend, Adonis, who gets them into Nevernight, Hades’s night club. It is here that Persephone unknowingly meets the God of the Dead and enters in to a bargain with him. 

Their deal? Persephone must create life in the Underworld within 6 months, or she forever lives in the Underworld with Hades. This deal grants her access to the Underworld whenever she wants to complete her end of the deal.

Once Persephone begins her internship with New Athens News, she takes the opportunity to expose Hades and his bargains with mortals, saying that it is immoral and the stakes impossible. Persephone then decides to use her bargain with Hades to her advantage and gain insight to his life, his deals, and uncover the truth behind his actions.

However, things don’t go to plan and she ends up falling for Hades. Their relationship threatens to expose her true identity as a goddess, corners her in her internship (and eventually full-time job), and puts a target on her back. The truth of their relationship is eventually made public after dramatic display of public affection and it is down hill from there for Persephone.

Paparazzi, journalist, and fans. are at her office building every morning bombarding her with pictures and questions. Her manager, Demetri, sets an ultimatum for Persephone after the reveal of her relationship with Hades: write an exclusive article about her and Hades’s relationship or she’s fired. 

With the added stress of her job on the line and will to fight her own battles, Persephone attempts to figure out a way out of her ultimatum by targeting Apollo after he fires and strips her friend, Sybil, of her oracle abilities. The reason? Sybil refused to sleep with Apollo.

Persephone believes that by exposing Apollo, New Athens News will get an adequate number of readers to negate her ultimatum. 

Things continue to get worse for Persephone after the release of her article on Apollo. Fans of Apollo are now harassing her and her best friend, Lexa is hit by a truck, landing her in the ICU. Now, Persephone  faces the potential of losing her best friend, but she won’t let that happen.

Persephone makes a bargain with Apollo, God of Healing, in order to save Lexa. What she doesn’t realize is that Lexa wants to die. When her friend is healed, she’s not the same. She’s distant, confused, and not talkative like before.

Over time, Lexa gets better and Persephone starts to connect with her friend again. During the time Lexa is back at their apartment, Hades and Persephone get engaged. 

However, before they can celebrate the good news, they discover Lexa has passed away by committing suicide. This breaks Persephone, especially since Lexa has to drink from the Lethe River, promptly erasing her memories. 

After everything that has happened and the tension between her and her boss, Persephone decides to quit her job at New Athens News in pursuit of her own newspaper, The Advocate. The goal is to provide others a voice against the gods, abuse, etc. As she starts, Persephone recruits Helen, the receptionist at New Athens News, and Leuce, Hades’s ex-lover.

It isn’t long after all of these events that Persephone and Hades announce their engagement to the public. And it doesn’t take long for Demeter to retaliate with harsh winter weather in August.

While handling  the guilt of Demeter’s storm, Persephone and Hades face the judgement of Zeus in regards to their wedding. The King of Gods must approve the union before Hades and Persephone wed, but in reality it is his oracle that makes the decision. 

The oracle states that their union will be powerful and produce a god that will rival Zeus himself. To which, he demands if the couple ever has a child, they must give them up to be killed. It isn’t until later that Zeus realizes it is not a child he should be worried about, but Persephone.

Persephone’s extreme show of power of fixing a town consumed by an avalanche beckons the gods. Zeus wants her dead, but other gods either don’t want to choose a side or want to protect Persephone. Thus beginning another war amongst the gods. 

In the  mix of all this, Demeter is found to be backing the Triad, a group of mortals killing gods. Their leader, Theseus, pulls his favor from Hades and takes Persephone to gain an upper hand on the Olympians. 

Theseus wants to bring down the current gods, but first needs the big three’s weapons. So, in exchange for Harmonia and Sybil’s lives, Persephone must take them into the Underworld safely to retrieve the Helm of Darkness.

In the end, Persephone kills Demeter, Theseus unleashes the titans, and Hades is trapped in a labyrinth set by Theseus. 

The fourth book, and conclusion to the series, is set to be released in 2023.


While the recap covers a large portion of what happens in the books, there are still so many details and events left out. Above is the general jist of what has happened. Some aspects of the plot are irrelevant even and don’t contribute to the overall plot or theme.

To kick off the analysis of the plot, I’d like to start with the negatives of the plot, so we can end on a positive note, but this will be hard, considering the negatives vastly out weight the positives.


Lore Olympus

Firstly, I’d like to say that A Touch of Darkness was very similar to Lore Olympus on Webtoon. The premise is practically the same with Persephone going to college, the description of Nevernight, the Adonis incident, and even Persephone getting an internship. I just couldn’t help but think about the comic as I read.

