Review: Antigoddess (Goddess War #1) – Kendare Blake

Release Date: September 10th 2013
Published By: Orchard Books (UK), Tor Teen (US)
Pages: 333
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: 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.

Review: The Twilight of the Gods has arrived. And Greek Gods are slowly dying in a way that is unique to their own power. But determined to find a cure, Athena seeks counsel from Demeter and finds that a war of the gods is brewing and that they may not be able to avoid Fate. War of the gods comes from those who are determined to survive, even if it means slaughtering their own kind. The only hope for survival (for both sides) lays in a single teenage girl – Cassandra – who is no mere moral, but in fact the reincarnation of the prophet, Cassandra of Troy.

Set in the modern day world, this storyline itself if full of Greek mythological references, including gods, goddess, reincarnation and the Trojan war – but don’t worry, if you aren’t up to speed with Greek mythology, Kendare skilfully provides you with all the information you need, without over-loading you with unnecessary details. The writing style is fantastic – with an abundance of action, and lots of gory detail. The battle scenes, and even descriptions of characters, are filled with grotesque realism that leaves images that cannot be forgotten. Antigoddess follows two storylines: one follows Cassandra, while the other follows Athena, the goddess of battle and war. The storyline was amazingly executed, following the struggles of a tired, but yet determined goddess, as well and a regular teenage girl who learns she is certainly not ordinary. These two storylines are brilliantly weaved together in the later part of the book, to ensure that you get the best perspective for the chilling conclusion.

These long forgotten and once immortal Greek gods and goddesses are slowly dying – but that are not going to give up eternity easily – and this results in some interesting character development. Keeping true to form, these gods have issues – some are power-driven and will do whatever it takes to survive – which includes backstabbing and killing their own. Some of these deities are insane, some are evil, some are driven by love, some will do what they have to do to protect their own. The gods themselves were written sublimely. Yes, they are gods, so in some you see a lot of their pride or struggle for power, their self-involvement or their inability to move on, but in others you also get to see the humane and relatable side. Athena is the goddess we get to the learn most about, and while she is strong and determined, we also get to see the scared and vulnerable side of her.

I also found Kendare’s knowledge of Greek mythology impressive. In Antigoddess, we meet characters such as Athena, Hera, Hermes, Apollo, Posidon, Aphrodite, Odysseus – along with references to others. All of these characters are intriguing, as each god is suffering a slow death; from being driven to insanity, being drowned by feathers, turning to stone or their own body eating away at itself. But I am most impressed with the characters personalities, as they struggle to come to terms with the fact that they are not immortal as once believed, they are no longer adored in the way they used to be and they no longer hold the same power they once did. Gods and goddess’s they may be, but they are still prone to human emotions, such as love, envy, grief and greed.

I haven’t read any other of Kendare’s books as yet, but I can see why so many people like her work. She truly has a talent for horror, as she weaves murderous gods, disturbing prophecies, gory battle scenes, unsettling descriptions and intriguing plotlines together. Antigoddess builds up to an amazing, action-filled, powerful, heartbreaking ending that will leave you satisfied until the next book. I think Kendare’s ability to leave this book with one part of the storyline wrapped up, but yet leaving enough of the important questions unanswered, is a display of fantastic writing. Antigoddess leaves us in a place full of intrigue and uncertainty, but yet I am fully satisfied with where and how it ended, and I am very excited for the next book.

Quotes:

“If this is how Aphrodite feels every day, it’s no wonder she’s such an idiot.”

“Do you remember her with something besides your penis?”

“Is the great Odysseus getting tired?”

“This is what men risk so much for; this shiver, this acute heat and desire. This is what they think eternity feels like.”

“Rarely. And never front and centre. Face it, sis, I was always the Green Lantern to your Iron Man.”

“I didn’t want you to look at me the way you’re looking at me now.”

What do you think?

  • Kezia D says:

    I completely agree with you, Kristy! Antigodess was a very well-researched and well-developed novel. Though I’ve always been more fascinated in Athena’s character than Cassandra’s. Usually in other Greek mythology stories, the MCs are demigods/mortals and the gods are all immortal. It’s truly a breath of fresh air to read from a dying god’s perspective. Awesome review! :D I also can’t wait for the next book!

    • Kristy says:

      Hi Kezia! I agree that Athena is more fascinating character, and a dying Athena made it all better! I can’t wait to see where this series goes in the next book, especially after that ending! Very intriguing indeed :)

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