Monday, August 26, 2013

Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

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I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Antigoddess by Kendare BlakeAntigoddess by Kendare Blake
Series: Goddess War #1
Published by Tor Teen on September 10th 2013
Genres: Mythology, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon

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.

Antigoddess is all sort of freaky loveliness. For fans of greek mythology, this novel brings in a creative and original depiction of the well loved myth, where the gods are caught in a new story and facing the war of all wars–their lost immortality.

First thing’s first, you might want to brush up in your knowledge of the trojan war if you’re not very well versed on that event in greek mythology–or at least have Wiki at the ready. As much as I enjoy this myth I have only dived into it in the past few years, so I had to read up on the specifics of this war a bit. You don’t need to become an encyclopedia on the matter, but knowing who is involved, the basics of what happened, and the reason behind the war to begin with would help a great deal if you want to get everything you can from this novel. Regardless of what you know, Kendare does not make it complicated, and even if you knew nothing you’d still be able to enjoy and follow the story as she does guide you with the required facts and details along the way. Knowing it beforehand, however, does give this story higher significance when you’re aware of what occurred during the war between these gods. Even though Antigoddess is, in it’s entirety, about greek gods, a mythology that has been delved into by many authors in the past, its plots is undoubtedly unique, and Kendare’s portrayal of the gods is creative; from their way of life to their rampant personalities. She also didn’t forgo her touch of humour.

Don’t question me. I’m a god. Dammit. -Odysseus

We’re introduced to the story with a prologue that tells us something is extremely wrong with the Greek gods, by way of Athena and Hermes bizarre afflictions. This prologue is intriguing and a little unsettling, which sets the tone for the book perfectly. Then we’re thrown into the lives of Cassandra and Aidan, students in high school, completely oblivious of any kind of a war brewing. Cassandra is not even aware that she is anything but a regular teenage girl–well… a regular teenage girl who is psychic, at least. I liked Cassandra at the start ok, but I liked her a lot more after she learns who she really is and becomes truly herself; layering and strengthening her character. I didn’t dislike her before, I just didn’t find her particularly interesting aside from her visions. These visions–or curse as she calls it–she’s not really sure what to make of them at first, but soon she starts seeing very disturbing, gory hallucinations that would make anyone fall to their knees. This is where Kendare’s magic for horror comes out.

[…] as more of the old woman’s face detached and hit the pavement. All of her skin liquified; her hair slid down her head to reveal the skull beneath: obsidian black and covered in slime and scales.

Hells yeah!

We’re also taken into Athena and Herme’s perspective which is where we learn of the war that is brewing and just how horrific things are becoming. This was my favorite perspective of the two. Aside from getting deeper into the plot and their deteriorating situation, it’s also more action packed with several visits from murderous gods, and even a bomb or two. This dual perspective, while enjoyable at first, turns up the intensity an anticipation to sky high proportions when the real shit starts hitting the fan. Both sides are weaved together–skillfully might I add–into a thrilling battle sequence that is fan-freaking-tastic. Imagine a bunch of strung up, pissed up, dying gods who are all wanting to off each other! Kendare does not let us down when it comes to the big finale. It doesn’t end here, however, as this is only the first in the series. Even though the story is obviously not over, and the ending leaves us into an emotional upheaval both from the events that occurred and those awaiting, I found the book ended in a very appropriate and satisfying place. It leaves us with delicious intrigue that will for sure keep us excited for book two until the day it appears on the shelves.

*Quotes in this review were taken from the uncorrected proof.*


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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34 Responses to “Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    This sounds like it was hit with you, Giselle! I’m intrigued.
    I’m a huge fan of books with mythology, so this sounds like something I would definitely enjoy.
    I love the sound of Cassandra. A character that you find average, but who ends up becoming a favorite of yours is a well-written review and I can tell I’ll enjoy her.
    Thank you for the warning about getting to know more about the trojan war before reading the book. I’ll keep that in mind when I get to this book.
    Lovely review, Giselle! 🙂

  2. Ariella

    This sounds really good! I wasn’t sure about this because I thought it would be like all the other YA mythology books. This sounds so good though and I think I would enjoy reading in Athena and Hermes’s perspectives. Great review, Giselle!