Lacking Plot

In general, there was hardly any plot. Most of the events take place in third act of each book. 2/3 of the book are filler, rough plot points, or sex until the last half. That’s when shit always hit the fan or all the action happened. You could almost read the last third of the book and still understand what happened.

Girl-On-Girl Hate

In book 1, A Touch of Darkness, there is a lot of girl-on-girl hate between Persephone and Minthe. Put simply, I don’t like it. It’s immature and toxic. They could have been grown and talked things out instead of hating on each other.

Persephone’s Powers

Originally, I didn’t mind how Persephone received her powers. I thought it was cool that it was focused around worshippers, but the more I got to thinking about it and they way it was unlocked, bothered me. 

Her powers were tied to her having sex with Hades. After that, she finally got them. Her value as a goddess and whether or not she gets her powers should not be determined by if she has sex or not, or “worshipped.”

Pirithous Plot Line

The Pirithous plot line was introduced in the second book, A Touch of Ruin, and at the time, it added no value to the story. In the third book, A Touch of Malice, the trauma Pirithous caused comes back to haunt Persephone.

Okay, so the trauma caused Persephone to be vulnerable and was a plot device for Hades and Persephone to over come, but to what extent?


The only positive about the plot line is the Triad joining forces with Demeter. I found this be intriguing and wanted to learn more about how they were taking down the Divine. It was sprinkled throughout the books, but it was subtle and vague. 

This plot didn’t really kick into gear until halfway through the third book, though. I wish we could have delved into that a bit more, seen a bit more of the Triad and it’s members instead of waiting until almost the forth book to do anything with them. The story would have been more enticing.



Persephone was a mess throughout the series. Here’s how I perceived her in each book:

  • A Touch of Darkness: Decent
  • A Touch of Ruin: Insufferable
  • A Touch of Malice: Enjoyable

When we first meet Persephone, she was a college student and still learning a lot about people and living a mortal life. She finally had some freedom and it makes sense that she would make some dumb decisions. She was emotionally volatile, but we saw her grow some in book 1.

Persephone by elizianna.the.one

However, when A Touch of Ruin rolls around, all her growth receded and she became an annoying, dumb character. She did things without thinking, put people in damage, and didn’t face any consequences because Hades or Hecate would fix the issue. I hated Persephone in the second book. Not to say that I particularly liked her in book 1.

In A Touch of Malice, I actually enjoyed her character because she grew. She thought about her decisions, she was focusing on communicating and using her magic, and she was trying. Which was a big shift from what we saw in the previous books.

All of that being said, I’d like to break down the biggest positives and negatives about Persephone. Let’s take a look:


Left Friends in Dangerous Situations

In multiple instances, Persephone left her friends in dangerous situations as she was removed or teleported out. Examples: La Rose, Club Ambrosia, and the Panhellenic Games. Then after the fact, her friends would reach out to her asking if she was okay, but she never did that to them first. She didn’t ask about them later or seem to worry about their safety.

What kind of friend is that?

Immature Behavior

Persephone was a like a bomb of poor decisions and emotions going off back-to-back. I’m honestly not sure how she made it so far on her own. Her anger is the worst, though. She gets mad at every little thing, and it’s not cute. It’s childish to have her emotions go unchecked like that.

Sure she would have these great, independent thoughts, but her emotions and actions showed otherwise. Persephone had little respect for Demetri, Helen, or anyone who caught her on a bad day or said something she didn’t like. She also flung herself into harms way all the time, and did even listen to advise given to her.

Relationship with Hades

For a large portion of the series, Persephone doesn’t seem to care about Hades’s feelings or take him into consideration when making decisions. She caused Hades so much pain. And for what? What did it accomplish besides break his trust, endanger her own life, and make things complicated?

She was also extremely jealous towards Hades’s past and women around him is toxic af. That is not healthy.

No Consequences

Sometimes when Persephone messed up with Hades, she ran to Hecate. And Hecate fixed her problems. Hell, she even fixed some of her other problems in the Upperworld. Then, Hades would always step in whenever Persephone was about to make a dumb decision and save the day. 

Persephone always had someone else picking up the pieces and fixing her mistakes for her, except for her decision to “save” Lexa. That was her only true consequence.

Lose of Journalism

We started the series out strong with Persephone loving journalism and using it as a way to highlight the evil deeds done by gods. But halfway through the second book, she hardly writes anymore or does anything with journalism. That’s what she just went to college for!

 We don’t get any type of update about The Advocate and the things she’s researching. Everything falls to the wayside in book 3 in terms of her career.



