Author(s): Kendare BlakeDownload
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.
Some Reviews: 1330 in Goodreads.com
I’ve known about this series for a while, but I kept delaying actually reading it and I have no idea why. The opening of this series was quite dark as Athena is choking on owl feathers and Hermes is slowly wasting away. It’s the twilight of the Grecian gods, but some don’t want to go.
I enjoyed the multiple perspectives and switching from Athena and Cassandra. This was kind of like a modern Trojan War retelling, but with more gods fighting than anything. I’m definitely intrigued by what happened and I’m excited to eventually continue this series.
There was the right amount of mystery, suspense and action to keep me addicted.
Cassandra has never been normal. She believes she’s psychic but when she finds out the real story behind her visions of the future and of who she is, her problems start to grow and ends up running for her life. The Gods are after her and with the help of her boyfriend, best friend and brother, they find themselves locked in a battle to the death.
Cassandra is one tough chick. Having to find out all that she is and who she claims to be can’t be an easy task. That must be why her boyfriend is so protective of her. I liked that their relationship was already established. There are no lingering stares or flirtatious. They’re already in love and the way they are with each other is rather sweet.
As for Athena and Odysseus, their relationship is forbidden which means a lot of flirting, stolen glances and the like. It’s a little odd to have a Goddess so flustered even if it is the Goddess of Wisdom and Strategy.
The pacing in this story is just right with the two story lines interweaving. The length is just right as well because I wasn’t bored with it, I just kept reading wanting to find out what happens. There are definitely some strange scenes that I for one won’t forget because it was essentially so disturbing. That’s what I believe Kendare Blake does best. Her gruesome scary scenes always freaks me out.
Here’s to Kendare and to the next book in this exciting new mythology series!
This is probably closer to 3.5 stars, as I loved half of it (the parts with Athena, Hermes, and Odysseus) and was sort of meh about the rest (Cassandra and Aidan/Apollo). I’m not sure why I didn’t connect with Cassandra, as I can’t really point to one thing and say “This was broken.” Kendare Blake is a terrific writer; her prose is excellent and her characterizations (yes, even Cassandra) superb; but in the end, it didn’t entirely work for me.
What pushed my rating to a four instead of a three was the relationship between Athena and Odysseus, which I absolutely loved. If Cassandra and Aidan had had half that chemistry, this book would have been amazing. I found Athena’s struggle to change after millennia of existence compelling, and seeing Athena through Odysseus’s eyes reminded me of what it must really have meant that he was always her favorite mortal, however much hell she put him through. I’m looking forward to seeing more of that.
But what I’m really interested in is which gods Blake is going to bring in for the next books. (view spoiler)[Hera dead? Poseidon dead? Aphrodite maybe dead? Zeus MIA? If it’s Hades, I may squee. (hide spoiler)] I find the whole idea of the series compelling enough that I’ll definitely read the next book.
The Greek/Roman pantheon and associated mythology makes one thing abundantly clear: with great power comes no responsibility whatsoever. They’re all jerks. Where some retellings focus on make gods more human, more empathetic, less sociopathic, Blake just runs with it. Athena is an anti-hero. we don’t root for her because she’s good, we root for her because the others are even worse. And, as goddess of war, kicking butt is really her whole thing.
There’s a plot based on the idea that after millennia, the immortals are starting to sicken and die, which, yeah, okay, whatever. I’m just here for the vicious fighting and that is gratifyingly vicious on a large scale.
On a sidenote, while I am over teens being described in terms of preternatural gorgeousness, at least with gods that feels acceptable, it’s even part of the requirements. That they would choose to look like high-school students is, as in the case of century-old vampires, utterly baffling*, but I can take the prettiness without pause.
*Wouldn’t you at least go with college-aged? Old enough to pursue any amusements one craves, and to be on one’s own, without parental supervision, young enough to not be expected to be useful to society. Best of both worlds.