Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading … Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Just Finished Reading … Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Antigoddess (Goddess War #1)
by Kendare Blake
To be published by Tor Teen
on September 10, 2013

Source: ARC from the publisher for review

Connect with Kendare Blake: website | Twitter | Facebook.



Summary from Goodreads: 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.
My take:  I loved Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares and could not wait to get my hands on this book!

I've read both the Odyssey and the Iliad, the latter recently as part of a great free program called Reading Odyssey, and I think that having a familiarity with the Iliad really helped me understand Antigoddess and its characters. (Note: I have never seen the movie Troy, but watching that would probably work too, and you'd get to look at shirtless guys for two hours.)
We are more monsters than gods now. But some are worse than others.
The book begins with Athena and her brother Hermes crossing the desert on a desperate quest for answers. The gods are dying and can't figure out why or what to do, but Athena and Hermes are told by Demeter that they must find an oracle. Meanwhile, in upstate New York, a teenage girl called Cassandra amazes her friends with her psychic parlor tricks. Hmmmm… I'm not psychic, but I can guess what girl Athena and Hermes might be looking for. The story shifts between their perspective and Cassandra's until their paths finally cross.

I loved Kendare Blake's writing style in the Anna duology and I also love it here. But for me, the great pleasure of Antigoddess was its creativity and sly wit. Kendare Blake has taken each god and goddess (or mortal Trojan war character) and updated them to the present day. Athena and Hermes are on Cassandra's trail and end up at an escort service. There they find this guy in a private room hanging out with three beautiful women and it's …. nah, I'm not going to tell you. But I laughed. There was one character that I was positive was a Trojan war hero and … yep, I was right. I loved the fact that the book featured Greek gods who wear jeans and watch Robert Rodriguez movies. And are kind of living in a Robert Rodriguez movie. There are explosions, car chases, fight scenes, and epic showdowns. It's pretty fun.  And, on another level, sad and pointless. As I was reading the Iliad last year, I was struck by a) the futility and bloodshed of war and b) how all the gods kept butting in to change the course of the war in a way that didn't really seem fair. In Antigoddess, some of the the alliances and betrayals of the Trojan War are revisited, rehashed, and reenacted. The characters also debate whether their fates are predestined, or whether they might be able to escape them.
For the record, I don't believe in Fate. I believe the pieces have been placed. The ending hasn't been written yet.
My only tiny gripe about Antigoddess is that I expected, at some point, to find out why the gods are dying. I mean, maybe not the whole reason, but just a hint? A clue? I'm that kind of person who wants all the information. Now that I've finished reading, it's clear to me that Antigoddess is just the first installment in a longer story. The ending was one of those "wait… what?" endings, so I'm very curious to see what happens next. If you haven't yet read this book, I recommend that you forget about getting all the answers and just sit back and enjoy the ride.

27 comments:

  1. I wonder if reading The Iliad and The Odyssey would have helped me as I actually really didn't like this book. I just could not get in to it. And while I'm not planning to continue with the series, I do hope to find out from reading reviews why the gods are dying-that has my curiosity piqued at least.

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    1. I was really happy I'd read the Iliad recently, because many of the characters and most of the rivalries were based on Trojan war stuff. And yes, why are they dying? WHY????

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  2. Hmm, this story has a lot of foundation building going on. I have heard lots of good things about it. Will have to check it out.

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  3. I loved Anna too, still have to read the sequel and then I'll get to this one:)

    Sounds great.

    Thanks for your review!

    Andreea

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    1. Hope you enjoy it! Girl of Nightmares is great too :)

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  4. I haven't read many books like this but it's always been something I've been interested in. Perhaps I'll have to start with this one, sounds pretty good! Great review!
    Anna's Book Blog

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  5. I loved this book. It totally blew me away! The whole idea was so creative. Glad you enjoyed it, too!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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    1. It was just so imaginative -- I was very impressed!

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  6. This is definitely one I want to check out! I've seen it here and there, and I love anything Mythology related, so I'm sure I'll dive in head first.

    Great Review.

    Kristin @ Better Read Than Dead

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  7. Sounds super fun! I love the premise, and I love that it seems to have lots of action to it. I hope at some point the mystery of why the gods are dying is revealed, because I'm insanely curious as well.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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    1. I was expecting to find out, but still really loved the book!

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  8. That last bit about sitting back and enjoying the ride because there won't be any answers is exactly what my spoilerphile heart needs to know going in. I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

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  9. I'm plumb burnt out on mythology books. I have had no urge to read one in awhile. But I LOVE Kendare Blake and she writes such amazing characters, that I WILL read it for that reason. I'll maybe wait until I'm not so anti-mythology books, but I'll definitely pick this up. I've only heard good things so far!

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  10. I read this one last week and LOVED IT! The mythology was so well done and I loved the modern version of all the Gods. And the hero of the war you talked about.. I didn't see that coming at all and was so shocked by it. I wished the ending would have answered some questions, nevertheless I'm dying to read the next book. Great review, Jen!

