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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review: ANTIGODDESS by Kendare Blake

by Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Published: September 10, 2013
Length: 333 pages
Editions: digital and print
Source: ARC won in a contest

The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

A_TiffyFit's Review: The description of the feathers filling Athena's lungs and emerging from her body is so disgusting and painful that you cannot help but to shiver as you read it. And poor Hermes is wasting away from some kind of flesh-eating disease. Besides being filled with painful owl feathers, I think the other imagery that bothered me was Demeter, earth mother, being stretched thin and walked upon, ear to the ground, knowing what is coming, and unable to do a damn thing about it.  Kendare Blake takes what you know of Greek mythology and weaves it into a modern setting with teenagers - some gods, some reincarnations of their favored humans, in this case Cassandra the Prophetess and others from the Trojan War.

I found the pace of the book to be okay. Sometimes I felt that it languished a bit too long on Athena's decision making, gods versus gods, etc., but then it picked right back up. The flipping between Athena & Hermes in their search to Aidan & Cassandra in a high school setting was off-putting for me at first, but I soon got into the rhythm of the book. And once I did, I was hooked. I liked how Kendare Blake shows the Trojan War from Athena's viewpoint. Not only is Athena dealing with something that no god is prepared to deal with, his/her own mortality, but she is reflecting back on a time that really didn't affect her as it did her subjects. She is noticing her cruelty, her casual flippancy of human life, and experiencing regret, probably for the first time in her entire existence. 

I liked that there wasn't an insta-love relationship in this book. Instead, we have gods and goddesses holding true to their myths: they don't really consider what they are doing to humans. Yes, they may fall in love with us, but they certainly don't think beyond their own pleasures, do they? Isn't that how all the tragedies of old start? I have to admit that I was enamored of hearing Athena's thoughts as she admires Odysseus. Virgin Goddess' favorite warrior, Odysseus...but of course she must remain a Virgin Goddess or she really isn't Athena anymore, is she? ;) 

Hera, Poseidon, and Aphrodite banding together makes for a formidable foe. Will Athena, Apollo, and Odysseus be enough to stop them? I will let you read and enjoy and then join me awaiting the next book in this new series by author Kendare Blake! 

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