What do you think?
Rate this book
352 pages, Paperback
First published September 10, 2013
“You spread the word well,” Cassandra said, watching forty to fifty of their classmates mill around the three fire pits in the park. “Almost as well as if the word was ‘legs’.”The plot was really, really confusing initially. It started off slowly, and never really picked up...it actually felt a lot like The Odyssey because they were just meandering all over the fucking place, seemingly without a purpose. The narrative is split into different parts, among several different characters. At the beginning, we are follow the duo of Athena and Hermes wandering around the desert, with Athena picking feathers out of her mouth (what the fuck?!). Hermes is wasting away, looking like a teenaged anorexic. They walk into Demeter (literally) because she is the desert floor. The beginning just felt like a really confusing, surreal dream.
He was practiced and she was new, the Don Juan of the Aegean and the Virgin Goddess, but it was all instinct, all sensation and response. The heat of his tongue, the firm strength of his body and the way he moved her, they might have done it all a hundred, a thousand times before.Aiden (Apollo) and Cassandra pissed me off, too. But it's kind of intrinsic. If you know of the myth between Cassandra and Apollo...you'll know Cassandra has a pretty good reason to be pissed off at him.
“He was in love with her. He was the one who gave her the gift of prophecy to begin with. But then she pissed him off, somehow, so he cursed her. He made it so she’d always see [the future], but no one would ever believe her.”Yeah, cursing the girl you love because she wouldn't love you back. Sooooooo mature, Apollo. Here's the thing, Apollo, throughout the entire fucking book, remains completely, utterly selfish. He makes some really grandiose statements about loving Cassandra, though.
And I knew no matter what I did, I would lose you anyway. To death, or disease, or a fucking car accident. I’ve felt your heartbeat, and it’s so delicate it makes me ache. It paralyzed me, how different we are, and in the end I was a coward. But I’ve loved you a thousand years, and another thousand.”That's the thing. Aiden's words are purely grandiose without the evidence to back it up. He chooses to keep things from her. Aiden would probably keep concealing their entire past together if Cassandra didn't regain the memory of her past lives and what he did to her. Aiden makes a lot of excuses, he makes them out to be star-crossed lovers of the sort that Shakespeare would envy, but it doesn't change the fact that, as Cassandra said, he's an asshole. Then again, his character and hers is true to the mythology, and as much as I dislike Aiden/Apollo...I can't resent him that much for staying so true to his (asshole-ish) character.
“You asshole.” She stopped angrily packing and threw her bag on the bed. A thousand years and another thousand. That’s how long he’d spent loving the girl he’d gotten murdered. “You made me love you more than I did before. Knowing what you did. It’s a violation.”
[Hera] cut an imposing figure, as usual. But the years had changed her as it had changed them all. Gone were the locks of hair falling to her waist. Now she kept her blond hair cut fashionably short. Her clothes too were modernized and expensive: she paired a cream-colored silk top with tailored gray slacks. A headband adorned with a peacock’s feather, her sacred bird, was affixed to her head. Zeus’ wife, Athena’s stepmother, pivoted on sling-backs with kitten heels....than others.
[Athena] pulled a dark gray t-shirt over her head, some designer thing with black swirling from the shoulder to the hip. Toweling her hair dry, she still saw traces of the purple she had dyed into it a year earlier. She was the commander of the apocalypse, and she had purple streaks growing out in her hair.The gods and goddesses act like gods and goddesses, despite their modernization. They felt right. They may be teenagers, and maybe I'm just reading way too much into words, but they had that air of world-weariness that comes with having lived for thousands of years. They're not perfect, but then again, the original gods and goddesses never were.
The sweetness left Aphrodite’s face. “Nothing else? I have everything that this apple represents. And you are angry, because you are second to me.”All this started over a fucking golden apple. They know how ridiculous it is. They know how stupid it is to fight over such a little symbol...but vanity wins, and the world paid the price.
If Hera is second, that makes me third, Athena remembered thinking. It had been difficult to hold her head up. She’d never wanted to be more beautiful than them. But she had always known herself to be smarter, and standing in her gown, staring at the golden apple and still ridiculously wanting it—she had failed herself.
"I've come to find out what the fuck's going on," he said.If you've read The Odyssey -- a personal fave -- or The Illiad or even seen the movie Troy, you'll probably recognize a large chunk of the cast of characters...maybe not at first, but all will be revealed in due time. I loved the modern versions of the gods and goddesses and even the mortal participants of the Trojan War, even if they weren't really themselves when we met them. It was interesting to see how the gods had adapted over the years, how they'd managed to keep a low profile while still maintaining some semblance of their past immortal lives. Some have not fared so well over the last few years, especially with their imminent deaths looming before them. But that's what this novel is about: finding the cause of their downfall and stopping it, by whatever means necessary. Even if it means a war against the rest of the gods.
"Might've been a better question to ask before you attacked me." Athena turned from the mirror and rested her hip on the counter. She'd changed into a different t-shirt and sort of wished she hadn't. She should have worn the blood like a badge.
"He was a stepson, only. Another bastard put upon me by my husband. Yet I would've welcomed him, had he not forgotten what you've forgotten. That he was a god. That gods are not meant to die."I'm probably wrong, but I don't think it's all that hard to believe that faith plays that large of a role in existence, at least for otherworldly beings.
The feathers were starting to be a nuisance. There was one in her mouth, tickling the back of her throat. She chewed at it as she walked, grabbed it with her molars and pulled it loose. Warm, copper-penny blood flooded over her tongue. There were others too, sprouting up inside of her like a strange cancer, worming their way through her innards and muscle.Alongside her, Hermes is willowing to a skeleton; a fever eating away at his flesh. Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old.