Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Monday, September 9, 2013 with 8 comments
Title: Antigoddess
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Goddess War, book #1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Source: ARC (and finished copy) received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.

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.

With the influx of mythology retellings in YA in recent years, I was terribly afraid that I'd spend half the time comparing this novel to all of the other recent additions to the genre as other reviewers have complained of doing.  Fret not, my loves, for Kendare Blake makes this story her own, giving it her usual flair for the dramatic and making it wholly awesome in the process.

I'm going to share a little secret with you guys.  I kind of really loved this book.  So much so that whenever I needed to mark a favorite quote or passage in the ARC, I dog-earred the page!  Yeah, I know!  I never do that, but I was thoroughly engaged by this story and couldn't even be bothered enough to get up and get a Post-It note to mark important pages.  So unlike me, but there it is.  Honestly, I think this is probably the best mythology retelling I've read lately, full of Kendare's usual humor and alluding in a much larger capacity to the original stories I've come to love.
"I've come to find out what the fuck's going on," he said.
"Might've been a better question to ask before you attacked me."  Athena turned from the mirror and rested her hip on the counter.  She'd changed into a different t-shirt and sort of wished she hadn't.  She should have worn the blood like a badge.
If you've read The Odyssey -- a personal fave -- or The Illiad or even seen the movie Troy, you'll probably recognize a large chunk of the cast of characters...maybe not at first, but all will be revealed in due time.  I loved the modern versions of the gods and goddesses and even the mortal participants of the Trojan War, even if they weren't really themselves when we met them.  It was interesting to see how the gods had adapted over the years, how they'd managed to keep a low profile while still maintaining some semblance of their past immortal lives.  Some have not fared so well over the last few years, especially with their imminent deaths looming before them.  But that's what this novel is about:  finding the cause of their downfall and stopping it, by whatever means necessary.  Even if it means a war against the rest of the gods.

I've kind of always loved seeing gods trying to destroy one another, in film and in books.  There's just something about all of that power and the ability to cause such destruction.  And despite the fact that the gods in Antigoddess are all in a weakened state, they still manage to cause their share of devastation in our world.  Innocent lives are lost.  Sacrifices are made.  And yet we still are no closer to learning the truth about the gods demise.  I have a theory that it's something like when we were kids and were told that if we didn't believe in faeries, they'd cease to exist.  Hera even alluded to something along those lines:
"He was a stepson, only.  Another bastard put upon me by my husband.  Yet I would've welcomed him, had he not forgotten what you've forgotten.  That he was a god.  That gods are not meant to die."
I'm probably wrong, but I don't think it's all that hard to believe that faith plays that large of a role in existence, at least for otherworldly beings.

Aside from all of the violence and infighting, I also loved that this novel comes with a pre-existent relationship for both of what I'm going to call the main characters.  (This is more like an ensemble cast, but Cassandra and Athena are allotted a little more page time, and though the story is told from a third person limited perspective, it switches between these two characters before their paths officially cross.)  For one, the romance is just beginning, though the sparks have existed forever; and for the other, it's been eons in the making, though it's only been a year in this mortal's life.

Resurrection.  Betrayal.  Love.  Sacrifice.  All the things you previously loved about mythology are in this novel, but they're infused with Kendare's awesome style of writing, her dry wit and humor.  After that ending, I kind of want to throttle the author a bit, but only because I don't have the next installment in my hands, and I need to know what happens!!!  It's not a cliffhanger, not in the usual sense, but it's totally a WTF!?! kind of ending, where something so major has happened and you're just left with your mouth hanging open at the end.  I almost want to taunt the author with, "Oh, c'mon!  Is that the best you can do?" but I'm afraid of what she'll bring to the table next.  I've read the Anna books, so I know she's not afraid to mess with my head or my heart, and so I'll leave her be...for now.  But she is seriously trying my patience.  =)

 photo jarrethwaiting_zps8b379f48.gif

Other posts relating to Antigoddess:  Katie's interpretation, teaser

About the author:

I tire of writing these things in the third person. So. I write fiction, apparently mostly YA. I didn't know this, but like Stephen King says, writers are the last ones to know what it is they've written. My first novel Sleepwalk Society is a college story. I guess it falls into that no man's land they call, "New Adult". Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares are teen horror. My short fiction can be found online in numerous places.

But enough about that. When I am not writing or reading, you can generally find me sitting around wondering what the hell I'm going to do with my life. That, or being a gastronome, plotting a new recipe. Perhaps on a run or hike, playing tennis or watching Big Cat Diaries with my feline. This summer I have saved a total of three turtles during attempted road crossings.

Find Kendare

Website | BlogTwitter | FacebookGoodreads


  1. OMG you had me at the comparison to Odyssey and Troy! Sounds like this book is totally up my alley. I love the mythology aspects to it and it sounds like it was done really well! I really enjoyed her Anna books too. Thanks for a great review!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  2. I can't wait to read this one! Mythology is definitely my weakness, and this sounds like such an amazing book!
    Rachel @ the NerdHerd Reads

  3. I'm honestly not a huge mythology girl, though I would love to give this one a try. I have a feeling my opinion may be different after reading Antigoddess. :)

  4. oh I was so iffy on this but i think you may have sold me. Great review as always. I love mythology and I love wars between gods but I wasn't sure about the author. I didn't really like her other series too much but I think I may just have to read this one.

  5. Love this sentence: "I've kind of always loved seeing gods trying to destroy one another, in film and in books. There's just something about all of that power and the ability to cause such destruction. " YES! I think that's why Blake is going to be good for Greek Mythology. She gets the monstrous nature of the gods. How inhumane and terrible they can be. Also love what you said about the romances both being preexisting. I love that as well, and I'm very eager to see what happens with BOTH of them. AAAHHH. I want to say something here but won't. However, I hope both romances continue to grow and flourish ;). Great review.

  6. I'm so excited to read this one. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it. I didn't read your whole review as I'm hoping to get my hands on this soon and I don't want to know too much about it, and now I'm even more excited. PS I love that Labyrinth GIF. I watched that movie every day after school for, like, 2 solid years. David Bowie was so sexy in that.

  7. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, I'm reading this right now and I LOVE IT. I looooove that Kendare Blake is able to hold on to the essence of the gods themselves - instead of making them so human and lesser like a lot of retellings to, Blake's gods still hold onto their grandeur and their sense of self, even as they're dying. I absolutely love Athena and all the other gods I've met so far.

    This is a great review, and you've definitely captured the feeling of Antigoddess. It's dark, it's brutal, it's funny, and it's beautiful. I can't wait to get into more of it, but I'm suspecting the end is going to kill me and I'll lose my mind until I get my hands on the second book!

  8. thanks to admin who has been providing the latest information that makes us be increased insight and new knowledge that is wide enough, of course, this makes us become more knowledgeable

    obat maag akut herbal
    obat kencing batu tanpa operasi
    obat herbal herpes zoster
    obat herbal rematik
    obat ispa herbal
    obat hepatitis c herbal
    obat cacar air herbal
    obat diabetes melitus herbal
    obat untuk pengapuran sendi
    obat kista payudara


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...