Antigoddess (Goddess War #1) by Kendare Blake


“For the record I don’t believe in Fate. I believe that the pieces have been placed. The ending hasn’t been written yet.”

The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.

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.

Book Links: Amazon | Book Depository | Chapters | Goodreads

For local readers buy your copy here: National Book Store

Personal Thoughts:

Kendare Blake describes Antigoddess in her livejournal blog as “the first title of a trilogy about Greek gods and reincarnated heroes”, which reminds me of Rick Riordan’s books. And as one of the faithful reader of Rick Riordan novels about Greek mythology with a twist, I just can’t help but automatically add Antigoddess to my TBR list.

Antigoddess is the first book from Kendare Blake new series that tell a story of Greek gods and Goddess, and other mythological figures into the present day. In here, the Gods/Goddesses are mysteriously dying, and not in a pleasant or easy way. Athena, whose sacred bird is the owl, is sprouting feathers from inside her body, choking to death; Hermes, is losing so much weight that his body almost eats himself; Demeter the goddess of harvest and culture is spread wide into a leathery skin that is across a vast field of Earth; and Poseidon has been corrupted with ocean pollution. No one exactly knows what’s happening, or why the Goddess are slowly dying except that they have to find the reincarnated prophetess, Cassandra who can possibly have the answers they need. Problem is, this mission of prophet hunting actually turns Gods and Goddesses against each others. Battles are being drawn and on the opposite side are Poseidon, God of sea, and Hera, Queen of Olympus and Zeus’ wife. Between finding the way to save their lives and winning the battle against the others Gods, Athena and her team must find a way not only to save their lives but also to save the world.

Even before the revelations of Aidan’s identity, I am already trying to remember from my memory of Trojan War mythology who is Cassandra’s partner, which possibly one of the Gods. But I can only come up with one name and that is Agamemnon which is I automatically disregard because he is not a God and as far as I recall the guy has his wife whom who if I remember correctly was the one who killed him with the help of her lover, Aegisthus. Anyway, it took a while before Aidan’s real identity was revealed which I think make sense.

More than the battle of Gods and Goddess what I really like in Antigoddess is how the author challenge the most fundamental element of the Gods – immortality. Kendra Blake easily put these powerful beings to something unimaginable by possibly ending their lives for good. She easily gives an interesting premise by giving our Gods and Goddess something new and something to fear. Because putting these indestructible being into something they never even imagined happening is quite frightening to them.

Death isn’t a common topic to Gods especially if they are the subject, because they all believe that they are in fact immortal. Sometimes this makes them boastful and all-powerful. So giving them the threat of death that is final, is like giving them the chance to be more human. To see things like mortal does and to value their lives even more. A chance to tact their pride and be more forgiving, loving and appreciative.

“Haven’t I lived long enough? Shouldn’t a goddess have the grace to accept this?”

With action, mystery, love, betrayal and sacrifices, Antigoddess is an edgy and polished book that exhibit an inventive take on Greek mythology. Kendare Blake’s depictions of different Gods and Goddess will surely not forgotten by every readers of this pleasing novel.

*This review is based on a copy I received courtesy of the publisher, Hachette Children’s Books UK in exchange of honest opinion.

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