Antigoddess by Kendare Blake: Frodo’s Review
Summary From 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.
If you’ll excuse me for just one second, there is something very important I need to do.
Alright, much better. Antigoddess, in case the outburst didn’t clue you in, is absolutely fabulous. I have loved mythology, Greek mythology in particular, since grade school, so this book and I were meant to be. However, even if you don’t have a fondness for mythology going into Antigoddess I think you’ll love it (almost) as much as I did.
Kendare Blake is a genius for putting that spin on the gods, making them seem almost human with their illnesses. It’s something that just isn’t done, making the gods, those that are immortal, incredibly powerful, and sometimes seemingly invincible against every force but themselves, die? It’s so crazy that it works. Instead of having a disconnect with this all powerful being because we have such a hard time relating to them, they become vulnerable, and all humans can relate to that feeling. What got me the most about using this tactic, is that I felt such an overwhelming sadness, seeing these gods weaken, as well as feeling outraged that they had to suffer. The emotions were intense and they drove me through the book at a pretty frantic speed. I NEEDED the gods to find a solution, a good one, something to set things right. This isn’t how it is supposed to be, fix them already! No worries, I won’t spoil what happens for you. 🙂
Ooo, and to continue my squeegasm (that’s a thing right?) can I mention how wonderful it is seeing things from Athena’s perspective? Let me break it down for you. WE GET TO SEE THINGS FROM THE VIEW OF A GODDESS! So ya, awesome. She’s fun, she can be a hard-ass a lot of the time but she isn’t without some kindness for those she really cares about. I loved her character. If this is what the “real” Athena is/was like sign me up. I wanted to give her a hug so many times in this book, especially when she doubted herself, but I’d just get my block knocked off, so probably a good thing I’m not a character in Antigoddess. ^.^
We do also get to see things from Cassandra’s point of view. While it wasn’t nearly as fun as the thrill ride with Athena, Cassandra is the linchpin of the book, we need her to be the transitional piece between human feelings and those of the gods. You can relate to her. She’s in love but it gets complicated and she doesn’t really know what to do about it, she’s got these cool powers but doesn’t really know how to utilize them or what they are for, and despite being swept up in the madness that is the gods she clings to those she cares about most, her family and friends, and the town she calls home. She just wants what is familiar. The lovey dovey feelings she had toward Aiden, her boyfriend, were a smidge over the top which felt right being she is a teenager and they (thank goodness) didn’t overwhelm the other parts of the book.
Aiden, the love interest, is pretty typical in most respects. He’s a strong, I’ll-always-be-there-for-you type boyfriend, but with secrets he keeps even from Cassandra. Luckily, he’s not perfect, he shows some flaws here and there (can’t go into detail without spoilers) that keep him from feeling fake or a stereotype/cookie-cutter model. Aiden just wants to be with Cassandra, that’s what is important to him above all else, and he’ll do anything to keep them together. It’s pretty hard not to like the guy for that alone.
There are epic battles between gods in this book. I really shouldn’t have to go more into the plot or goings on than that, but I will. ^.^ We have a human who might be a prophetess discovering her place in a world she didn’t know existed. Gods turning evil and doing everything they can to survive, at great cost to themselves and their siblings. Blake takes us on a journey where we learn more about the gods, why they are the way they are, how they connect and where their allegiances lie. The world, the cast, and the story are perfectly blended together and the writing is just as amazing as in Blake’s previous works that I loved (Anna Dressed in Blood & Girl of Nightmares) and simply put I loved Antigoddess.
This is my favorite book of the year. As much as I enjoyed some of my other reads, Antigoddess surpasses them all, it’s just the perfect mix of everything I enjoy. The character’s voices are unique, the transitions are crisp and smooth, the world is dazzling, the relationships sweet, and the action intense. I couldn’t ask for more. Loved it. Definitely one I would recommend to ANY reader.
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #136/200