Antigoddess (The Goddess Wars #1)
By: Kendare Blake
Release Date: September 10th 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Barnes and Noble
Thank you Kendare Blake for my copy of Antigoddess….you rock
The Summary (via 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.
Full disclosure: I absolutely love everything about Blake’s writing style. Her stories flow wonderfully, veer on morbid and are incredibly vivid. She weaves her words into clear imaginary. I actually found myself rereading some of her descriptions because I enjoyed them so well. Yes, they can be about disturbing topics (feathers protruding from Athena’s eyes or roof of her mouth) yet Blake writes it to be beautiful regardless of the subject matter.
Antigoddess takes Greek mythology and applies it in a new and modern way. She took a very complicated story line and made it tangible and manageable to her reader. I found the style and the pacing to be very different than Blake’s Anna series. Antigoddess moved slower and is told in third person. The stakes are higher since this story is centered on the Gods losing their immortality, thus starting the war of all wars with humanity as an afterthought.
I personally went into Antigoddess with little knowledge of Greek mythology and didn’t find I was confused or unable to follow where the story was going. It did encourage me to do a bit of googling once I finished reading to see how Blake’s characterizations compared to past representations.
Blake takes some of the most recognized of the Greek gods and throws them into a modern setting yet is able to keep their mysterious and godly aura. I found her personfications to be incredibly vivid and realistic. The reader follows Athena and Hermes intermixed with the story of Cassandra (seer of Troy) reincarnated and her god lover Apollo.
Blake’s Athena, the virginal goddess of wisdom, courage and warfare, was rough and a bit frayed around the edges yet exuded immense strength of will and power. The idea that her immorality was ending and her powers slipping gave her character a sense of depth that I really appreciated. She was allowing humanity to seep in; causing her to doubt her past decisions and wonder about the path she’d taken.
I absolutely loved that Blake utilized each god’s own gifts to be the way they were succumbing to death. Athena’s struggle with owl feathers was so graphic and wonderfully written:
The feathers were starting to be a nuisance. There was one in her mouth, tickling the back of her throat. She chewed at it as se walked, grabbed it with her molars and pulled it loose. Warm, copper-penny blood flooded over her tongue. There wer others too, sprouting up inside of her like a strange cancer, worming their way through her innards and muscle.
Blake pays equal attention to each of her main cast of characters, giving them dimension and depth. Since the story is told in third person I did feel once removed from them and wasn’t as able to connect to them as I wished. I believe this will be remedied in the next books.
Reading one of Kendare Blake’s books is a treat for me because of how much I love her writing style and ease in which she uses her descriptions to convey even the most morbid of topics in a beautiful and unique way. Antigoddess was no exception, I loved how complex the subject matter was yet easy for me to read and understand.
Look for Antigoddess (The Goddess Wars book 1) September 10, 2013 from Tor Teen