Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: Antigoddess (The Goddess War, #1)


Antigoddess (Goddess War, #1)Author: Kendare Blake
Series: The Goddess War, #1
Released: September 10th 2013
Publisher: Orhcard Books
Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

The acclaimed author of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD returns with an incredible story about ancient gods, modern love and an epic fight for survival
He was Apollo, the sun, and he'd burn down anything that tried to hurt her... Cassandra and Aidan are just your average high-school couple. Or so Cassandra believes. Blissfully unaware that she was once a powerful prophetess, Cassandra doesn't even know thats god exist... Until now.
Because the gods are dying - and Cassandra could hold the answer to their survival. But Aidan has a secret of his own. He is really Apollo, god of the sun, and he will do anything to protect the girl he loves from the danger that's coming for her. Even if it means war against his immortal family...
Sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; relentless action and suspense - ANTIGODDESS is the YA novel you've been waiting for.

I wish every book could be described using the words dark and twisted, that would make me ridiculously happy. However, since I clearly can’t have that, at least there are some that fit the description, and when they come my way, I am seriously overjoyed. Antigoddess is one of those books. With characters like Athena, Hermes, Apollo, Poseidon and the cursed prophetess Cassandra of Troy, what could possibly go wrong?

Very little, as it turns out. Blake’s version of the Greek gods is very modern. Olympus is no more and they’ve been living among us for so long that they resemble us in every way. But Blake still found a way to give a touch of the ancient to her novel by incorporating well known stories from the Greek mythology, mostly through Athena’s reminiscence. . While I found some of these stories wholly unnecessary, and even slightly burdensome, others like The Judgement of Paris were told in such a way that helped me understand these ageless characters just a little better.

There is a war brewing between the gods. They are dying, every single one of them, and in their fear and their panic, they’re doing what they do best, turning on one another, going up against each other for the last remnants of power. Poseidon, Aphrodite and Hera, crazed and diseased, plot against the others. Athena and Hermes on the other side are weak and practically powerless, with nothing but their wisdom and several reluctant allies to help them through the war.

While his brothers and sisters are fighting amongst themselves, Apollo is busy atoning for his past sins. He has his own priorities and his own obsessions, and he wishes not to be found, as impossible as that may be.

Those of you who are familiar with Kendare Blake’s previous work know how talented she is in creating vivid imagery that is equal parts fascinating and disgusting. While Antigoddess cannot be compared to Anna Dressed in Blood in that regard (nothing really can), it still left me with some images I’m not likely to forget.

The red warning on the cover that Antigoddess isn’t for younger readers drew my attention right away, and while I’m not quite ready to agree with that limitation (it sounds very patronizing), I have to agree that the amount of violence Blake describes is pretty unusual for YA, as is her matter-of-fact approach to it. But Kendare Blake isn’t one to allow her intended audience to limit her in any way, and I’m generally fond of authors who don’t treat teens with kid gloves.

Antigoddess isn’t without problems, that much is clear, but it is still a well-rounded, skillfully told novel, and undoubtedly worthy of your time.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.

28 comments:

  1. I have this one maybe next on my to-read list. I'm happy to hear that the whole story with Greek gods wasn't disappointing. Only I'm afraid I'm expecting something too similar to Anna's story and I'll hardly get that. So I need to keep my expectations low. Glad you enjoyed this one. Great review Maja :)

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  2. Can you believe I still haven't read ANYTHING by this author? It's ridiculous! I love the sound of this series a lot more than Anna Dressed in Blood, but I'm going to check that out first before returning to this. I'm so glad that despite the flaws, this one stood out to you. After all, how could dark Greek mythology not, right? Lovely review, Maja!

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  3. I have all of Kendare's books sitting in my bedroom, but I haven't read any of them. I am hoping to read this one first- I love Greek Mythology so I hope I'll love it more than you did.

    Great review, Maja! <33

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  4. Ooh nice review!! Cannot wait to read this one! I have it, yet I find myself reading other books I've had for too long...or somewhat too long since there's still some that I've had for years and have yet to read!

    Loved the Anna duology and cannot wait to try out her new series! Glad it was a worthy read! Once again, nice review!

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  5. "vivid imagery that is equal parts fascinating and disgusting" YES!! That's how I felt reading this book! I actually had to put it down several times because of Artemis and the feathers. Dark story, but I kind of expected that.

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  6. Dark, twisted, violent? Images you won't forget..eep. Is it sick that this intrigues me? LOL I haven't read Anna yet, although it is on my Nook. You have me curious my friend!

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  7. This was one of the top books I wanted to snag at BEA this year, and while did manage to get a copy, the reviews immediately following BEA were all fairly mixed so I was a bit bummed. Your review though has me excited again Maja even if you gave it a middle rating, I just adore Greek mythology so much and I do love a dark and twisted story. Surprisingly enough, for as much as I fear gore in books, I didn't mind Anna Dressed in Blood so maybe just the way Kendare writes it works for me:) Can't wait to give this a try, stunning review!

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  8. Alright I seriously want to read this one now! You had me at "dark" and "twisted"!

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  9. I'm really curious as to how Blake reworks the Greek Mythology to her favor. It really sounds like re-inventing the Trojan War. I can't wait to read this one!

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  10. When I first saw this book I didn't really think that it would be for me, I'm all for Greek mythology, but this book didn't really stand out for me, but I'm glad that you decided to give it a go and found it to be worthy of your time. I've heard great things about Kendare Blake, so look forward to diving into her books soon! Great review!

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  11. I was very excited for this book - still am - but when I tried reading it a while back (shortly after BEA), I found myself unable to connect with it. I guess maybe it was just a bad time for me to try and read anything (pregnancy sickness was at its worse). I do want to read it tho, cause there's nothing I love more than books that can be described as dark and twisted. And there aren't enough of them in the YA for sure. I'm glad you enjoyed it, despite the issues you had with it :) Thanks for an honest review!

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  12. I have to wonder if I'm starting to become desensitized to gore and violence in books now, as I didn't even notice it here! I think I ended up giving this one a similar rating. It wasn't as great as Anna for me - I didn't connect with the characters nearly as much - but it was a fairly good overall. I'll probably forget the details by the time the sequel is released, though. Lovely review, Maja!

    P.S. I can't WAIT to see what you have to say about Tempt the Stars! The ending of Hunt the Moon has been fresh in my mind since 2011.

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  13. Glad to hear that even through the problems it was a well rounded and well told sotry

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  14. I haven't read Anna Dressed in Blood yet, though I do want too. I'm glad to hear this was another good one, even if it did have some issues. I think I'd enjoy it!!

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  15. I was debating whether I wanted to read this book or not because to be honest, I didn't see the allure of Anna Dressed in Blood except for the violent gory scenes which were well-described, according to me. I do enjoy Greek Mythology in books as you know, but I'm still unsure about this one.
    It does seem that it's got a few issues, but I guess I'll just borrow it from a library.
    Great honest review, Maja!

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  16. I was so excited for this one and then when I got around to finally picking it up I just couldn't get into it. Makes me sad because I was a huge fan of the Anna books. But maybe the mythology just doesn't work for me. Happy you had better luck with this one than I did, Maja!

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  17. I really liked this take on Greek gods, cause I like how Kendare Blake weaves the already known threads of myth and bring up the myths in a new light. Great review!

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  18. I don't mind a good amount of violence :D And 'dark' & 'twisted' sounds right up my alley, haha. I haven't read any book from this author yet, but I'm very interested and I hope to read something from her soon.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  19. I didn't hear about the warning for younger kids... which is very interesting. I recently read Waking Dark and that is INCREDIBLY violent but I never saw a sticker stuck to that one. Now I'm even more intrigued about reading this one! Considering it's incomparable to Anna is expected but I'm glad you still enjoyed this one. Fabulous review!

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  20. I'm so excited to get my hands on this book, it has all the elements I love. Dark and twisted, with vivid imagery-Yes Please. Glad you enjoyed Antigoddess and fabulous review Maja!

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  21. Honestly Gods and I am in, I do not need much more than that

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  22. Ooh I have this one on my nightstand, can't wait to read it. I agree, Kendare has a way of leaving you with unforgettable images. Looking forward to seeing what she has in store for me. And LOVE this --> "I’m generally fond of authors who don’t treat teens with kid gloves." Couldn't agree more! Wonderful review :-)

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  23. Warning sticker? Who pays attention to those anyway, they are more like an invitation to read me. I just started this last night since I am featuring it next week for Wicked and so far it is incredibly different, I mean the whole feather thing is bizarre! I keep hoping she will return to her Anna Dressed in Blood form, as I thought Girl of Nightmares didn't quite measure up, and this one doesn't sound like it does either, but I am still planning on an entertaining read!

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  24. Oh give me even the unnecessary stories retold with a fresh eye and I'm there! I enjoy that kind of creativity as well as the old Greek stories. Oh I've wanted this one and now I KNOW I want to read this one. Maja, you are evil as I now MUST READ this book. I also think I may not have as much problems with the limitations (I hope) now that I've been warned. I may still have those same problems, but I'm happy that you still enjoyed the book so I'm satisfied with that. :)

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  25. Anna Dressed in Blood was pretty gory and graphic, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. This, however, sounds much more up my alley. I love Greek mythology and I'm interested to see how Blake has modernized the stories and gods. I feel like the synopsis you have here is different than the one I've read for other reviews. Like this makes the focus seem more on Cassandra and Apollo, whereas I feel like another synopsis was more on Athena and Hermes? Maybe I'm going crazy here, but what I ultimately wanted to say is that this synopsis makes the story sound even more exciting.

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  26. The age warning is very interesting but I guess that is just Blake's style, especially with the violence in her other series, which I really enjoyed. In any case, this one sounds pretty good although I had no idea she did such a modern take on mythology. Nice review!

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  27. Oh, I loved this book so much! This was my first Kendare Blake read and I was a fan of her world building and beautiful writing. I did love the extra stories from Athena's view because they made the mythology whole in a way. I haven't read Anna Dressed in Blood, but I've heard amazing things about it, and now you mentioning that that was better than Antigoddess, damn! I have to buy a copy soon! Plus, Halloween's coming, so this could be my horror read!

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  28. I must seriously be desensitized to violence because I had to think back about why it would have gotten a rating! I've actually never seen one on a book. Does it actually have a warning right on the cover? Interesting. Anyway, I think this is a really great beginning and I cannot wait to see where Blake takes her story next. Some things in here really shocked me! I am always a sucker for Greek god stories and I love the way Blake put them in the present day, and challenged their immortal changelessness.

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