Category/genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
My star rating: 4/5
Scheduled release date: February 4th
**I received a complimentary advanced readers copy from Entangled Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Goodreads blurb: Never was there a tale of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo…But true love never dies. Though they’re parted by the veil between the world of mortals and the land of the dead, Romeo believes he can restore Juliet to life, but he’ll have to travel to the underworld with a thoroughly infuriating guide.
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, may not have inherited his father’s crown, but the murdered king left his son a much more important responsibility—a portal to the Afterjord, where the souls of the dead reside. When the determined Romeo asks for help traversing the treacherous Afterjord, Hamlet sees an opportunity for adventure, and the chance to avenge his father’s death.
In an underworld filled with leviathan monsters, ghoulish shades, fire giants and fierce Valkyrie warriors, Hamlet and Romeo must battle their way through jealousy, despair, and their darkest fears to rescue the fair damsel. Yet finding Juliet is only the beginning, and the Afterjord doesn’t surrender souls without a price…
THE RAVE WORTHY: The first thing I thought when I read the blurb was, "Holy crap, this woman is out of her mind!" Taking on such beloved classic characters as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet is insane. Seriously, we're talking potential career suicide if it's done wrong. But Ms. Jenny Trout, you killed it. I almost never read prologues, but I read this one and you should too. It sucks you into the heart of the story immediately. The mingling of the worlds was done beautifully, I would even say the building of the underworld is some of the best world building I've ever read. The story is written in a way that is dreadfully dark and still romantic at the same time. The characters were created just as delicately: Hamlet was wise without realizing it and lent just enough humor to break the tension when needed with out making it seem forced, Romeo was a bit of an arrogant, desperate hero (and apparently a bit of a womanizer back in the day, who knew?) and Juliet was given a spice that made me love her even more than I had before reading this book. If you let it, SUCH SWEET SORROW will take you on a heart-pounding, page-turning adventure through the underworlds of ancient mythology that you never even knew existed, and I guarantee you will have nightmares about the places Jenny has taken you. And the ending of course leaves you knowing that there will be at least a sequel, and I will be per-ordering it when available.
THE GRUMBLE-WORTHY: Okay, so I know that I said the prologue sucks you in, and that is 100% true, but once you get to chapter one things really slow down. I felt like the first 3 chapters were nothing but filler and had enough back story that if cut down the same information could have been condensed into one slightly more exciting chapter. I found myself skimming to find dialogue or excitement. Honestly, I had to push myself to read past them and I'm super glad that I did because the story takes off again after them. Also, this is being marketed as a young adult book (because of the main characters' ages I suppose) but this is perfect example of why age shouldn't be the only factor when the category is decided. Although is impeccably written, it's not written like a young adult book. The language, to me, is better suited for an adult audience.
WHAT WILL STICK WITH ME: The terrifying imagery of the things the three main characters face will haunt me for a long, long time...and that's AWESOME. With out giving too much away I just want to say wait until you come across "The Washer". Seriously guys, this one particular menace made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and I was covered in goosebumps.