Abandon is the first in Meg Cabot’s similarly titled new dark fantasy romance series. The plot centres on a young girl named Pierce, struggling to return to normal life after a near-death experience. This is somewhat hindered by the presence of someone she met while down there.

Abandon is a new direction for Cabot; it is darker than her best-known work (the Princess Diaries series). It takes elements from the myth of Hades and Persephone and also from local legends of the island in which it is set. The plot may sound overdone but it has some new elements. Pierce’s attitude is not quite as fatalistic as some heroines of other series in the same genre, but she still maintains some romantic notions throughout. The timeline jumps around slightly, owing to the use of non-linear memory prompting. The twist at the climax of the book did not have as much foreshadowing as could be considered necessary but was captivating for this reader. Overall, it is a new, different take on the genre, with hopefully more exposition coming in later books!

This book will be enjoyed by fans of the Twilight series, and also of Cabot’s other works. While best suited to readers aged 13 to 17, it could be enjoyed by both younger and older fans of the genre and of Cabot. Casual readers should find it easy to follow.