Wednesday, June 24, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Now I seem to be bouncing back and forth between historical fiction and fantasy. I’ve gotten a bit hooked on fantasy’s adventure and escapism. Looking for what to try next, I decided on some YA fantasy. Kendare Blake’s The Goddess War series sounded particularly intriguing with its link to Greek mythology.

Book One is Antigoddess. The immortal Greek gods are dying. They have lived for thousands of years among mortals, losing contact with the other gods, letting their various powers atrophy from disuse. Although the cause for the current change in their situation is unclear, each of them is dying a slow, painful death unique to their particular character. Athena is being drowned in feathers growing in her lungs which work their way painfully to the surface. Her half-brother, Hermes, is wasting away. Athena and Hermes have some sympathy for one another, so they set off together to discover the cause. While they don’t learn what is behind their illness, they do discover that there is a war going on, rival gods banding against one another. This is not so surprising–the gods have always skirmished, wreaking havoc on the mortals along the way. Except, previously, the gods themselves did not suffer. This time, the gods are dying. One side must kill the other in order to survive. And Athena and Hermes have not been picked to join the gods who seem to be on the stronger side.

There is more to the puzzle. The gods are looking for Cassandra, once the prophetess of Troy, now a teenage girl living in small town New York, impressing the other teenagers with an uncanny ability to guess things before they happen. Athena doesn’t know why she needs to find Cassandra, only that she has to find her before Hera and Poseidon do. For Cassandra, things are going to get real ugly, real fast.

The premise of this novel really appealed to me and I think Blake did a great job of modernizing a Trojan War plot. She pulled together a number of characters from the old myths and assigned them new roles with a twist.

For the old Greek gods and the mortals mixed up with them the war isn’t over yet–and I’m going to have to read on to see what happens next.

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