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  11. Mythology seems hot at the moment! I've just been drooling over CHAOS OF THE STARS and now I have to add THIS one to my TBR as well! :) Great review.

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  12. OMG I am insanely jelly of anyone who has their hands on a copy of this. Buying my copy next month along with Blake's other books as they all seem amazing.

    Great review, hon! <33

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  13. I wanted a hint too but we'll just have to wait to one of the other books. So happy this will be a series. I can't get enough of Kendare Blake :-) I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

    My Friends Are Fiction

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  14. YESSSSS....Sorry I didn't read this earlier, Jen, but you nailed this book in this review.

    You know from my review how I felt about this book, but I love that you went ahead and read The Iliad and The Odyssey before this because I totally think you get more out of this book if you know the background of those two reads. And I love this from your review:

    "As I was reading the Iliad last year, I was struck by a) the futility and bloodshed of war and b) how all the gods kept butting in to change the course of the war in a way that didn't really seem fair. In Antigoddess, some of the the alliances and betrayals of the Trojan War are revisited, rehashed, and reenacted. The characters also debate whether their fates are predestined, or whether they might be able to escape them."

    hands down that is my favorite aspect of Antigoddess, Blake's further examination of those two themes in The Iliad.

    I love what you said about these gods being modern day versions who wear jeans and watch bloody, slightly cheesy and over the top Robert Rodriguez films! I think this book is like a more mature, hipper version of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series:)

    So I am TOTALLY emailing you about the theories I have about where this story is going next....

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  15. YESSSSS....Sorry I didn't read this earlier, Jen, but you nailed this book in this review.

    You know from my review how I felt about this book, but I love that you went ahead and read The Iliad and The Odyssey before this because I totally think you get more out of this book if you know the background of those two reads. And I love this from your review:

    "As I was reading the Iliad last year, I was struck by a) the futility and bloodshed of war and b) how all the gods kept butting in to change the course of the war in a way that didn't really seem fair. In Antigoddess, some of the the alliances and betrayals of the Trojan War are revisited, rehashed, and reenacted. The characters also debate whether their fates are predestined, or whether they might be able to escape them."

    hands down that is my favorite aspect of Antigoddess, Blake's further examination of those two themes in The Iliad.

    I love what you said about these gods being modern day versions who wear jeans and watch bloody, slightly cheesy and over the top Robert Rodriguez films! I think this book is like a more mature, hipper version of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series:)

    So I am TOTALLY emailing you about the theories I have about where this story is going next....

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  16. Oh wow, I've seen the cover of this but didn't know what it was all about. It sounds really good, but maybe I should read it closer to when the next book will be out. Now I need to go watch Troy. ;)

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  17. "having a familiarity with the Iliad really helped me understand Antigoddess and its characters" <-- Ahhhh. This book isn't a priority for me, but is having that familiarity a pre-req? Cause I haven't read the Illiad yet. o.O. Also, I did see a few other reviews say that they had a hard time with the characters - is that one of the reasons, you think? Not having a familiarity with them might make it harder to relate?

    "Hmmmm… I'm not psychic, but I can guess what girl Athena and Hermes might be looking for." <-- I love that snark ;).

    "But for me, the great pleasure of Antigoddess was its creativity and sly wit. Kendare Blake has taken each god and goddess (or mortal Trojan war character) and updated them to the present day." <-- I've read some modern retellings of the Greek gods and they've disappointed me a little because they haven't had the same epic showdowns you're describing. But sounds like Antigoddess fully delivers :).

    "As I was reading the Iliad last year, I was struck by a) the futility and bloodshed of war and b) how all the gods kept butting in to change the course of the war in a way that didn't really seem fair." <-- Though I haven't read the Illiad, that does seem like a fair descriptor. Same thing happens in Odyssey too - with Poseidon bearing that grudge and Odysseus only rescued cause of Athena. It's a lucky thing this situation doesn't happen to us now haha.

    "The characters also debate whether their fates are predestined, or whether they might be able to escape them." <-- I love this question. I didn't read the Illiad recently like you, but I studied a bunch of Greek tragedies and this is the same central theme... and it always get me! It's one of those eternal questions you could devote your whole life to and not know.

    "My only tiny gripe about Antigoddess is that I expected, at some point, to find out why the gods are dying." <-- Seems a little weird that you wouldn't find out even if it's a part of a series. But I suppose since it's one of the main plot points/elements, that's a recurring series q? That would bother me too, not knowing. Maybe it'll be a point about what we're doing now o.O.

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  18. Well this certainly sounds like a fun ride, but I wonder if the lack of answers will annoy me. Who am I kidding, I'm going to read it anyway, it's Kendare Blake! Awesome balanced review!

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  19. I've been debating if I want to read this one.. While it sounds interesting and something I KNOW I would enjoy-- I might just have to wait until the second book comes out. I hate. "wait, what!?" endings!

    Great review!

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  20. Love Kendare's snarky humor. This book was a lot of fun! But I can't believe you've never seen Troy. Lots of yummy! ;0) I loved the parallels between the mythology as I learned it and how it corresponded with how the gods behaved in this book.

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