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review 2018-01-17 03:21
Holding Grudges
Antigoddess - Kendare Blake
 

I read this back in September and I'm just now able to write a review. I really dug this book, well at least until the abrupt ending. If you're a fan of Greek Mythology, I'd consider it a must read. Blake does something very interesting with Greek myths and legends. It has some elements of reincarnation, which is normally a turnoff for me, but it was fairly well accomplished in the book. Well, one aspect was disturbing, the character had to die violently to recall who they were in their previous life.

Largely, this was a really exciting read. I haven't been reading much young adult lately because I'm not interested in high school life anymore. The good thing about this book is, these characters are technically teens, but most of the main characters are reincarnated personages from the Greek myths, so they act a lot more mature and have interests and concerns far beyond typical high school drama.

There are some unanswered questions, which I think is a standard tactic of a writer who's putting together a series. I just wish it wasn't so overused. Frankly, I get tired of the whole, "Keep Reading" tactic.

Another issue was Blake sort of picks and chooses which gods/goddesses she'll feature and to what degree. It's up to her as the author, but that was a bit of a letdown how she represented some of them. The curses or fates of some of the gods/goddesses were maliciously creative, and I won't even go into them, because that's part of the fun. I felt that overall the characterization is very strong for the main leads, not as much for the secondary and villainous characters. I especially liked the way that Blake humanized the ancient god/goddess figures and endowed the human (sort of) reincarnated characters with such depth.

Hera is always portrayed as a mega-bitch in just about everything. I've never been into Hera, but in a way it seems kind of sad that her reputation is so low. I would want to feel sorry for her, honestly, seeing as how she's the wife that's been cheated on by her lothario husband for many millennia. But she's always scheming and making peoples' lives miserable. In this she gets an update as a fashion forward Queen B who would fit right in with the One Percenters.

Athena and Hermes have strong points of view as they travel looking for the reincarnation of the person who could be the key to stopping the god or goddess behind the curse that is slowly killing them. They encounter high school student Cassandra, who is the key to their plan, and whose life and family is about to be in terrible danger, because Hera is headed her way.

This book has fantastic action and arresting imagery. The opening scene is the hook that grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I knew I wanted to finish this book just with the beginning. I just wish the ending wasn't so abrupt. I can't tell you how much of a buzzkill that is when you are reading a great book and then it sort of fizzles out. Maybe fizzle isn't the right word. This book goes from atomic explosion to the sizzle when you throw water on a campfire. I was confused at how fast things resolved. Having said that, I was hoping my library would have book two.

Yeah, so I'm giving it four stars because it really is a very good book. I wasn't happy with the ending, so that's why I took off a star. Despite that, I was really excited about this book and I could hardly put it down. This is one I think would make a great movie. Maybe someday soon.

I wanted to like "Anna Dressed in Blood" a lot more than I did. It was good, but it felt too derivative of popular horror movies for my tastes. I think that based on this novel, Blake has grown as an author, and I'm really excited to see where she goes from here.

 
 
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review 2015-04-06 02:17
Antigoddess - Kendare Blake

I really don't know whether to give this three or four stars.

On the one hand, the first few chapters dragged. They were a tad boring and it took some time to get into the story. Also, Cassandra didn't have much of a personality. I could't connect with her. And Apollo/Aidan irritated the crap out of me. He's super overprotective of Cassandra. You'll see when you read it.

Yet the action picked up very quickly and after the first 50 pages, I soon had a vested interest in the story. And Athena was a very interesting character. I really enjoyed her chapters. And Hermes was pretty funny.

And, of course, how can you go wrong with Greek Mythology? When I was little, I was very interested in it, but sort of forgot about it as the years passed. Antigoddess restored my interest in it.

So overall an enjoyable read. Push past the first few chapters and you'll have a gripping and entertaining story.

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review 2014-09-17 11:56
Review: Antigoddess
Antigoddess - Kendare Blake

I read Anna Dressed in Blood by the same author last year, and wasn't really all that impressed with it, so was a little wary of this one, but figured, what the hell. I'd give it a shot. So glad I did because it turned out to be one of the best YA books with the Greek Mythology theme that I've ever read.

 

I've read a handful of YA books based on Greek myth, and most of them have not been very good at all.  This book blew me away. Got my attention right from the start. The plot was completely engaging.  There was a definite gore factor in the story as well, it was certainly not a paranormal romance. It was harsh at times, and disturbing, but exceptionally well written.

 

Gods are dying and no one quite knows why, Athena and Hermes are trying to find out why. When they get a lead to follow, they're find themselves fighting against Hera and Poseidon who want to get to the lead before they do.  Cassandra is a normal teen in high school with some psychic tricks she does to make bets with other students. She has her devoted boyfriend, Aidan, her brother Henry and her best friend Andie.  Aidan has a secret, Cassandra's psychic ability is getting stronger and not in a good way.

