Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: Fantasy | Mythology | Adventure | YA
Page Length: 333
Publisher & Published Date: 13 September 2013 by Tor Teen
Synopsis: 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 finished Antigoddess in one seating, so that means it’s going to be a great review, right?
Of course. Not.
To be true, I did like some things about the book. The representation of the gods and goddesses were correct, I’ve no complaints there. However, I’ve
some a lot of problems with everything from story arc to characters to the jerky plot lines. Let start with the plot.
The plot is quite original. We’ve gods dying and going cannibal just to survive. And Olympus is in ruins. However, it was unexplained why Olympus is gone and the gods and goddesses turning into dying monsters. It was meant to keep readers coming back for more, I think. But it just confused me. I spent about half the time wondering what the hell is going on.
Speaking of gods and goddesses, there were a few missing people. I don’t see Hades anywhere, neither do I see Hecate, Hephaestus, Ares (though there were brief mentions of his name), Zeus and a bunch of other gods and goddesses. What happened to them? Were they dead or monsters or insane or all three? I assumed the rest of the bunch would be mentioned in the next book, but I don’t think I would be sticking around to find out.
On a second thought, maybe I would.
I enjoyed the second half more than the first half of the story. It was like slogging through one cubic centimeter of glue. The first chapter is all about Athena and Hermes travelling across the desert just to find Demeter’s mouth. Technically they were walking on Demeter the entire time, since Demeter is stretched out across who-knew-how-many-miles. Couldn’t one of them scream Demeter’s name? Oh, wait. Hermes did. But there wasn’t any response. She is right underneath them, isn’t she? Couldn’t she hear them?
Also, for at least 90% of the journey to Demeter’s mouth is about Athena plucking owl feathers from her lips because the owl feathers just happened to grow out of her lips and Hermes whining about exhaustion and thirst.
And BAM! Suddenly it’s switched to Cassandra partying with the love of her life Aiden (who is surprise, surprise, Apollo) and her brother Henry (who turns out to be Hector, Prince of Troy! But he has no memories of being Hector) plus Andie (who is Andromache, Hector’s wife. Or she was before she reincarnated).
After another chapter filled with boring conversations between the four friends and some information on Cassandra’s precognition abilities, we’re back to Hermes and Athena. Who were STILL walking to Demeter’s mouth. I know the gods and goddesses have been terribly weaken and were on the verge of dying but heck, they’re still god and goddesses! Couldn’t the pair walk a little faster? That would have saved 3 whole pages dedicated to them walking across the desert.
Then BAM! It’s Cassandra and her friends again. Another chapter and it’s back to Hermes and Athena who have FINALLY reach Demeter’s mouth. And it goes back and forth and back and forth. The constant switching of POVs just add to my mountain of confusion.
What I did like about Antigoddess is the romance. There wasn’t insta-love or love triangles (YAY!) but, there wasn’t much chemistry between the couples either. Everything felt forced.
Let’s take a look at couple #1: Athena and Odysseus. Athena has a fierce attraction towards Odysseus. If you know the mythology, Athena is (or was, in this story’s case) Odysseus patron goddess. So I wasn’t that all surprise to see Athena falling for Odysseus. However, Athena chose to decide to fall in love with him or not RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF WAR.
Okay, I exaggerated. Technically not in the middle of a war. Still, couldn’t Athena decide whether or not to love him at some other time (like, maybe after the war between the gods and goddesses, assuming both of them lives)?
Couple #2: Aiden (A.K.A Apollo) and Cassandra. Nothing much, except that Aiden was acting like a total jerk. He technically cheated on Cassandra by lying to her and attempting to cover up what he had done to her in the past.
And I absolutely hate characters who are like that. No one should be a coward. So you helped with the murder of Cassandra’s family and her kingdom in the past. Then, tell the reincarnated Cassandra that! There’s no point in hiding whatever you’d done to her when reincarnated Cassandra is going to remember her past sooner or later.
Speaking of characters, I personally felt that every single one of them were as flat as cardboard pieces. No depth. I couldn’t connect to any of them.
Loose ends not tied up at the end of the story. Hera and Poseidon, the antagonists in Antigoddess, have been killed. Yay, congratulations on your victory. But the ending left me more confused than ever. The gods and goddesses disease and past were unexplained, and what exactly is Athena’s goal? Was it to restore Olympus or herself back to the former glory, or just to defeat all of the insane gods and goddesses so she could finally be in peace? Or was it to find a cure to the disease/virus/infection that weakened the immortals?
Antigoddess has so much potential, but with the slow pacing, frequent switches between characters’ POVs and flat characters? The story is just average.