Thank you Tor for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The Short Summary:
The gods are dying, and in an attempt to save themselves, have made alliances and now form two sides. But the key to a win is a prophetess. Someone who doesn’t even know that gods exist.
The Summary (via 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.
I went into this books with a lot of expectations. Because Anna Dressed in Blood was so brilliant, I expected this one to be no less, especially since the plot was so intriguing. Dying gods? That’s a first, keeping in mind that they are dying in weird ways, sprouting feathers, becoming monsters and so on.
You’ve probably seen the star rating above, but let me say it. BLAKE HAS DONE IT AGAIN.
From the story, to the writing style, to the characterization, everything is absolutely spot on. I love the way Kendare Blake is able to switch moods from humor to grim and back so effortlessly. There were moments in this book that had me smirking, laughing and others had me feeling incredibly sick.
I don’t know if it’s the way she writes or my weird imagination, but I could actually feel feathers inside my mouth and elsewhere:
“The feathers were starting to be a nuisance. There was one in her mouth, tickling the back of her throat. She chewed at it as she walked, grabbed it with her molars and pulled it loose. Warm, copper-penny blood flooded over her tongue. There were others too, sprouting up inside of her like a strange cancer, worming their way through her innards and muscle.”
Even if the reader has little knowledge of mythology, the story wouldn’t be difficult to follow. Since I had studied Greek mythology in my last semester, the family tree of the gods was still fresh in my mind. But even if it hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have had a problem following the character relations.
Antigoddess has taken these gods of ancient times and placed them in a modern setting. They are facing death, and they will do anything to stop it. At the story’s center is Athena, the virgin goddess of war and strategy and with her is Hermes, the light-footed Messenger/god of thieves. Together they go on a search to look for the prophetess who will be their weapon and will help overcome death and the bitch supreme, Hera.
Athena was never my favorite goddess, but Blake’s Athena, though rough on the edges, is someone you’ll grow to love. Hera, on the other hand, is a firm believer in ‘once a bitch, always a bitch.’ You’ll hate her at the very first instance when she enters the scene.
All the characters are well developed and believable. They all have their faults and reasons to be loved too. Hats off to Kendare for making me see some of the gods in a new light without really deviating from the hard facts.
Since this was Book 1 of a series, I knew something would go terribly wrong in the end. And I was right. The ending is a sucker-punch, but it’s the kind that has you wanting more.
If you have even the slightest interest in mythology, you should read this book. It may be a bit slow-paced, but that’s for a reason, it helps you understand all the characters and their motives.
Blake has a knack for witty dialogues and they make for an interesting read when combined with such a solid plot-line. I loved every moment of this book, and wasn’t bored for a second.