Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: Paranormal-Mythology YA
Series: Goddess War #1
Hardcover, 333 pages
Publication: September 10, 2013 by Tor Teen
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.
I love mythologies and Greek is one of my favorites, although to be honest I only know the bare minimum on it. I always jump on the chance to read or watch anything relating to Greek mythology because who doesn’t like reading about gods and goddesses?! Ms. Blake’s ANTIGODDESS is the first book in her new Goddess War Series, and boy was I pleasantly surprised by how dark it was. I’ve never read her Anna series (which is horror) and I knew from the cover that it was going to be dark but this book is….super creepy and chilling dark (in a good way).
Blake’s gods and goddesses are like I’ve never seen them before. The book opens to Athena and her brother Hermes walking across the desert in search of answers to their demise from their aunt Demeter. All Demeter tells them is to find the Oracle, Cassandra of Troy. The gods/goddesses are reincarnated and are in their late teens (except Hera, Poseidon who are obviously older) and they’re not what you expect when reading about them or their description. For example, Athena is the goddess wisdom, courage, and justice etc. but Blake’s description of Athena is probably the opposite when the word wisdom/justice comes to mind. Athena apparently has black hair with some parts dyed a color (was it a purple streak?, I forgot),tattoos on her arm, punkish clothes and Demeter did say she looks like a harlot!
The book is narrated from multiple third person POV from Athena/Hermes making their way across the US in search of Cassandra of Troy and Cassandra/Aidan presently living normal lives as high school students. Some of the gods/goddess remembers their past life, while others don’t (usually the humans who are reincarnated like Cassandra and other heroes of the past like key players in the Trojan War). The multiple viewpoints converge about halfway through the book when their lives intersect and Athena tries to convince/ or force Cassandra, and her friends to join her cause in fighting against Hera, Poseidon and Aphrodite.
This is my first time reading Blake’s work (I have both Anna books in my TBR pile, which I will read eventually) and I am not disappointed. I love her writing style and the dedication in research she did for this novel which is plainly shown in the story and how she incorporated the mythology/characters to present day. The pace was good, and the amount of information/back history of the characters wasn’t too much or too little. The description of how each god is dying is really descriptive and gory and there were a few times the character used curse words. I find both of these aspects surprising since it’s a young adult novel…but then again most YA today are getter darker and darker.
Overall, I enjoyed the ANTIGODDESS and am looking forward to reading more of this new series. The ending wrapped up pretty nicely and if I didn’t already know that this is the first book in a series I would have thought it was a standalone. Also if readers are hoping to find out ‘why’ the gods/goddesses are dying…you won’t find out in this first installment. I can’t wait to see what happens next, especially with how the book ended!