PJV Quickie: As a fan of Kendare Blake and her sick writing ability I was thrilled to get my hands on the young adult paranormal novel ANTIGODDESS, even the title seems twisted. I wasn’t disappointed. Blake wove a crazy and complex story that was nice and dark just like I like it and she didn’t bend and stuff it with young adult tropes just to pump sales, which made me ecstatic! I can not wait for more from this series.
Review: ANTIGODDESS is from several view points in 3rd person. At first we are in a more broad view point, following Athena and Hermes as they trek through the dessert in search of answers. They are both dying, Athena is sprouting features from inside her body, Hermes is wasting away to nothing. They are gods, once powerful, now almost mortal on the verge of death. Then the scene shifts and we are plunged within the normal young adult scene, a high school, a girl named Cassandra, a boy that loves her, Aiden and their friend Andie. And so the story goes until they finally converge, when the ethereal meets the young adult reality and both find out they are more intwined then the want to be.
It was a good mix, the merging of the two realities, it was like both a young adult book, mixed with an adult fantasy novel. Rather odd as it sounds it worked for me. There were some points where Blake had to reinforce her age range, placing lines in there that hinted at how young Hermes and Athena looked, even though they’re existence was in the millennia. Other then that, it just sort of hovered in the mature young adult range, with a very complex plot. I do believe, though, because of this some readers might get confused. Because while the voice was decidedly young adult, with the quick yet complex plot, the broad POVs that read more adult and some mature/horrific scenes it doesn’t seem to be a novel mean for young adults. Blake also didn’t cement it with the usual romantic tropes, there were only hints…so I can see where some readers might feel that it is too different. Me, I’m totally like bring it on.
The characters were great representations of the Greek pantheon too, I’m always a huge fan of anything mythological and I studied Ancient Greece in college, so I love seeing some of my favorite historical characters come to life in novels. I actually have never been a fan of Athena, mainly because of the story of the Trojan war and how it all began with such pettiness and silliness for supposed goddesses. But, Blake painted a modern dying goddess in her portrayal of Athena and it really worked. She had to make the character waver between the goddess she used to be and the weak, dying creature that she had become. I thought this was the best part of the novel, because it rang true. I felt the storyline that followed Athena and Odysseus was superb and I could have just read their story and been satisfied.
The more YA themed storyline was the tale of Cassandra, reincarnation of Cassandra of Troy. She was the doomed prophetess, beloved of Apollo, who angered the god and then was cursed. Her curse was to see the future, yet to have no one believe her, thus laughed at when she predicted the fall of Troy. Her gift is more benign in her reincarnated form, she generally gets glances of the future and can predict “heads or tales” but nothing more. Blake did something different with this story, she had an established love connection with Aidan and Cassandra. They were both already in love when the story starts, so there was really no “falling in love” to get the romance junkee’s hearts atwitter. Aidan was a great character also, and you could really tell that they had an established connection. I enjoyed reading about the couple, but I did like Athena’s story more. I think it had more to do with the fact that Cassandra and Aidan’s story was more predictable (to say more would give out spoilers).
Overall, a good book and a series I look forward to following. Especially since the ending was an insane trip and a crazy surprise. I actually began thinking that this was a stand-alone before I reached the epilogue. It was full of that “wow” factor that could have just wrapped everything up. Fortunately though, there is more to read.
Recommended for fans of mythology based fantasy, young adult fantasy and your novels on the darker edge of fiction. There are mature themes, some sexual interaction and cursing that might be inappropriate for younger teens.
If you like this novel, try out Kendare Blakes ANNA series! You’ll love it. Also, Jospehine Angelinni’s mythological fantasy series that starts with STARCROSSED:
Note: This book releases on September 10, 2013, I usually wouldn’t review it until August, but am required by Amazon Vine to review within 30 days.