65 pages 2 hours read

Katee Robert

Neon Gods

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2021

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Summary and Study Guide


Neon Gods is a 2021 fantasy romance by Katee Robert, who uses she/they pronouns and is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author known for romances that openly explore sex and sexuality. Neon Gods is the first entry in her Dark Olympus series of modern retellings of Greek myths focused on political intrigue, gender, and power. Besides Dark Olympus, they are well-known for their Wicked Villains series of romantic fairy tale retellings and various other supernatural and contemporary romances.

Page numbers in this guide refer to the Kindle e-book edition.

Content Warning: This guide discusses violence and threats of violence against women. This guide also references graphic depictions of sex.

Plot Summary

The work opens in Olympus’s upper city, where the four daughters of Demeter are reluctantly attending a social event held by Zeus, the leader of the Thirteen rulers of the city state of Olympus. The middle daughter, Persephone Dimitriou, is fascinated by the statue of Hades, a former leader whose title has died out. Her sister, Psyche Dimitriou, reminds her that Hades was likely power hungry and ambitious, just like their mother.

To her horror, Persephone finds that the reason for the gathering is to announce her betrothal to Zeus, who is known to have aided in the deaths of his previous wives. Stunned by her mother’s betrayal, Persephone flees. When Zeus’s men chase her, she claims sanctuary in the lower city, running across the River Styx. Hades takes her to his home, though she does not recognize or know that he holds the title and is the lower city’s ruler.

Persephone struggles to adjust to the idea that Hades is very much alive and rules his own kingdom independent of Zeus, who killed his family and insists on separate spheres between the lower and upper city. Hermes, the messenger of the Thirteen, and Dionysus, the leisure specialist, know that Persephone’s presence in the lower city has political implications. Though they are best known for their pranks and jocularity, both Hermes and Dionysus are keen political observers. They tell Hades that his impression of Persephone as a shallow, cheerful gossip might not be correct and encourage him take the time to uncover her assessments of Olympus.

Hades soon finds that Persephone brings out his protective side, as he urges her to rest and helps with her injuries from the chase. She surprises him by suggesting an alliance: She needs to be free of Zeus until the spring, when her birthday will give her access to her trust fund. In exchange, she will give Hades symbolic and personal power over Zeus by appearing as Hades’s romantic partner. He counters with the information that his personal life always involves some degree of public kink scenes, so their relationship will need to involve both power dynamics and open sexuality. Persephone, who has grown attracted to Hades, finds herself welcoming this opportunity to explore her genuine interests outside of her public persona. She takes some time to adjust to her submissive role and realizes that she actually has power in her relationship with Hades, a contrast to her life in the upper city. She is drawn to the lower city, its thriving businesses, and its more natural landscape. Hades finds himself sharing his favorite haunts, even introducing her to local business owners.

The two explore their growing attraction and emotional bond through both private sex and public kink scenes. Hades makes clear that his sexual tastes help shore up his fearsome image, and Persephone is an enthusiastic and eager participant. She finds kink both arousing and liberating, openly telling the spectators from the upper city that she is unconcerned with what Zeus wants from her. Though Persephone is the submissive partner, Hades is ultimately more emotionally vulnerable, sharing his scars and his hatred for Zeus as he continues to guide Persephone through the lower city. She soon realizes Hades is a dedicated ruler who is concerned with the popular welfare: When her mother cuts off the lower city’s food supply, Persephone finds that Hades has already planned for this scenario, and he encourages her to stay rather than give in to extortion. As the two fall in love, Persephone knows that she must leave Olympus eventually, but she finds the prospect increasingly difficult. As an unspoken gesture of his own emotions, Hades claims her as his equal in their second kink display.

Their political situation reaches an impasse when Hades rescues Persephone’s youngest sister, Eurydice Dimitriou, and crosses into the upper city briefly to do so. Persephone realizes that she can negotiate an end to hostilities if she promises her mother that she will stay in Olympus and bring Hades into their family’s public appearances. She publicly returns to Zeus, trusting her mother to keep her word and assure Hades’s safety and install Zeus’s son in his place. Hades realizes Persephone has departed of her own accord and remains loyal, as she is still wearing the dark clothing he had made for her even as she appears at Zeus’s side. He learns that he has been granted the opportunity to kill Zeus, as a majority of the Thirteen want him gone for his instability and unpredictability. Hades ultimately realizes he cannot pursue vengeance for his own sake, but Zeus refuses to give up their struggle and falls to his death out of a window. Hades meets Demeter, who calmly prepares to clean up all evidence of the struggle and tells Hades that she expects his agreement with Persephone’s bargain. He agrees.

Persephone and her sisters find their mother coolly pleased with the news of Zeus’s death, and they suspect her involvement. Persephone returns to the lower city, finding Eurydice shaken but healing and ready to return home soon. She tells Hades that she has chosen to stay in Olympus with him, finally free to direct her own life. They profess their mutual love. Hades attends the press conference with the Dimitriou family and Persephone at his side. He invites her to move in with him, and she happily accepts. The novel closes with their final enthusiastic kink scene and clear commitment to one another.