In A Touch of Malice, Persephone becomes a more rational and emotionally sound person. She starts to think of the consequences her actions can cause. And it’s this version of Persephone that I enjoy reading about. As she becomes more mature, the more I can relate to her. 

Head Strong & Morally Just

I admire Persephone’s strong-willed nature, especially in a world that ignores victims and overlooks elites who commit bad deeds. She has strong beliefs in what is right and wrong, and boy does she stick to this moral compass. 

Mortal vs. Goddess Conflict

I love her conflict between wanting to be a mortal vs a goddess. She’s never been seen as a goddess or treated as such, so why wouldn’t she want to live a mortal life with dreams and ambitions? As a mortal, she can keep her privacy and pave her own way instead of having people flock to her or scrutinize her.


Hades was only an okay character in the series. I continuously expected him to cheat or reveal some devastating truth because his character felt off the entire time. 

Here is how I saw Hades in each book:

  • A Touch of Darkness: Decent
  • A Touch of Ruin: Experienced growth
  • A Touch of Malice: Become stagnant

When we meet Hades he is this large and brooding force. He’s intimidating, charming, and mysterious. But as the series progresses, he loses his edge not long into the first book. He turns possessive, controlling, and into a toxic man-child. *eye-roll* This is not attractive or sexy. Hades just doesn’t do it for me. 

Hades by elizianna.the.one

When we meet Hades he is this large and brooding force. He’s intimidating, charming, and mysterious. But as the series progresses, he loses his edge not long into the first book. He turns possessive, controlling, and into a toxic man-child. *eye-roll* This is not attractive or sexy. Hades just doesn’t do it for me. 


Possessive & Controlling

Hades was quite possessive and controlling. He didn’t want Persephone to do anything without him knowing about it. What kind of relationship is that if one person can’t do anything without the other’s permission? Not a good one, I’ll tell you that. 

For gods sake, he would track Persephone or send someone to follow her without her knowing. That is breaking so many boundaries and showing he doesn’t trust her. To be honest, I wouldn’t either, but I wouldn’t do this! 

His actions are based on insecurities and it is not attractive. He’ll say one thing but do another, so how, as the reader, are we supposed to trust Hades?

One Track Mind

I don’t mind a bit of smut or sexual tension, but when it’s the only thing you think of and do as a character, it gets annoying real quick. Hades could take any situation and turn it sexual, which got old. For example, asking about sex as they are standing at the alter, like dude. We get that you “love” her, but not the time. 

It seemed like Hades’s personality revolved around sex like that was his main trait. This led to weird timing for sex (example: Iniquity) and the topic consumed 95% of the book. Can he come off as a horny teenage boy any more than this?


Vulnerable & Communication

As the series progresses, Hades eventually begins to communicate and show his vulnerability with Persephone. This Hades, the soft and caring one, is what I wanted more of. I loved these moments of weakness and effort. 

Cares About the Underworld

While Hades doesn’t really give two shits about what happens in the Upperworld, he does care about the Underworld and its people. He tries to make it comforting and like a home. The flora he creates and the fact his people celebrate him is wonderful. I love seeing how carefully created and peaceful everything is, minus Tartarus. 

Side Characters


I adored Lexa. She was such a good friend and interesting character. Hell, I liked Lexa more than Persephone through most the book. But Lexa was done so wrong.

She did not deserve to have her memories wiped in the Underworld, nor should she have suffered after being healed. I hate how she was used as a plot device to punish Persephone. She deserved so much more than what happened to her.

She also deserved more than to “empower” Persephone. Like, what the fuck? What kind of life purpose is that? It makes me so sad that she was reduced to a pawn in order for Persephone to grow.

Lexa by elizianna.the.one
Hecate by elizianna.the.one


Hecate was wonderful and so powerful, however she was mainly portrayed as Persephone’s hand-maiden. Hecate was basically at Persephone’s beck-and-call for a majority of the books.

We don’t know much about what she did outside of cleaning up Persephone’s messes and giving her advice. I wish we could have seen more of her character, her interests, etc.


I should hate him because he’s an abuser and a rapist, but I don’t and I’m very conflicted about it. I believe that anyone can change, but within 6 months and due to 1 person? Shit like that just doesn’t happen.

However, as he did change he became an enjoyable character and provided the much needed relief I needed from Hades and Persephone.

Demeter by elizianna.the.one


Demeter was a bitch, all around, but she is probably the most dynamic character out of everyone. She has a history and reason for why she is acting the way she is, but it doesn’t excuse what she has done to Persephone and the humans.

I liked her as the villain. She was one that you could kind of understand and empathize with, but still hate.