 

I loved Cassandra, she was a strong, smart heroine who coped remarkably well when the two plots finally intertwined and Aidan's secret was revealed. The mythology side worked in was action packed, and I think I already mentioned more than a little gross.  I loved how the author took well known figures like Athena, Hermes, Circe and made them her own.  Gripping from start to finish. Really looking forward to the next one.

 

Crosses off a Square for my Bookish Bingo Summer challenge - Water on Cover

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review 2014-07-07 18:00
Antigoddess
Antigoddess - Kendare Blake

It's taken me a bit to get my thoughts together on this one. The first time I tried my hand at Kendare Blake's newest book, I ended up setting it aside. Antigoddess holds within it a story that assumes you have some knowledge of Greek Mythology. That you're at least familiar with Athena, Hermes, Aphrodite, and all the rest of the Gods and Goddesses mentioned throughout the course of this read. If you aren't, or if you haven't brushed up in a while, it might seem a little daunting at first. However, when my book club picked this as a monthly read, I decided to give it another shot. I brushed up my memory and, this time around, fell into the story.

 

Blake takes us into a world where the Old Gods still live. Or, at least, they are trying to. Imagine if, in the midst of our normal comings and goings, there were reincarnated Gods, Goddesses, and mythical heroes just wandering about in secret. That's what I was treated to in Antigoddess, and it didn't take long for it to completely immerse me in its depths. I loved the concept of battling against the inevitable. Of defying fate, despite the fact that it seems like accepting death is the only course of action. If the only way to cheat death was to kill your own, would you do it? That's the burning question that runs through this whole story.

 

I absolutely adored Athena as a main character. By all rights, as the Goddess of War and Justice, she should have been fierce. That's why I loved the way that she was portrayed in this story. Athena has her fierce side, but she also has a conscience. Watching her look back on what she'd done in the past, and begin to learn what it means to truly care about someone else, was amazing. I'll grant you the fact that I loved her kick-ass attitude. Still, watching her solid wall of unfeeling slowly melt away in the fact of possible love? Awesome. Truly awesome. Hermes is her counterpart here and, although I didn't love him as much, I did enjoy his personality. He's sweet, mischievous, and everything that "The Messenger" should be. He balances out Athena perfectly, and these two make a great pair.

 

The only thing that kept this from being a five star read for me was that it really does take for granted the fact that the reader knows who these characters are. I had to go back a few times and brush up on my Gods/Goddesses facts. I had forgotten that Hera's main calling card is a peacock feather. Or that Athena was a favorite daughter of Zeus. All of these things hold some importance in the story, and I would have missed them if I hadn't been paying attention. So, if you aren't a mythology buff, you might want to give this one a little bit of patience! I promise that the story as a whole is worth your time. After that ending? I'm glad I gave this one another shot, and eager for more!

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review 2014-07-01 02:48
ANTIGODDESS BY: KENDARE BLAKE
Antigoddess - Kendare Blake

 

   I read Antigoddess as my first book club book with the fantastic ladies over at bookishlydelighted.blogspot.com. I have had this on my to-read shelf for awhile now, and was thrilled when I saw it would be the book of choice when I joined! And it did not disappoint, but it is from Kendare Blake so I really didn't expect anything less than amazing.

 

 

  I absolutely love mythology, and am always game to read from authors who take that basis and bring it to a modern setting with their own personal flare.  I loved the way Blake put her stamp on this story. The gods are long past being relevant in this modernized world, add in the fact that they are also approaching the Twilight, which for them could mean an end to their existence completely. There is still a lot of mystery behind what this Twilight really entails, but it is slowly draining and torturing these once immortal beings and making them vulnerable to all sorts of things....even death. Of course Gods being Gods, they are rather adverse to seeing the end of their very long existence, and most of them are willing to do whatever it takes to stop this agonizing process.

 

  It ultimately comes down to two different groups of gods, one side mad with the will to live and ready to destroy anything that is in their way, and the other side that are essentially the lesser of two evils. You can't quite say they are the "good guys" for they aren't your typical heroes. But when faced with impossible situations, they try to make the best decisions they can. You also get to see them struggle a little with their humanity and the repercussions to a lot of choices, some not very good, that they have made over the years. It's always fun to see that internal struggle in a character. It feels very relatable, for who amongst us has not made poor decisions or acted unfairly to others at one point or another? But you get to see that transition into actually taking responsibility and dealing with the regret and how it shapes the hard decisions they have to make now. The characters were so rich and multidimensional, it was a joy watching them grow and progress throughout the story.

 

   There were many twists thrown in, and some pretty awesome battle scenes. I have to say that every time I thought I knew what was going to happen next, I was completely wrong. EVERYTIME!

This book never stopped keeping me on my toes. It was a great first book in what appears to be an incredible series. This was quite clearly only the beginning, and I can't wait to see where things go from here!

 

 

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