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Goddess War #1


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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.

352 pages, Paperback

First published September 10, 2013

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About the author

Kendare Blake

38 books54.9k followers
So, I write books. The Anna Dressed in Blood duo is horror, The Goddess War trilogy is mythology, and Three Dark Crowns is fantasy, because the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some. Love to read, too. Fiction, philosophy, good books, bad books, because you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have a stack of books and stuff. I mean, you've got to be adventurous. There's more to life that what you're living, so take a chance and face the wind.

There's more coming soon like ALL THESE BODIES and a new fantasy series, so don't waste another minute on your cryin. We're nowhere near the end.

My likes include animals, food, and nostalgia. I mean, whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV? Used to be everywhere you look, there's a heart, a hand to hold on to.

Anyway, I love to hear from readers so drop me a line here or at my website and we'll talk about friends to know, and ways to grow, and how if you threw a party you would see that the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

We can also talk about all the sitcom theme songs in this bio. Sha la la la.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,359 reviews
September 23, 2013
Actual rating: 2.5

I can't believe this book was written by the same author as Anna Dressed in Blood. This is like...Gameboard of the Gods level of disappointment for me. Granted, it's not even the same genre, but approaching this book from such exalted standards...I can't help but feel rather let down.

It is not a bad book, but it didn't bring me the level of enjoyment I had come to expect, given the premise and given my love for mythology. Yes, the mythological representation of the gods and goddesses in the book were accurate, I have no complaints there. However, the entire story felt like an overly long prequel, Antigoddess #0.5, if you will, instead of an actual first book to the series. It was well-written, but the characters were extremely dry, and completely lacking the spark necessary to make me connect to them and empathize with their external plight and their internal anguish. The plot was very confusing in parts, and some things were just not explained clearly enough for my liking.

I was going to make a list of the good, the bad, and the ugly...but I realized that there was very little that was actually bad. I mean, there were elements within the story that I didn't like, but that's not to say they made the book bad. It was just things that subjectively bothered me, and I can't even make a long-winded rant about them because they're so minor. There were tiny, tiny instances of slut-jokes in the book, like the slutty Bo-Peep costumes of some of Cassandra's classmates, and one completely random comment that just came right the fuck out of nowhere.
“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.

All of a sudden, we're immersed into the high school world of Cassandra and her love, Aiden, and their friends. They go to parties, Cassandra sees the future, and so scams a lot of her fellow high schoolers out of their lunch money doing parlor tricks. And back to Hermes and Athena, hitchhiking across the US looking for answers. Then back to Aiden and Cassandra and her prophetic dreams. Then back to Hermes and Athena as they go into Chicago. And back. And forth. Then we split again to Hermes meeting Aiden/Cassandra. And never did the roads diverge.

Ok, I was kidding. They eventually meet, but it wasn't until the book was well underway, and I was so fucking frustrated by then between the constant switching of POVs that seemingly went nowhere. I said this felt like a prequel, and I mean it.

The relationship and love between the characters weren't overdone. There were no love triangles, no insta-loves; there was nothing about the romance in the book that was utterly terrible or incomprehensibly strange. It felt rather forced in some cases, like Athena's inexplicable attraction to Odysseus. Almost as if the author felt the need to include another love story in the book just so the lone Athena (who's supposed to be a chaste warrior goddess, for fuck's sakes) wouldn't feel all left out when all the other girls around her are all lovey-dovey.

Really, Athena. Two thousand years after your initial encounter with Odysseus. Knowing his love for Penelope. In the midst of dying. In the midst of a fucking WAR. You had to choose this time to start falling for the dude?
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.”
“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.”
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.

The gods and goddesses: They are teenagers in this reincarnation, and their past is really quite fuzzy. I never did get an adequate explanation from any of them (besides the mortal Odysseus), of what happened to them before the story. How did they "awaken." Did they just realize they were gods and goddesses? Did they always have the memory? Did they live out eternity as young gods and goddesses? If it was explained, it was done so briefly that I completely missed it, but their history was more or less very, very unclear. I did like the fact that even if the gods and goddesses were more modern teenaged versions, they did feel accurate, and they did feel like gods and goddesses. Some of them look and act more godly...
[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.

If you know your mythology, you will know the gods and goddesses were so very mortal in their feelings. They are petty, they get angry, they get jealous. They hold long-ass grudges. They do stupid things in the name of love. They are overgrown children with powers of destruction. Hell, it's how the Trojan War started, Hera and Athena are basically children wanting a toy that Aphrodite has, and that Paris has denied them.
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.”
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.
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.

The main point of this book is that the gods and goddesses are at war. They've split up sides, and they're fighting. All of them are dying, except for Apollo, for some inexplicable reason, but it was so confusingly represented that I never felt compelled or intrigued. The splitting of the narrative didn't help, and the lack of explanations further added to the mess. I never got a clear idea of why all this was going on, and so I ended up not feeling like I cared very much.

There's some action in this book, but for the most part, it was slow...almost Jack Kerouac-ish, in some parts. The lack of intrigue combined with the plot holes and unanswered questions left me feeling unfulfilled. As in...is this all there is?

The book felt like it was 200 pages too long for the absolutely lack of the plot that it contained. It was just an average book.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,358 followers
September 6, 2013
Antigoddess is all sort of freaky loveliness. For fans of greek mythology, this novel brings in a creative and original depiction of the well loved myth, where the gods are caught in a new story and facing the war of all wars--their lost immortality.

First thing's first, you might want to brush up in your knowledge of the trojan war if you're not very well versed on that event in greek mythology--or at least have Wiki at the ready. As much as I enjoy this myth I have only dived into it in the past few years, so I had to read up on the specifics of this war a bit. You don't need to become an encyclopedia on the matter, but knowing who is involved, the basics of what happened, and the reason behind the war to begin with would help a great deal if you want to get everything you can from this novel. Regardless of what you know, Kendare does not make it complicated, and even if you knew nothing you'd still be able to enjoy and follow the story as she does guide you with the required facts and details along the way. Knowing it beforehand, however, does give this story higher significance when you're aware of what occurred during the war between these gods. Even though Antigoddess is, in it's entirety, about greek gods, a mythology that has been delved into by many authors in the past, its plots is undoubtedly unique, and Kendare's portrayal of the gods is creative; from their way of life to their rampant personalities. She also didn't forgo her touch of humour.

Don't question me. I'm a god. Dammit. -Odysseus

We're introduced to the story with a prologue that tells us something is extremely wrong with the Greek gods, by way of Athena and Hermes bizarre afflictions. This prologue is intriguing and a little unsettling, which sets the tone for the book perfectly. Then we're thrown into the lives of Cassandra and Aidan, students in high school, completely oblivious of any kind of a war brewing. Cassandra is not even aware that she is anything but a regular teenage girl--well… a regular teenage girl who is psychic, at least. I liked Cassandra at the start ok, but I liked her a lot more after she learns who she really is and becomes truly herself; layering and strengthening her character. I didn't dislike her before, I just didn't find her particularly interesting aside from her visions. These visions--or curse as she calls it--she's not really sure what to make of them at first, but soon she starts seeing very disturbing, gory hallucinations that would make anyone fall to their knees. This is where Kendare's magic for horror comes out.

[…] as more of the old woman's face detached and hit the pavement. All of her skin liquified; her hair slid down her head to reveal the skull beneath: obsidian black and covered in slime and scales.

Hells yeah!

We're also taken into Athena and Herme's perspective which is where we learn of the war that is brewing and just how horrific things are becoming. This was my favorite perspective of the two. Aside from getting deeper into the plot and their deteriorating situation, it's also more action packed with several visits from murderous gods, and even a bomb or two. This dual perspective, while enjoyable at first, turns up the intensity an anticipation to sky high proportions when the real shit starts hitting the fan. Both sides are weaved together--skillfully might I add--into a thrilling battle sequence that is fan-freaking-tastic. Imagine a bunch of strung up, pissed up, dying gods who are all wanting to off each other! Kendare does not let us down when it comes to the big finale. It doesn't end here, however, as this is only the first in the series. Even though the story is obviously not over, and the ending leaves us into an emotional upheaval both from the events that occurred and those awaiting, I found the book ended in a very appropriate and satisfying place. It leaves us with delicious intrigue that will for sure keep us excited for book two until the day it appears on the shelves.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 11 books7,634 followers
March 4, 2016

This book is decent. But it’s not great. Don’t get me wrong, I think a lot of people will enjoy it. Hell, I enjoyed most of it. It just didn’t blow my mind. I do see potential in the series so I plan on continuing with it, but…


I just wanted more. The mythology was handled well but it focused on gods that I’ve never really given that many fucks about. Athena? Hermes? Really? Where’s that warmongering bastard Ares? If the gods are fighting for their lives I’d think he’d be the one leading them into that final battle against death. And speaking of death, where’s my favorite god of them all?

The gods that were depicted were just as complicated as I’d hoped they would be, but because they’re not exactly relatable as characters, it left me feeling detached from them and their storylines. This story does contain a pretty neat twist on the idea of gods still walking among us but it’s not exactly original. In fact, it reminded me a lot of American Gods, which I enjoyed much better than this.

I guess that my biggest complaint is that this entire book felt like a set up for the rest of the series. There was so much time spent on relating the character’s histories that not much really happened until the climax. Speaking of which, it was drawn out, and filled with TSTL moments from both mortals and gods alike. There were also some plot holes within it but I’m not going to bring them up as they’d all be spoilers and I just don’t really have the energy.

Bottom line is that I still think this series is worth giving a try if you have an interest in Greek mythology in YA stories.

This review can also be found at The Book Eaters.
Profile Image for Roxanne.
38 reviews30 followers
Want to read
August 5, 2014
This is my reaction while reading the summary:

And this is my reaction afterwards:
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And then when I looked at the release date... well, see that it's set for 2013:

I can't wait to read this!!! I've always loved mythology and this book sounds like it's going to be absolutely amazing. To me the Greek gods and goddesses have always been immortal so to see them in a state like this will be completely thrilling. The idea is really intriguing. Plus I just plain love Athena.

Oh, there's a cover now!
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
595 reviews3,582 followers
May 29, 2015
Recipe for an awesome Greek Mythology YA (Antigoddess style)

You will need:

-3 sticks of Greek Authenticity butter

-a dash of humor

-1 Witty Messenger egg yolk

-Half a cup of Ruthless God/Goddesses flour (also from Greek Authenticity brand)

-4 tablespoons of creativity

-Some Romance cream, well-whipped

-1/2 teaspoon of Interesting Characters yeast

-a pinch of plot holes (Preferred brand: Derp. Its motto is I-can't-believe-she-bought-he-was-a-god-so-easily-and-why-didn't-she-google-his-mythology)


1. Grease pan with sticks of Greek Authenticity butter until no part of the pan shows, and sprinkle 4 tablespoons of creativity to create a texture effect.

2. Beat Witty Messenger egg yolk until ovaries explode, then mix with a dash of humor.

3. Leave mixture to cool for 4-5 hours. During that time, pour Romance cream into half a cup of Ruthless God/Goddesses flour and stir well with a wooden spoon. Repeat until cream is well-absorbed.

4. Add pinch of plot holes and 1/2 teaspoon of Interesting Characters yeast to the mixture and fold dough repeatedly until plot holes are barely visible. Then add the egg & humor blend, and continue kneading.

5. Spread Antigoddess mixture onto previously greased pan and bake in oven at 400° for 2 hours.

6. Can be served hot or cold. Recommended with a side of wine to nurse the pain.

Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,917 followers
September 25, 2013
3.5 stars
I wish every book could be described using the words dark and twisted, that would make me ridiculously happy. However, since I clearly can’t have that, at least there are some that fit the description, and when they come my way, I am seriously overjoyed. Antigoddess is one of those books. With characters like Athena, Hermes, Apollo, Poseidon and the cursed prophetess Cassandra of Troy, what could possibly go wrong?

Very little, as it turns out. Blake’s version of the Greek gods is very modern. Olympus is no more and they’ve been living among us for so long that they resemble us in every way. But Blake still found a way to give a touch of the ancient to her novel by incorporating well known stories from the Greek mythology, mostly through Athena’s reminiscence. . While I found some of these stories wholly unnecessary, and even slightly burdensome, others like The Judgement of Paris were told in such a way that helped me understand these ageless characters just a little better.

There is a war brewing between the gods. They are dying, every single one of them, and in their fear and their panic, they’re doing what they do best, turning on one another, going up against each other for the last remnants of power. Poseidon, Aphrodite and Hera, crazed and diseased, plot against the others. Athena and Hermes on the other side are weak and practically powerless, with nothing but their wisdom and several reluctant allies to help them through the war.

While his brothers and sisters are fighting amongst themselves, Apollo is busy atoning for his past sins. He has his own priorities and his own obsessions, and he wishes not to be found, as impossible as that may be.

Those of you who are familiar with Kendare Blake’s previous work know how talented she is in creating vivid imagery that is equal parts fascinating and disgusting. While Antigoddess cannot be compared to Anna Dressed in Blood in that regard (nothing really can), it still left me with some images I’m not likely to forget.

The red warning on the cover that Antigoddess isn’t for younger readers drew my attention right away, and while I’m not quite ready to agree with that limitation (it sounds very patronizing), I have to agree that the amount of violence Blake describes is pretty unusual for YA, as is her matter-of-fact approach to it. But Kendare Blake isn’t one to allow her intended audience to limit her in any way, and I’m generally fond of authors who don’t treat teens with kid gloves.

Antigoddess isn’t without problems, that much is clear, but it is still a well-rounded, skillfully told novel, and undoubtedly worthy of your time.

Profile Image for Amanda.
282 reviews313 followers
December 27, 2013
**I received a free copy of Antigoddess from Tor in exchange for an honest review.**

After centuries, the Twilight of the Gods has arrived.

Already fallen from Olympus, now more mortal than god, each deity is dying in a manner peculiar to their power. Athena, goddess of battle and intelligence, is being slowly suffocated by the feathers of her sacred bird, the owl. The feathers fill her lungs and sprout beneath her skin. While many of the gods are resigned to their demise and see their end as a final whim of Fate, Athena, along with the swift Hermes (who is being consumed by his own rapid metabolism), seeks the counsel of Demeter and finds that a war is brewing. Led by Hera, some gods are determined to survive--even if it means slaughtering their own kind. Their only hope? A teenage girl named Cassandra--no mere mortal, but the reincarnation of Cassandra of Troy, prophet, sister of Hector, and love of Apollo.

The first in a trilogy, Antigoddess (and let's just go ahead and get this out there--this is a baffling and terrible name for the book) is an entertaining, if uneven novel that is the latest offering in the young-adult-if-only-we-were-supernatural genre.

There's a lot here we've seen before: the co-dependent mortal/immortal love affair (it's always baffling to me when immortal creatures fall in love with nubile young teenagers; one would think the passing of centuries would make a relationship with anyone susceptible to Bieber-fever a tedious proposition at best), the requisite showdown at a house party, and the battle lines drawn between two supernatural armies whose collective fate rests on the shoulders of a human who is more than she appears to be. And while I know it will not bother the target audience, to have the gods appear as young adults is problematic to me. No explanation is given as to why they seem to be perpetually stuck in the Proactiv Skin Care years. In my imagination, Athena (my favorite goddess) has always loomed like an Amazon, tall, strong, mature. To think of her with tattooed wrists and purple streaks in her hair? Hermes sporting Hollister? Apollo in a hoodie? By Hades's balls, I'd rather French kiss Cerberus than think of the majesty of gods reduced to trendy mall fashion.

Buuuuttttt . . . having said all that, there's an undeniable charm to what Blake's peddling here and it's far more successful than the Percy Jackson series. Sure, the gods lack characterization, but haven't they always? And, sure, they sometimes behave like mortals, but that's always been part of their appeal. Treading like giants and with powers beyond human comprehension, they still fell prey to very human weaknesses: love, hubris, envy. Blake also knows her stuff and it's fun to see her weave the tale of Troy into a modern day setting as Hector, Andromache, Odysseus, and Circe's coven make appearances alongside Hera, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Artemis, and Apollo. Throw in a cyclops, a Nereid or two, and an author with a sharp sense of humor--well, you could find worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder and at Shelf Inflicted
Profile Image for Charisse.
78 reviews42 followers
Want to read
October 18, 2014
EDIT: 12/07/12 Oh goodness... Just look at that cover. Isn't it so intriguing? I wonder what the blood dripping feather stands for. Does the feather means what happened to Athena? I mean, she woke up sprouting feathers right? And then the drop of blood from the feather, rippling in the water may mean something to Hermes... Something in his flesh-eating fever? And also what is that? It looked like something that is a forest (located at the back of the ANTIGODDESS title) and a green sphere-shaped thing under the rippling water... Hmm...

Anyway, Ms. Kendare Blake answered my comment about the cover in the Antigoddess Cover Round Up.

I said: " Oh goodness... The cover looks very beautiful and unique! I wonder what the feather and a drop of blood rippling on the water mean... Hmm... Anyway, good job Ms. Kendare for the awesome book cover! :) I can't really wait for Antigoddess to be released! :)"

She answered: " Thanks, Char! The blood dripping feather plays a big part. I'm glad you like the cover! I wasn't sure at all what it would look like...we had one idea that was scrapped, and then the art department took over. But I wanted something bold, and dark, and I think this is both! Now I just hope you enjoy what's under it :)"

Well the blood dripping feather has a big part and I can't wait to know what it is! :) I'm so excited!

My Review full of Theories

Since the book summary of Antigoddess changed, I'll also change my review. :)

Old Book Summary:
Kendare Blake's ANTIGODDESS series, where the ancient, perpetually teenaged Greek gods Athena and Hermes cling to life in the contemporary world... seeking the causes of their mysterious, slow deaths... and gathering their allies in reincarnated form: Cassandra, an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess; Odysseus, the handsome trickster; and other fickle characters with their own secret motives; they must all band together against Hera and Poseidon who have become horrific caricatures of their former glory in their desperation to survive.

My Review:

As we all know, Antigoddess will be another Greek mythology-related YA book series like The Lightning Thief from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and Starcrossed. And this is the reason why I am so so so excited! *coughs* Ahem. Before I get into a completely crazy-addicted-in-Greek-mythology fan girl, I'll explain why I'm so excited.

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.

In Greek myths, it state that gods, especially the Twelve Olympians, would never die and will live for all eternity in perfection.
But not anymore.
Athena woke up the next morning (I guess) with feathers on her skin and Hermes showed up with a flesh-eating fever. There's this weird disease that causes the Olympians to slowly die. It is still unknown how it happened and what will happen next.

Fan girl mode: *sees the description about a specific Greek god* *gasps in horror* Oh goodness! THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING! WHO DARED TO PUT A FLESH-EATING FEVER ON MY BELOVED HERMES? And even cause a slow death! I. WILL. NOT. LET. THIS. HAPPEN. No one as in NO ONE should even make him suffer! Whoever did this will pay! *is mad*

Ahem. Sorry about that. Fan girl mode = sucks. She (take note of the third person) just can't take to imagine what her beloved Hermes will look like with a flesh-eating fever. Ignore that part. Next.