Hermes was very entertaining and a much needed comic relief. I enjoyed his and Persephone’s relationship, along with the relationships he created with her friends.

Sybil by elizianna.the.one


Sybil was a good friend, but she felt very 2-D. We don’t know her goals or ambitions, and she was only shown as supporting Persephone. She also felt like a Lexa backup. I didn’t really connect with her character at all.



Proofreading Errors

The grammatical and spelling errors in this series were atrocious. I can let it slide if this was only one book, but throughout the entire series, we see the same errors and mistakes over-and-over, again. It’s unacceptable at this point.

Also, the general errors in this book, like throwing in a different name when referring to a character, misusing “blonde” and “blond,” and repeating actions that were just stated on the previous line (Hades raising an eyebrow, stating something, then raising the eyebrow again).

It’s not hard to hire a proofreader or editor. There are plenty out there with reasonable prices. I should know! I’m a freelancer on the side. Just hire one and make sure your shit is correct.


Fated Lovers

I’m fine with the fated lovers trope, however, there needs to be some kind of romance build up for the couple. Something this book did not do. It relied heavily on this trope and just accepting that Hades and Persephone should love and be with each other instantly. I didn’t find it believable. I longed for soft moments between the two. No necessarily a slow burn, but some kind of burn that didn’t involve lusting after each other at every turn.

I will say the third book did a better job of it, but the romance did not exist in the first and second book.


There was a lot of miscommunication in this series, which is fine in the short run. But it should be resolved and pushed to the side afterwards, not reused and rehashed in every situation. It got old quick and  I found myself fussing at the characters to, “just talk!”


I haven’t read a billionaire/millionaire romance before, but I’m sure it’s something like this. To which, I say, I don’t care for it. There are hardly any consequences and things are just too easy. It’s not my cup of tea.

Toxic Relationship

The relationship between Persephone and Hades in this series is not something that should be romanticized. It’s not healthy and toxic af. I’m all for starting out this way and then growing as a couple (hell, that happened to me irl!), but it doesn’t need to be the entire relationship, all the time. There is so much jealousy, possessiveness, controlling, trust-issues, and more that needs work. And we don’t even see them work on these things besides the communication issue they have.

None of these aspects in their relationship is cute or dreamy. It’s horrible and needs addressing. This is a toxic relationship that needs help.

Ill-Timed Sex Scenes/Too Much Smut

Dear gods, these two couldn’t see each other without fucking. after a while, that’s all this series consisted of. There wasn’t any substance and a sex scene was around every turn. It wasn’t even that good because it was rehashing the same descriptions and situations.

I actually skipped those sections completely after a while. They weren’t adding any value to the story and it was either too much or just poorly timed. To say the least, it got old fast.



In the beginning, the descriptions of people, places, and things were lacking. I couldn’t imagine anything and I felt like I was missing large chunks of visuals.  However, through the series the descriptions progressively got better. We were shown more of the world and the people. I felt more immersed in the environment and I loved it.


I enjoyed the third-person POV. I’m used to reading first person, so it was a nice change of pace. Also, Hades’s POV in A Touch of Malice was wonderful! The tone and overall feel changed, too. It was nice to see a strong chapter written outside of Persephone’s view.

Actual Romance

We finally get to see some romance between Hades and Persephone in book 3. There are tender moments, vulnerability, and non-sexual intimacy. This is what I had been waiting for. I just hate that it took until book 3 to get anything more than lust romance.

Persephone’s Downward Spiral

In book 2, Persephone spirals downward as her friend dies, her job becomes difficult, etc., and we get to experience that. The way the book is written we experience Persephone’s turmoil and internal conflict. It’s really well done.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the series is forgettable and the books somehow got worse as they continued. There wasn’t a real plot but instead it was a more lust driven narrative. We hardly had any romance to support Hades and Persephone’s relationship. Most the characters were annoying and I couldn’t form a bond with them. Hence why I could give two shits about the situation everyone was in in the final pages of A Touch of Malice. They mean nothing to me. 

The A Touch of Darkness series had so much potential, but it fell apart. There wasn’t any substance, no character development, no consequences, and nothing worth remembering.

If you want a smutty Hades and Persephone retelling, then this is the series for you.

If you want a retelling with a solid plot and soft romance, look elsewhere. 

I currently don’t plan on reading A Touch of Chaos, however, if I do I’ll update this post to include the review.

What did you think of the book? Did you like it or could you have done without it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Facebook Page  |  Goodreads TBR | Spicy Rating ScaleScarlett St. Clair’s Website

Recommend a Book for Me to Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: