Book Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
“Please,” she said. “Just tell me what you know.”
“You can’t stop it, Athena,” Demeter said. “I see the feathers blooming under your skin. You’ll be weak. You’ll be too late.”
“But there is a way to stop it.”
“I don’t know. Not without great cost. There are tools that might help.”
“What kind of tools?” Hermes interjected, impatient as usual.
“Those that you have known before,” Demeter said. “Some of them walking are nearly as old as you are. They are threads that were cut, and then rewoven.”
Hermes turned to Athena. “What is she blathering on about?”
“Reincarnation,” Athena said thoughtfully.
“Oh,” Hermes snorted. “So we’re Buddhists now, are we?”
“What would they be good for?” Athena asked, ignoring him.
“What they were always good for,” Demeter answered. “They still are, fundamentally, what they were.”
Hermes stepped closer to the eye. He seemed to hesitate to speak to it, but in the absence of a mouth, there were few other options. “I still don’t understand,” he said awkwardly. “How will humans, even reincarnated ones, help us to stop … whatever this is?”
“You still don’t know what this is,” Demeter said.
“This is the Twilight of the gods.”
The skin shook as the goddess laughed. Pebbles bounced on her surface at the vibrations. Athena and Hermes shifted their weight uncomfortably. It was like standing on a drum.
“The Twilight of the gods,” Demeter said when the rumbling had stopped. “But not all of the gods. Some of us are the bitches of fate and will persevere.”
The gods and goddesses are reborn into our time, but are mere shadows of what they were. Athena, gone punk, is being killed by the feathers of owls, while Hermes is starving to death, Hera is turning to stone, and Aphrodite is going mad. Yet, there is hope for them all- in the form of Cassandra. Not aware of her past, only knowing that she can sometimes predict the future, Cassandra is unaware both of the forces coming towards her and her family and of the power that she wields. Once she discovers the truth, what side will she choose…or will it be chosen for her?
Antigoddess is the first in a new series by Kendare Blake, and picks up the horror and humor of her previous works in splendid detail. The gods and goddesses have fallen from their power, and need the once-shunned prophetess Cassandra in order to end the war between each other. Athena and Hermes are on one side, while Poseidon, Hera, and Aphrodite are on the other, and woe be to anyone in their way. In the search for the reborn Cassandra, readers learn how other beings from Greek mythology have survived in modern times (the descendants of Circe, for example, run an escort and psychic advisory service for the Fortune 100). Told in alternating point of views (Athena and Cassandra), readers get humor, snark, creepy, and spunk all in one. The personalities of the characters are complex and detailed, and if Blake stays true to form, will definitely expand as the series continues. The puzzles in the first book set up the rest of the series nicely, and the ending will set readers who love Antigoddess anxiously awaiting the next in the series. Creepy with some horrific battle scenes mixed in, do not give to readers who have issues with horror or gore, although absolutely satisfactory for a teen collection. Pair with Blake’s previous works for the horror aspect, or tie into CCSS when teaching high school mythology and the Trojan War. 4 out of 5 stars.
Antigoddess will be released September 10, 2013. Win an advanced reader copy now!
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
SLJ Blog Network