Sunday, 6 October 2013

Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
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.

Title: Antigoddess
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Goddess War #1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: September 10th 2013

Rating: 4 of 5 stars


Everything born must die.

From the second I heard about Antigoddess, I was excited. Like many others, I LOVE Greek mythology and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this. I have always thought the Trojan War to be very interesting and I loved reading snippets of it through Athena's eyes.

On the back of my copy it says "Not for younger readers", and I wondered why. Well, now I know. Blake is a master in creating that suspenseful feeling that can keep you up through the night. She has a real feel for writing horror stories and make you uncomfortable, even when there isn't anything creepy happening. She also doesn't shy away from writing gross and detailed descriptions of injuries or monsters. She also tortures her characters. Especially eye injuries make me shudder (I can just feel it somehow when someone describes being stabbed in the eye or something, and it makes me a bit whole lot uncomfortable), and of course Blake doesn't shy away from describing those either. And at unexpected moments. I basically sat there and went 'EW'. And the ways in which the gods were dying! Harsh, creepy and so imaginative. I mean, Athena is being sliced up from the inside by owl feathers. Hermes' flesh is eating itself away. That's awful and awesome.

The characters in this book were amazing. Blake captured the character of Athena so well and I absolutely loved reading about a goddess. She starts out all though and a little bit heartless, but she changed gradually over the course of the novel. the character development was so believable and well done, I would like to applaud Kendare Blake. The change in Athena is very silent and slow, and you don't really realize how much she's changed until she realized it herself. She's also a very strong character, and she's the one running the show in Team Athena, that at first started with just her and Hermes, but grew bigger over time. Even though she had to make a few tough decisions and started wearing out, she never backed down from her responsibilities. Speaking of: Blake really lets the women be the rulers in this novel. On both sides of the war, it's the women who make the decisions, who stand up for themselves, who are a key element in winning or losing. I'm very glad she did this, because women in books are all too often weak and whiny creatures, waiting for the men to come and save them.

There are two romances in this book: between Cassandra and Aidan and between Athena and ~somebody~ (I consider their romance as a bit of a spoiler, so... not telling who). I had completely different feelings about them.
Cassandra and Aidan: I didn't like their romance. It's not that he was a jerk, or that it was co-dependent, or anything. It's a completely fine and healthy relationship... except that I didn't feel any chemistry. I simply didn't care about the romance. I didn't mind it, I just didn't believe in it. And since one plot point is a bit based on their romance, I didn't really believe that either. When people went "you really love her. I can see it," I just felt like:

Athena and ~somebody~: Oooh, I liked their romance WAY better. They have the chemistry, the tension, giving me that breathtaking desire to have them kiss already. Oh yes, baby. Give me MORE of this romance. It took a backseat to the plot, which is a good thing, but that also meant I wasn't satisfied: I wanted more! That's totally positive, however, and I hope we get to see more of it in book two, Aristeia.

While the pace of the novel didn't bother me at all, I know it will bother other people. Other people have said that this felt like a really long prologue to a series, and I have to agree with them. I still kept flipping the pages like crazy, and for me, enough was going on. Other people might have a bit of a problem with it, though. However, the prologue-like feeling doesn't mean that there isn't a plot. There is. All throughout the novel I felt the urgency of the race to find Cassandra, and the gods on the other side of the war constantly following, either one step behind or ahead. The book has an explosive ending with lots of blood, gore and monsters. Or in other words: an awesome ending. There are still a couple of unanswered questions (and those are of course the questions I want the answer to like burning), but hey, this is a series, so I expect they will be answered somewhere along the way.

In all, I really liked this novel. I loved the way Blake handled the characters of the gods and the imaginative ways in which they were dying. Especially Athena shone as a character, and her development felt incredibly realistic. Her romance with somebody had me squealing! I didn't really cared for the romance between Cassandra and Aidan, though. If you like Greek mythology and a suspenseful feeling (and don't mind a slightly slow pace), this is definitely the book for you!


  1. Ooh I'm glad that this worked out for you on whole! I loved Kendare's Anna series and cannot wait to start this one.

    Lovely review, hun! <33

    1. I actually haven't read the Anna series yet, but I definitely will. Hurry up and read it already, I want to discuss :D

      Thank you!


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