I really do love Greek mythology. And when YA gets it right (which is rarely) I’m in a happy mood.
This book made me pretty happy.
And while I’m going to talk about the book (obviously) in this review. I think the best way to explain what I like about it is what usually goes wrong in these retellings.
I think the first thing that was in favor of Antigoddess was its synopsis. The gist is that the Greek gods are dying. There’s nothing about insta love, forbidden love, or any of that nonsense in the summary (though there is some romance), there’s an actual action oriented plot. And it involves something pretty big.
Another thing in this books favor is that it’s not a straight up retelling.
While some retellings have been decent, a lot of them have been meh. That calls for both literal and loose interpretations of myths. Notably the Persephone myth. God, there are tons of bad and so so Persephone retellings out there in the genre right now.
Honestly, I probably gave Blake extra points for killing that sucker off right away.
That being said, it wasn’t just the fact that this book parted from the usual cliches that made it enjoyable.
The writing itself for the most part was engaging. Sure, there were some parts that confused me a little bit but for the most part I could not put this book down. I will admit though, that I was more engaged with the Athena parts of the story than the Cassandra parts.
It wasn’t that Cassandra was a bad character, she was just…well, boring compared to Athena. And while I did enjoy her relationship with Aidan in the beginning I was slightly groaning. Though I do give props for Blake for putting them in an established relationship. I think that saved the book from suffering from insta love.
Overall, the romantic elements-which were ore or less a very small subplot-were handled appropriately. I liked how the gods stayed in their characters. In many of these Greek retellings the gods are bizarrely not themselves, Cupidity and The Goddess Test. Here though, the characters still fit their origins though they’ve been modernized.
The fates the gods suffer are all bizarre and grotesque. Some might find this factor to be a reason not to read this book. Personally, the book being a little macabre didn’t bother me so much. I think mainly because it wasn’t the focus so much of the book. Sure, we’re told that Athena is being suffocated by feathers, Hermes is slowly wasting away, and Hera is turning into stone. But when reading the novel those weren’t the things I was focused on. Instead I focused on the characters, their interactions, their struggle to survive.
I also enjoyed how elements from the Trojan War were used here. While it was not a direct retelling, Troy is apart of these characters history both the gods and the reincarnations of Greek and Trojan heros. There were consequences for actions in the past and I liked that. It wasn’t like Starcrossed where the various dignities and gods were either glamorized or demonized. Blake’s approach was much more realistic.
I also liked how the book ended. It made me cry and want the next one. Which is rare in YA-the wanting to read the next one thing. To be honest I’m a little burnt with series and waiting. But I’m actually excited about reading the next one.
Overall: Eight out of ten goddess. A pretty decent start to hopefully what will be a pretty kick ass series.