Sunday, December 15, 2013

When Gods Get Murderous

The Greek Gods and Goddesses have been portrayed in many different ways in young adult literature lately. From the usually humorous and typically oblivious gods in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, to the modern spin in Meg Cabot's Underworld series, we have seen all sorts of interpretations. But Kendare Blake's Goddess War series has to be the start of the most brutal and bloody of all all the recent mythology based stories. In Antigoddess, you get a new perspective that might just turn your stomach!

The Gods are immortal. They might not be the most popular anymore, but at least they have immortality. Or so they thought... Athena, goddess of wisdom, is being consumed by the feathers of the very owls who serve her. Feathers are sprouting inside her, slowly consuming every bit of her. Soon, they will take her the same way they took Demeter, who was slowly consumed by the earth. Before Demeter died, however, she told Athena and Hermes (who is wasting away) that Cassandra, the oracle, is the key to finding a way to stop their inevitable deaths. With the greater gods like Poseidon being led by crazy Hera to find Athena and the other lesser gods and hunt them down, Athena and Hermes don't have much time before they finally meet their fate. 

Cassandra is a normal girl. If you don't count the fact that she can see into the future, of course! Luckily, her boyfriend Aiden is not only supportive and loving, he knows about the visions and doesn't think she is a freak. But Cassandra's life isn't going to be uncomplicated for long. The gods seem to think she is the key in the upcoming war for survival, and in the process, everything she knows will be upended. 

I knew Kendare Blake didn't mess around after I read Anna Dressed in Blood, but this book was pretty gruesome at times! I was a little surprised! Blake doesn't hold anything back for this one, she just lets it all fly! I don't particularly agree with censoring the books of teens, but I know some people are sensitive to violence, so you might not want to give this book to anyone who can't handle the gore factor. If you don't believe me, just read the first description of Athena's feathers poking through the roof of her mouth, and you will know what I mean. Basically, this is not for your typical Percy Jackson crowd. This is a story for a much older crowd who seeks a pretty dark tale to be spun!

As for the characters, both new and revised, I actually really liked them! I thought they were a fresh new twist on very old tales and characters that made me want to continue with the story. It was certainly action-packed, and the descriptions are masterful. I mean, the description of Demeter, or Poseidon and his madness? Definitely gave me the creeps. Yuck! So if you need a dark, twisted tale or you know someone who likes that kind of story, this is your book. But please don't pass this story onto your 11 year old nephew who loved Percy Jackson. This isn't the next step from there!

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