Title: Antigoddess (Goddess War #1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date (US): September 10, 2013
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.
It only seems fitting that the Greek gods are dying in today's world, and Kendare Blake takes that idea and runs with it in Antigoddess. Hermes' body is consuming itself, Athena is growing feathers internally, and the other gods are in equal decline. Even the Greek heroes of old have been reborn, but they have no memories of their past lives or knowledge of their identities. As a mythology nerd and a huge fan of Anna Dressed in Blood, I was immediately drawn to the novel.
The concept of Antigoddess was intriguing, but it was the execution of it is what made it shine. Every time Athena pulled a feather through the skin in her mouth or Hermes was even described, I would cringe. Blake was able to open my imagination, and I could almost feel the feathers and emaciation. The pacing did drag some through the middle, but the ending was glorious. Blake does not hesitate in killing her characters off most gruesomely, and that is exciting in itself. There was also the mirroring of the events regarding the Trojan War that rocked my socks.
Antigoddess' characters were just as interesting as the concept. Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare, had not been worshipped in years and looked very like the typical teenage girl, right down to the purple streaks in her hair. She knew that she was dying, but was not willing to die - or even allow her brothers to, for that matter - without a fight. Watching her step minisculely away from her hardened virginal stance to open her heart was sweet to watch. Hermes was a good balance to his sister Athena's hardened nature and was much more human. Cassandra and Aiden were an abnormally well adjusted couple who were happily in love on the other side of the country. He was fully aware of her psychic abilities and supportive of them, though he was a bit boring. When these characters were brought together, it did not seem forced, and the story-lines melted together nicely.
However, despite all of these great things about Antigoddess, I never really got into it. I did not realize this until the end. The scenes at the end were well-written and exciting, but I found myself not caring about the outcome overmuch. I have been crying at the drop of a hat while reading lately, and I did not get emotional at all during the last battle in the book. This was surprising to me because I was one hundred percent into Anna Dressed in Blood.
Even though I was not caught up in the events and characters of Antigoddess, it was still an enjoyable read. I think fans of Blake's previous work and Greek mythology in general will eat up this novel. As for me, I am still interested in seeing what comes next in the Goddess War series.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.