Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Title: Antigoddess (Goddess War #1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication date: September 10th 2013
Source: Received from publisher (Thanks so much, Alexis!)
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)


Anything by Kendare Blake is an insta-read for me, as soon as I get a copy of her book, I immediately drop whatever I am doing and read; and I was exactly that way with Antigoddess too. When I heard that Kendare Blake was going to write a Greek mythology novel, I was more than excited. I knew that she was going to put in her own wicked and gory twist to the story because that's what she does best, creep and scare the ever loving soul out of any reader and this book was not any different. It had its share of funny albeit dry humor, really creepy and disturbing parts, and Kendare Blake's signature spook.

I have to say that while pretty much most of the book was friggin' amazing, there were still some down parts to this. I'll start with those just to get them out of the way. While I really enjoyed the parts written in Athena's point of view, Cassandra's parts fell flat for me. Cassandra is basically the modern and reincarnated version of Cassandra of Troy, the one Apollo fell in love with and who he cursed with visions of the future (and no one would believe her if she told them) because she denied him. So the Cassandra now doesn't know anything that happened to her before so she uses her "ability" like any teen would, to make money. But that was only really a little bit of her story, things get pretty dramatic as you read on. Right from the beginning, I was already in love with Aiden, Cassandra's boyfriend. He was sweet, attentive, handsome and definitely hiding something. If you're good at catching onto things, you'll figure out who he is about two (or less) into the book (in Cassandra's POV). The rest of her part was her worrying about her future, figuring things out in her life and average teen drama. And that was what kind of disappointed me the most, Cassandra's story felt very bland and there wasn't really any excitement there (except the mystery of who Aiden is) and whatever excitement does happen, occurs in the later part of the book. Cassandra just felt too normal for me, to be honest and I expected her to be a bit more... interesting.

Now, onto the good bits. Like I previously said, I really enjoyed Athena's POV, I mean, really, really enjoyed her parts. Unlike Cassandra, Athena is not a reincarnate, she is the legit Athena of the old Greek times, except now she's decked out in combat boots, fishnets stocking and sporting a rockin' streak. So yeah, she's a total badass. You'll immediately find out that the gods are currently dying, like, dying dying (so they aren't immortals after all) and their ways of perishing is more than a little disgusting. How, you ask? Well, I don't want to spoil anything but I'll tell you how Athena and Hermes are passing on since they're the prominent characters in the book: Athena is releasing feathers from parts of her body, meaning she finds and feels feathers everywhere. Don't think it's that bad? Well, she found one inside the roof of her mouth and it was definitely a b*tch to pull off, skin, blood and just grossness. Hermes is dying in such a way that his body is eating itself, he no longer has the energy nor the nutrients to properly sustain himself, it's quite sad really. Trust me, theirs are not the worst ones. Yup. (By the way, their deaths are sort of related to who they are. Athena is dying via the feathers because her animal is the owl and Hermes is dying through organ/body failure because he's the god of medicine or something like that, but you get the idea, right?)

The book is centered on the gods finding a way to "cure" themselves of their respective illnesses (by the way, Zeus isn't here because he's all "Que sera, sera, bro."). Now here's where things get kinda icky, the two gods aren't the only ones trying to find a way to save themselves, the rest of the gods are too. And they are a force to be reckoned with. Hera, and I won't mention who else, is over at the blue corner and pretty much wins the "Scary-as-Hell" award, that woman is craaaay. But not all the gods are on her side and those who aren't, their encounters with Athena and Hermes were both enlightening and heartbreaking. Seeing those gods reduced to such vulnerability broke my heart, they were deities who were praised, worshipped and believed to be omnipotent but now... they're that. Ouch.

If there's one thing I know about Kendare Blake, it's that she gives great sexual frustration (helloooo, Anna?). Between who, you ask? Well, I don't know if you're familiar with Odyseuss a former Greek king, long, long ago who was reincarnated into Odyseuss, still. (Are you sensing a pattern here? And I'm sure you're wondering, how does Odyseuss remember who he is and Cassandra doesn't? Read the book, the answer you seek is there.) Odyseuss, from before, was strong, wise, married and favored by Athena and guess what? He still is (favored by Athena, not married)! Honestly, I just wanted to grab both Odyseuss and Athena's heads and push them together just so they'd kiss but it obviously wasn't like that... even though it really was. Athena is still a goddess and he is just one of her people, even if he is favored by her but seriously? Poor fellow. The two clearly cared for each other and wanted more but I guess getting all loved up wasn't a part of their plans since they were still being chased by crazy gods... Oh, right.

Antigoddess is a brilliant book, really. It's the most unique and interesting interpretation of the Greek mythology I have read so far so kudos to you, Kendare! Sure it had its ups and downs (very, very few downs) but I still thought it was a very successful and amazing novel. I don't even want to talk about what happens at the latter, latter part of the book lest I cry but trust me when I say: book hangover. You're welcome. But seriously speaking, you need to read this book because if you haven't yet, you are seriously missing out. And if you're a fan of Kendare Blake Anna series, it's time to let go and try her new book/s because they're really worth it. So yeah, enjoy! I look forward to reading more of Kendare's books!



  1. I loveeeed your review! This one is on my TBR - literally my shelf for the TBR pile. I've been meaning to get my hands on this one since last year but I can't seem to find the time for it. But right now you're making me want to stop the current book that I'm reading and go read Antigoddess instead. I'm excited for Odyseuss and Athena and Aiden. Kendare Blake is an amazing author and I'm sure this book is worth reading. Thanks for the great review!

    Precious @ Fragments of Life

    1. Eeep. Thanks, Precious! Kendare Blake is definitely something special, you can never go wrong reading her books. Antigoddess is one of the very best Greek myth books I have evr read and trust me, you'll love it too. Just so amazing, seriously.