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.

Because of the unexpected morning of their lives, the two main characters and both deities of wisdom (maybe that's one of the reasons why Ms. Kendare decided to make them the protagonists), Athena and Hermes must travel to the modern world (where they're not worshiped anymore) to find the reason why they're dying and to find a solution.

As they search and meet the new reincarnated old allies and enemies, their search leads to an ordinary girl who is once an extraordinary priestess, reincarnation of the prophetess Cassandra, who seems to look like the 'solution' they're finding.

*sniffs* I sense a really great plot in here! And the reincarnation idea is brilliant! I just hope Ms. Kendare Blake won't disappoint me.

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.

Since Cassandra is like the 'solution', Athena and Hermes ask for her help but she refuses (I guess that's what going to happen) for she doesn't want to get involve in the business of the gods for she doesn't believe they even exist (even if she's like the reincarnation of Cassandra). But, of course, the deities of wisdom have to persuade her for she might be the key to their problems and possibly something bigger in the future.

Fan girl mode: Cassandra! She should help them! She's the solution! What would happen if she won't help them? Old gods will die a slow painful death! The world will be in pure chaos! The word 'peace' won't be recognize anymore! She shouldn't be selfish! If she won't agree to help them, I'll make sure she'll regret it. *eyes flash with evilness*

Ahem. Fan girl got into me. Again. *sighs* Ignore it please! Next.

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.

Since the Old gods are slowly dying in mysterious ways, everyone is in panic and are desperate to survive. Hera, the queen of the gods, joins the other ancient Olympians (unfortunately, my own father, Poseidon is included in this ancient Olympians) in killing off rivals thinking that with this method, they'll survive this plague and prolong their supposed-to-be immortal life. Because of this, chaos started to spread (I bet Eris is leaping with joy right now since she's the goddess of chaos) not only in Mt. Olympus but also to the modern world.

Athena, together with Hermes, in the mission of saving everyone by finding a solution and not spreading more chaos, needs all the help she can get for almost everyone (except for her and Hermes) already allied themselves with the wrong side. Ooh, this is gonna be so hard. But I have trust in them. After all, they're the deities of wisdom, I'm positive they'll know what to do.

I just can't believe one of my favorite goddesses (Hera) and my father (Poseidon) would turn to the bad side. :'( I'll surely miss them when I get there.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

Imagine perfect divine beings choking on feathers and some slowly transforming into horrible monsters? O.O

:"O That's totally NOT cool! I can't imagine the deities I have adored will die by choking on feathers nor transforming to the monsters everyone feared! They're too kind (even if there are some deities who are evil) to deserve such a thing! And then, endless suffering... Oh goodness! I can already feel the despair of those deities who turned to monsters! Also the last cry of pain of those who died by choking on feathers! *starts to cry silently* I'll grieve for them and hope Athena and Herms (my fan girl's nickname to Hermes) will solve this soon! I just hope everything will be back to normal after reading this! D":

The Goddess War is about to begin.

Oh great. I bet Ares and Eris are currently celebrating with this news. *snorts*

Anyway, the sudden plague of old gods slowly dying in mysterious ways like sprouting of feathers on their skin, having flesh-eating fever, choking on feathers and transforming into horrifying monsters, is just the beginning of something bigger that'll affect everyone on this Earth and Mt. Olympus. Another war, might it be as dangerous as the Trojan War or more, is about to come.


Judging by the great plot summary of this book that totally caught my attention as a Greek mythology lover, I must say I'm expecting a lot from this. That's why I'm very excited to read it since this is going to be the first ever book series that the two main characters are two teenage Olympians and deities of wisdom and have this conflict/problem of old gods slowly dying in the most extraordinary ways like sprouting of feathers on their skin, having flesh-eating fever, choking on feathers and transforming into terrible monsters (do I keep on saying that?) and because of this problem, going to the contemporary world.

