Wednesday 5 November 2014

Book Review - Antigoddess

Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Goddess War #1
Genres: Mythology, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 10th September 2013
Publishers: Orchard Books
No. Pages: 384
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
He was Apollo, the sun, and he'd burn down anything that tried to hurt her..

Cassandra and Aidan are just your average high-school couple. Or so Cassandra believes. Blissfully unaware that she was once a powerful prophetess, Cassandra doesn't even know that gods exist.. Until now.

Because the gods are dying - and Cassandra could hold the answer to their survival. But Aidan has a secret of his own. He is really Apollo, god of the sun, and he will do anything to protect the girl he loves from the danger that's coming for her. Even if it means war against his immortal family..

Some authors win you over with their wonderful charm and ability to create swoon worthy characters. Some authors create characters so well developed and rounded that it's hard not to enjoy their adventure with them. But some authors, like Kendare Blake, win you over with absolutely beautiful writing, partnered with the amazing, yet gruesome imagery that comes with gore, violence and general horror, and let me tell you friends, if there's anything I definitely enjoy, it's a good amount of gore, of the bloody and of the violent, and boy did Antigoddess deliver, it just didn't quite stand up my expectations.

So what let Antigoddess down? It's more of the usual really, the pacing, the timing and the world, which lately, seem to go hand in hand with one another. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to be told everything about Kincade, nor do I expect overwhelming amounts of description, but I do like to imagine where I am easily, I like to be entertained throughout and I want the plot to feel like it's travelling, not stationary and then shot up like a rocket, but that's what Antigoddess lacked. There were some deserts, there were some hills, and some forests and such, but really, nothing became vivid in my mind, nothing became what it could have been, and ultimately, this let the novel down. They weren't the only issues, but the rest come later.

But what was fantastic was the writing. Blake won me over in Anna Dressed in Blood all those months ago, her talent for writing beautifully and engaging the reader, alongside creating visions and imagery so detailed, so vivid in your mind is out of this world, and she didn't avoid using it in this novel. The detail, the utter gore but beauty of it is something I think a lot of authors struggle to produce, but in this novel, every fight scene was amazing, even bit of violence was so fantastic and even the description of the characters themselves was detailed beyond belief - they were as real to me as I am, they stood in their clothes as human or godlike as can be, and Blake pulled me into their world so brilliantly it's insane. With her writing came beautiful scenes, both romantic and dramatic, but fantastic in their own right, and really, it's difficult to do this part of the novel justice. I've seen very few novels written the way Blake does it, and it's absolutely enthralling and mesmorising.

What was hit and miss on occasion was the characters in Antigoddess. Cassandra was a little, I'd say flat and 2D until we reached the end of the novel and she came out of herself and developed beyond belief which really impressed me, but as one of the two main perspectives in the novel, she wasn't the easiest to relate to, but in comparison, Athena was so easily relatable and I found this so surprising. How many authors can manage to make a goddess feel like a friend, someone you could spend time with, and understand, and support and stand by? Very few, but Blake managed it - I was with Athena, I understood her anger, her emotions, her feelings and her actions and I understood her grief and reminiscing and boy was she a brilliant perspective. She brought to the table a delicate vase with an explosion inside, she brought a rough looking young girl with thousands of years of history on her shoulders, many years of pain and suffering at her hand, and wow, was I won over. The other characters, some gods, some immortal beings, some normal humans unaware of their past, they each brought something to the table and I found this wonderful; Hermes was a great side character to Athena, he brought her stability, laughter and a light feel to most problems, but Hermes relationship with Apollo was also wonderful to see, he's definitely a character I'm fond of, but equally, I enjoyed Odysseus and Athena's relationship, they admiration, their fondness, their, well emotional connection, it was really quite wonderful to see and wow, have I taken a comfy seat on that ship, the tension, the passion *fans self*, and even Andie and Henry were wonderful additions to the story, bringing their own personalities, characters and strength to story. Even the antagonists were fantastic characters with development and I have to say, it's painful, but until the end, with the very cruel ending, Cassandra never really had much of anything for me to connect to and was sadly, my least favourite, which in the end, hindered some of the enjoyment levels throughout, but her final development was worth the wait.

Antigoddess was a really great, entertaining first installment to what seems to me, to be an exciting series that I can't wait to continue. I want to know how the ending of this novel will impact Cassandra's character, because it definitely will, and I want to see how Athena and Cassandra will work together to balance out their anger and their grief. I'm desperate for some more Athena and Odysseus, but most all, I really want more of Blakes writing. Sometimes, when you've read different takes on myths, you can get lost in who is who, the good and the bad, the positive sides and the negatives, but Antigoddess takes everything you knew about the myths and turns them, using the past and present to shape characters we already know into characters we can grow to love, and throws in some fantastic twists too. I adore the writing and the vivid scenes Blake gave me, and I loved the characters Blake created, I'm just hoping that with some work on the world and the pacing, Mortal Gods might just be better than this was, and there's room for that.


  1. I've always thought about giving Blake a try but never knew if I should go with this one or Anna. I was leaning more towards Antigoddess, just because I liked the mythology but seeing as you enjoyed Anna a tad more, I may go down that track instead. I'm not fussed with the story--I just want to sample of this beautiful writing. Plus, I don't think I could stand a protagonist that spends most of the book as a 2D character. Fantastic review, Amanda! x

  2. Antigoddess is one of my favourite reads of this year.Kendare Blake's writing is simply amazing.I was completely swept away by her narrative.
    I was a bit disappointed with Cassandra too, but Athena was awesome enough to cover up the flaws of Cassandra.I've always loved Greek Mythology, but Athena has never been a favourite of mine.So I was completely surprised by how much I loved her character-or rather Blake's interpretation of her.I loved her attitude and personality.
    That ending was really cruel! From the experience I had from reading Anna Dressed in Blood, I know I am up for a shocking ending, but I didn't expect this.I am dying to read Mortal Gods,I hope I'll manage to get a copy soon.

    Mishma @ As the page turns

    1. Blake definitely has a way with words doesn't she? One to look out for for sure.
      Athena and Medusa have always been the interesting figure heads in mythology to me as they don't get a lot of notice, so to have Athena really be such a strong character really helped this novel along me thinks. I'm excited for Mortal Gods :)

  3. I kiiiiind of want to try this. I couldn't read Anna because I thought it was WAY too weirdly similar to Supernatural (I'm just weirdly loyal to my favourite tv show of ever, I don't know...I'm strange, okay?!!) This worries me that Cassandra was flat. Bleh. I hate flat characters. They just bore me half to tears. SO. I do want to try this one, but I don't think it's near the to of the endless tbr right now. I wonder if my library has it though...*dashes off to check*

    1. When one of two main perspectives is a little flat, it can bring the book down, but I somehow think that you would enjoy the mythology aspects and Athena, and maybe even the gruesome moments too, could be quite enjoyable? Worth a shot :)

  4. YES. I just bought this off of (this site a seriously bookaholics' heaven by the way). Can't wait to start it! I have never read Blake's Anna series but I have heard so much about her beautiful writing. Glad to see that she continued her style in ANTIGODESS as well :D The thing that really draws me in for this book is the Greek Mythology aspect. I'm frankly way more interested in Athena's POV than Cassandra's perspective, so I guess I will try not let Cassandra's flatness distract me too much ;)

    Angel @ Spare Reads

    1. Her writing definitely is constant throughout her work, I really really hope you enjoy it Angel! It's really quite the read ;)


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