With the influx of mythology retellings in YA in recent years, I was terribly afraid that I'd spend half the time comparing this novel to all of the other recent additions to the genre as other reviewers have complained of doing. Fret not, my loves, for Kendare Blake makes this story her own, giving it her usual flair for the dramatic and making it wholly awesome in the process.
I'm going to share a little secret with you guys. I kind of really loved this book. So much so that whenever I needed to mark a favorite quote or passage in the ARC, I dog-earred the page! Yeah, I know
! I never do that, but I was thoroughly engaged by this story and couldn't even be bothered enough to get up and get a Post-It note to mark important pages. So unlike me, but there it is. Honestly, I think this is probably the best mythology retelling I've read lately, full of Kendare's usual humor and alluding in a much larger capacity to the original stories I've come to love.
"I've come to find out what the fuck's going on," he said.
"Might've been a better question to ask before you attacked me." Athena turned from the mirror and rested her hip on the counter. She'd changed into a different t-shirt and sort of wished she hadn't. She should have worn the blood like a badge.
If you've read The Odyssey
-- a personal fave -- or The Illiad
or even seen the movie Troy
, you'll probably recognize a large chunk of the cast of characters...maybe not at first, but all will be revealed in due time. I loved the modern versions of the gods and goddesses and even the mortal participants of the Trojan War, even if they weren't really themselves when we met them. It was interesting to see how the gods had adapted over the years, how they'd managed to keep a low profile while still maintaining some semblance of their past immortal lives. Some have not fared so well over the last few years, especially with their imminent deaths looming before them. But that's what this novel is about: finding the cause of their downfall and stopping it, by whatever means necessary. Even if it means a war against the rest of the gods.
I've kind of always loved seeing gods trying to destroy one another, in film and in books. There's just something about all of that power and the ability to cause such destruction. And despite the fact that the gods in Antigoddess
are all in a weakened state, they still manage to cause their share of devastation in our world. Innocent lives are lost. Sacrifices are made. And yet we still are no closer to learning the truth about the gods demise. I have a theory that it's something like when we were kids and were told that if we didn't believe in faeries, they'd cease to exist. Hera even alluded to something along those lines:
"He was a stepson, only. Another bastard put upon me by my husband. Yet I would've welcomed him, had he not forgotten what you've forgotten. That he was a god. That gods are not meant to die."
I'm probably wrong, but I don't think it's all that hard to believe that faith plays that large of a role in existence, at least for otherworldly beings.
Aside from all of the violence and infighting, I also loved that this novel comes with a pre-existent relationship for both of what I'm going to call the main characters. (This is more like an ensemble cast, but Cassandra and Athena are allotted a little more page time, and though the story is told from a third person limited perspective, it switches between these two characters before their paths officially cross.) For one, the romance is just beginning, though the sparks have existed forever; and for the other, it's been eons in the making, though it's only been a year in this mortal's life.
Resurrection. Betrayal. Love. Sacrifice. All the things you previously loved about mythology are in this novel, but they're infused with Kendare's awesome style of writing, her dry wit and humor. After that ending, I kind of want to throttle the author a bit, but only because I don't have the next installment in my hands, and I need to know what happens
!!! It's not a cliffhanger, not in the usual sense, but it's totally a WTF!?! kind of ending, where something so major has happened and you're just left with your mouth hanging open at the end. I almost want to taunt the author with, "Oh, c'mon! Is that the best you can do?
" but I'm afraid of what she'll bring to the table next. I've read the Anna
books, so I know she's not afraid to mess with my head or my heart, and so I'll leave her be...for now. But she is seriously
trying my patience. =)
Other posts relating to Antigoddess
: Katie's interpretation
, teaserActual Rating:
1/2Thanks to Tor Teen for the review copy!
This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue