Author- Alexandra Bracken
Genre- YA fantasy/Greek mythology
POV- third person, past tense
Theme- revenge? Idk … maybe finding oneself, release of grief, moving on from the past, moving forward into an unknown future
Steam level- 0/5
Cover– The cover confused me, because I immediately thought Medusa, not Athena
Comps– hhhm, I’m having trouble. I could name several Greek- inspired novels set in contemporary times, such as “This Poison Heart” was the most recent and “A Touch of Darkness,” but neither of them had the same “vibe” as this. I’d consider “The Glass Sword,” possibly similar? … but then again, that’s not contemporary, so … I’m not sure.
Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.
Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.
The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.
Lore boxes at night downtown as a distraction against the grief lingering from losing a grandfather figure. She tried to hold back, but her past self still explodes through the surface and shocks the crowd. And a familiar face shows himself, someone who she assumed to be dead for years. Why has he shown up? Why now? What has kept him away for so long?
Character Development- hmmm, I was a bit bored.
Best part- fast paced action and mini cliffhangers at the end of chapters.
What I would change-
Page 174- there’s just too many players in the game to feel invested. There’s so much going on and it doesn’t feel concise at the moment. There’s too many houses, too many enemies, too many factors.
Quote- “Some people get so used to looking out at life from the edge of their cage that they stop seeing the bars.”
Setting- Contemporary in NYC
Prose- average, nothing stood out
Character goals/motivations- Lore, with her emotional wall up, initially actually reminded me of a heroine I’m writing, Kyra.
Vivid sensory descriptions- average. Nothing stood out
Dialogue- average. Miles was funny.
Diversity- Van is Black. Miles is gay. Caster had leukemia. Strength and weaknesses are purposefully shown in different ways and genders.
Ethics/morals- murder. So much killing and threats.
Pacing- fast for the first half, then slowed for me
Thoughts while reading-
I love books with “House of ___” I like to ponder which house I’d be in. Of course Gryffindor and Dawn Court. And for this book maybe, The House of Odysseus (this is guessing before starting). For my own Linked Trilogy, I’d belong to Elidi, the Mystier village of fire and flames.
Prologue- In last Greek stories, I’ve never understood the concept of gods killing gods. The entire purpose of being a god is being immortal. So … I just don’t get it. On that note… I don’t grasp the concept of why any would character seek for immortality. Why would that be anyone’s goal? Living forever sounds like torture. A gift of humanity is definite time limitations on experiences.
Page 45- good point, she needs a solid incentive to join this plan.
Page 51- do typical citizens/mortals know of this god-world to be a reality or not?
Page 66- prediction- Castor is the new Ares, in hiding. They’ll end up working together but for different goals. The last chapter was a bit overwhelming with the back story and so many god names and rules of the Hunt.
Page 98- all the alliances and betrays and politics bore me but it’s probably relevant… eh, I just don’t care
End of part 1- I love the urgency. Some conversations I flee through because I’m yelling, “you need to get out of there!” But they just kept talking so I’m flying through the lines angry that they’re not leaving lol. So far, I can’t get a great grasp on Cas’s personality. Because everything has “shifted,” and she hasn’t seen him for 7 years. So I’m not sure who he would’ve been at this age without the “shift” (trying to avoid spoilers)
Page 156- sometimes there’s long narrative between the dialogue so someone responds to a question a page later and I have to back and figure out what they are responding to
I’m becoming a little worn down that every other sentence is about death, killing … on and on. Can there be anything in the plot other than murder and surviving?
I don’t recall any Iro from earlier in the book. So the fact that Lore cares now doesn’t seem to resonate. She appeared out of thin air in the story.
So the middle felt too long. There was too much unnecessary violence.
The last chapter that seemed to be the point the gods had to learn. So, I guess there was purpose to it. But, overall I’m a little underwhelmed. The last page is a nice relieving moment, but we don’t have enough time to sink into it and appreciate that. It’s over too quickly after all that hard work.