After a less-than-fantastic reading experience with the first installment of this series, Abandon, I went into Underworld with tentative expectations. For one, I expected John's creepiness to be both distracting and WEIRD. I also hoped that Pierce's strong personality would shine through and make John more likeable. Oddly enough, it was John who saved the story. Cabot gave John more of a backstory: how he came to be a ruler in the Underworld, his enemies, his friends--Yes! He has friends!--and why his feelings for Pierce are so intense. Albeit, he is still a creeper. In fact, he's taken up lurking in this installment. And when he is too busy to lurk, his new pals lurk for him. Likewise, where John surpassed my expectations, Pierce disappointed. For one, I expected her to be divided between her feelings for John and her love of life. But she didn't try very hard to make contact with her family, or any of her friends. For someone who was kidnapped against her will, I assumed she would be more creative in trying to disappear. Additonally, her strong personality has turned mushy in this novel. She doesn't fight with John, and when she does, she finds his irration possessiveness and controlling demeanor adorable. (RED FLAG.) This version of Hades-Persephone is interesting--and I do mean "interesting" in a good way. But Pierce and John's disconcerting relationship is disconcerting to read about.