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.Antigoddess 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.
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.*
4 Hot Espressos