Author: Kendare Blake
Published: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: e-ARC provided by publisher (Thanks to Angie of Tor!) / Finished copy bought at Fully Booked
The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.
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.
*Image and synopsis from Goodreads
I learned about Antigoddess via Twitter. If I remember it right, it was a fellow Filipino blogger’s tweet along with a photo of an ARC that caught my attention. The stunning cover propelled me to research what the book is all about. After reading the synopsis, I became more enthusiastic to read it. I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology and the fresh, engrossing, and thrilling take of this book is what I’ve been waiting for.
Antigoddess is the first Kendare Blake novel I’ve ever read and it did not disappoint me. Her lyrical writing style is spellbinding and I am in awe of the author’s aesthetic flair that resounds all throughout the book. The descriptions are fluid, clear and so artistic. It’s incredible how simple words become so powerful, brimming with color and radiance. I can say that Kendare Blake is a pro in painting astonishing images in readers’ minds that would definitely render them breathless.
I like how the chapters showed the interconnectedness of events in a clean and well-organized sequence. I am also impressed by the wonderful narration of the story in alternate perspectives using third person POV. I think it is a great way to tell the story because readers get to experience what it’s like to think like a god as well as dive into the thoughts of a reincarnated mortal character in Greek mythology. Although Antigoddess is written in past tense, every action feels instantaneous. When I was reading it, I felt like I was part of the action or I was in the actual scene of a particular event.
Now let’s go to the plot. It is mind blowing! Old gods are dying and at war with each other? Who wouldn’t be intrigued by that? Each chapter is loaded with conflicts, twists, and surprising revelations so action keeps on building up, making the story an exhilarating adventure.
The characters are fantastic. I have a fondness for Athena and Odysseus! They have chemistry and I can’t wait to see the spark between them burst into flames. Cassandra and Aidan are good as a couple and they really complement each other. Aidan is so sweet! His love and devotion to Cassandra is immeasurable. He may have done something terrible (unforgivable, even) to her in the past and he makes up for it by showing how much he loves and cares for her. Other standout characters are Andie and Henry whose bickering I find adorable. The humor of their characters sprinkled laughter that put the suspense of the story into a temporary halt.
Another thing I admire in Antigoddess is the illustration of the past lives of gods and heroes entwined with present time. It’s fascinating because every character displays both his/her past and present self shaped by layered memories of history and current reality. And the gods acting like mortals made their characters so cool, relatable, and normal.
Antigoddess is a spine-chilling, electrifying tale of modern day Greek mythology. I highly recommend this book to those looking for a riveting adventure set in a world where myths breathe the same air as actuality.