  3. Megan

    I’m really excited foe this one, so I’m glad it was a success for you. I’m a big fan of greek mythology, so I’m pretty psyched for a hew take on them and the inclusion of Cassandra.

  4. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    I remember how much you loved Kendare’s Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares, so I’m glad you also loved Antigoddess! Cassandra sounds like she goes through some really great character development, and ahh from the quote this must be some really descriptive stuff, which is always a good thing. I seriously need to check this one out now I was so depressed when I couldn’t get a copy at BEA haha.

    Fantastic review, Giselle! <33

  5. Krazzyme

    I’m on the 4th or 5th chapter and so far it’s pretty interesting 🙂 I love your review. I’m currently reading Odyssey and so I think I’ll wait till I finish that to read this now 😛

  6. Pili

    I’m so so excited for this one! Can’t really wait to get my hands on it!
    I’m a huge Greek mythology nerd and combining that with the horror masterful storytelling of Kendare Blake, I’m sure I’m gonna love it!

  7. Kim { Book Swoon }

    I’m so excited for this book, Antigoddess sounds like a fantastic start to a new series! Being a fan of all things mythological-it sounds perfect for me. Thanks for the review Giselle!

  8. ShootingStarsMag

    I haven’t read any of the mythological novels coming out lately but this one actually interests me. I don’t know anything by the Trojan War…well, for the most part…but I’m glad it’s still fairly easy to understand even without that knowledge.

  9. Millie Dixon

    Oh, gosh you really just made me desperately want to read it! I love Greek mythology–any mythology, really–and since the mastermind of YA horror wrote this book, I am doubly excited to read this book. The Anna Dressed in Blood series was so awesome, and considering your review, I don’t think she’ll let readers down with this book. Fantastic review!

  10. Mary @ BookSwarm

    “Freaky loveliness” heh. Love it. I haven’t made it past the first part yet but I do plan on continuing it at some point — I do need to know what happens to poor Athena!

  11. Alise

    Hm, I’ve heard a few mentions now of the advice on brushing up on mythology and the Trojan war. I love Kendare, and can definitely see her humor in the quotes you picked! I’m glad the dual POV was a plus, I love when that works out.

  12. Charlotte

    Yay! Another book that needs to be on my TBR list. <3 I thought I'm gonna take a break from reading mythological stories after The Woken Gods but this one sounds really promising. <3

    I love Greek myths, Giselle. And it's even more appealing when you mentioned that it has humor and lots of action. And that the characters are awesome. Weee!

    I am so excited to see for myself how the author would deliver this one.

    Thanks for the fan-freaking-tastic review, Giselle!

  13. Haley @ YA-Aholic

    So glad to hear you liked this one!! I have it for review, and to be honest I was a little worried it wouldn’t be something I would like. BUT now after reading your review I think I will enjoy it very much (: Thanks for the as always awesome review Giselle (: <3

  14. Kezia D

    OMG Giselle I’m dying to read this one! I’m a big fan of Greek mythology and I don’t think there are many YAs about it that has Gods as the main character. I’m determined to read this <33

  15. Alexa Y.

    Giselle, you make this book sound fantastic! I’m already a sucker for books that feature Greek mythology, and Kendare’s take on it sounds fantastic. Your enthusiasm for the book is so clear in this review, and I cannot wait to dive into it.

  16. Sara (of The Page Sage)

    Antigoddess sounds great! Fortunately, I do remember what I learned about the Trojan War. 🙂 I’m so excited that the reader gets to see a bit of Athena’s perspective- she’s my favorite of the Greek gods. 🙂

  17. Molli

    This one sounds different from what we’ve seen SO much of (the Hades myth) in YA literature based on Greek myths. Which different = good SO! I am kinda psyched for it. Gonna be honest – I haven’t read a single review of this one yet – but the cover and synopsis had my attention. I love how you described the “delicious” intrigue. Way to make me want to read it nowwwwwwwwww. 😀

  18. Neyra

    Oh, I’m jealous of you!! I love Greek mythology and ever since I found out KBlake was coming up with this new book, I died of fangirlitis lol great review Giselle 🙂

  19. Zoe

    This looks AMAZING – especially since I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology! Athena and Hermes just happen to be two of my favorite gods and goddesses in Greek mythology, so this looks like it’s going to be a GREAT reading experience for me!

    As always, great review Giselle! 😀