I just hope that this won't disappoint me and that Ms. Kendare Blake will be one of my favorite authors after reading this. :)

Thanks for reading! :)

Oh and my fan girl side wants to add one more thing. Since Athena and Hermes are the two main characters and usually the two main characters end up together , she wants to tell everyone that she is truly wishing that these two deities won't end up together. It'll be the end of the world for her if they did and she doesn't know what she'll do when it'll happen. And please don't ask why for you may trigger my fan girl side-

Fan girl mode: Too late. Fan girl mode activate! The reason why I don't want Athena and Hermes to end up together for I am in love to a fictional character- er deity with the name of Hermes. Yes, I am in love to Hermes ever since I first read about him in a Mythology book I had seen when I was young and up till now I still do.
So, don't ever think of pairing him up with someone else. Because he's already taken. And I seriously don't care about Peitho, the Greek goddess of persuasion who is said to be the girlfriend of Hermes (which I clearly don't believe). I warn you-

Ahem. My fan girl side means that she doesn't want Hermes to end up with Athena for he clearly belongs to her. It'll be the end of her world if that happens since the two have been going steady for many years already (at least in her imaginary world of Mt. Olympus).

P.S: Ignore my fan girl modes. It always triggers when you say the magic word. (The magic word is Hermes.)

P.P.S: And I dislike it when I review full of fan girl-ish things. *sighs*
Profile Image for Mpauli.
157 reviews463 followers
October 14, 2013
"Good morning Upper Eastsiders, Gossip Girl here. You're number one source for a glimpse into the scandalous lives of Kincade's elite. Kincade? Yes, today we're not in Manhattan, we went upstate instead.
Big News everyone! Dream psychic Cassandra and Trust Fund hottie Aidan are really getting it on. I hear sexy Helloween costumes are to be revealed. In other..."

"Silence, thou spoiled damsel! It is not fitting to ruin a classic with your impertinent ramblings about promiscuity!"

"Dude, chill out. And who are you anyway? That dress looks ancient. Toga party much?"

"The name's Homer!"

"D'oh! That guy from the Simpsons? Nah, he's far more dandelion fashioned in the skin department."

"Nonsense! I'm the creator of the Illiad, my work is beloved by millions. I told stories about the powerful and mighty. About the gods and their exploits!"

"Hey, Gramps. I'm doing just the same thing! I'm paparazziing the fortune 500 kids and expose their shenannigens."

"So you're a fellow dramaturgist?"

"Sorta kinda...you could say it like that."

"So did you know that the ancient gods are dying of mysterious causes?"

"Just retweeted it. Way ahead of you, oldtimer. And did you know that local girl Cassandra might be a key player in the schemes of your prehistoric superheroes?"

"That is fascinating news indeed, young mistress. What do you think of combining our efforts in this endeavor?"

"Gossip Girl meets the Illiad? I'm in, ZZ Top! So fans, stay tuned for the hottest talk on gods and mortals. You know you love me, xoxo Goddess Girl!"
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,987 reviews298k followers
August 7, 2013
I might write a proper review for this sometime soon but, in short, the second half is MUCH better than the first. I found the first half of the book to be slow and tedious; I even considered not finishing at one point, but I'm glad I did. Still, not as good as Anna Dressed in Blood.
Profile Image for Crystal Starr Light.
1,357 reviews832 followers
October 17, 2013
Bullet Review:

Note: I received this as part of the Amazon Vine program.

THAT is it?!!? Seriously, you have one of THE strongest, most unique concepts of YA today with an author who isn't afraid to be gritty and THIS is all I get? A book of 90% b!tching, blathering, unanswered questions, running, waffling and otherwise time wasting?!

We have THREE female characters, all unique and interesting. We have the Greek deities, portrayed in a somewhat serious fashion (at least they aren't a bunch of whiny mopey love-obsessed teenagers!!). We have some decent action scenes. But no, all wasted in meandering and wandering and never getting ANYWHERE NEAR answering the question of WHY this is happening, WHY Cassandra is so important and HOW they are going to fix it.

