Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed, book #3
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Source: Around the World ARC Tours, 2nd copy provided by pub
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
I don't even know where to start. So much happened in this book, and there were so many loose ends to tie up before the end of this trilogy. There were definitely times when I wondered if the author would resolve everything or if she'd leave things open-ended for the reader to make their own conclusions. Fortunately, I can tell you with absolute certainty that this book has an ending...and an epic one at that.
Mythological retellings have always been among my favorites -- even more than reimagined fairy tales -- because they are usually on a much grander scale, full of mythical beasts and epic warriors. But also because they include more reprehensible themes of betrayal and retribution and no character is safe. Bloodshed begets bloodshed and all that. These types of stories are ripe with great battles that forge even greater heroes. Up until this point in Helen's story, we haven't seen all that much of the epic story that myths are made of, but that's all about to change.
Not only does Helen dream that she is the very same Helen of Troy that she is descended from, but she's also envisioning herself as Guinevere...yes, the one of Camelot fame. And when she sees herself as these women, all of her friends and family from her life in Nantucket appear as their ancestors as she watches their lives unfold, much as they are doing in present-day Nantucket. I loved seeing the parallels between the many cycles of these characters and that no matter how different each lifetime was, some things never changed.
One of the many elements of Helen's life throughout the ages that didn't change was her unwavering love for Lucas...or Paris, or Lancelot, or whoever he was in any particular incarnation of himself. Yes, there's that whole issue of Orion, but though the attraction might be real, the original shove in Orion's direction was based on fabrication, and I was never sold on the idea that this was a true love triangle. And after seeing who Orion was in previous lives and who he was descended from, I don't believe this pairing ever would have been sanctioned by the Fates. Those old bitties really know how to hold a grudge.
Goddess is jam-packed with action and information and even more characters, some we only knew of before and others we're only just discovering, but each bringing something new to the table. There are new powers to learn about and master, and then there's the matter of that whole prophecy regarding the Tyrant. It seems pretty cut-and-dry to most everyone in the four Houses that it's Orion, since he fits the bill -- a Scion of mixed blood, capable of crumbling cities, and born to bitterness -- but we all know where assuming gets us, don't we? Don't forget Lucas' lesson on the dangers of arrogance and hubris.
I like the direction the story took once it appeared that war was imminent, and the fact that I didn't see two of the major twists coming at the end leaves me even more impressed with the author's storytelling. In this book, past lives converge with the present, coalescing until these characters are playing the roles first set before them several millennia ago. And the story plays out much like a Greek tragedy, with sacrifice and bloodshed, and yes, loss. But there are methods of circumventing the Gods, and you'd better believe Helen is going to give it her best shot. ;0)