I'm sorry I'm so emotional, but I love Kendare Blake. I've been ECSTATIC about this book ever since I first heard about it. And this is just MASSIVELY DISAPPOINTING from such a promising author.

Sure, this book isn't the worst I've read, but I expected MORE from Blake. Hence the 2 star rating.

Normally, I'd buy the hardcover and tune into the rest of the series, but after THIS nuh-uh, no way. Consider me jumping off this runaway bus.

Full Review:

The gods and goddesses are dying. Hermes is withering away; Athena has feathers growing inside of her. What is happening to them? And what does a young woman named Cassandra have anything to do with this?

To say I am disappointed with "Antigoddess" would be an understatement. I just finished this book, and I'm crushed with disappointment. Because, I really like Kendare Blake's work. I thought "Anna Dressed in Blood" with deliciously creepy. Even "Girl of Nightmares" wasn't half bad. Sure, not as good as "Anna", but then, when are sequels (especially ones that the author was pressured to write) ever as good as the original?

I did not request this review expecting to trash it, to hate it, to say a lot of horrible things about it. When I first heard about the concept of "Antigoddess", I was excited. Giddy excited. Blake is one of the most unconventional young adult authors in the genre. She is gritty and coarse, and while most YA authors stick to the status quo (blank heroine, prerequisite two love interests, and a faux-topia), Blake does her own thing. It's what made "Anna" the joy to read that it was; it's why I follow her works.

What "Antigoddess" has going for it is its unique concept. Many YA books about the Greek deities spend more time trying to get the hero and heroine hook up. They tend to tame down the gods and goddesses to make them more salient to modern sensibilities. But Blake doesn't do that. She's blunt about Poseidon's love of the ladyfolk, how Hera is a jealous wife, etc. Blake has also come up with an interesting concept: the gods and goddesses are dying and have no idea why.

Where this concept fails is in execution. Questions abound with no answers (even at the end!). So much time is spent with characters running all over the United States with little purpose. When characters aren't running around like chickens with their heads cut off, they are thinking about things or talking about things over and over and over again. Athena's desire for Odysseus and the conflict it has with her being the virgin goddess. How Hermes and Athena are dying. How they need to stay ahead of Hera but find Cassandra. And then everyone wondering what the hell it is that Cassandra can do anyway (this is never clear, even at the end).

Even with some great characters (there are a whopping FIVE female characters, TWO major female viewpoint characters, THREE female "good guys" - numbers that are almost UNHEARD OF in YA), it's mindnumbingly dull to hop from one meandering scene to another meandering scene. Interspersing it with some decent action scenes just makes it painfully obvious how good this COULD be with a little less conversation, a little more action (and a lot more answers to questions).

A part of me wants to rate this 3 stars because I do like Kendare Blake and think she has amazing potential. But at the end of finishing this book, I was left with nearly the same questions I had when I started. What does Cassandra DO? How are the gods and goddesses going keep from dying? What is going on? I don't expect the first book in a series/trilogy to answer all the questions, but I expect to at least have something to draw me to book 2 besides answering the questions book 1 should have.

With this in mind, I won't be tuning into book 2. I won't be purchasing the hardcover for this, even though I like and admire Kendare as an author. It's a shame, because I had high hopes for this series, but if book 1 can't provide even a few answers to questions, I'm not waiting around for book 2 to get them.

Many apologies, Kendare. I'll wait around for your next series and see if that works out better for me.
Profile Image for Mogsy.
2,070 reviews2,632 followers
April 19, 2014
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...

Antigoddess is the second book I have read by Kendare Blake, after the fun times I had with Anna Dressed in Blood earlier this year. And as much as I appreciate a good ghost story, I have to say Antigoddess was more up my alley.

Funny story, though: When I first added this book to my reading list, I only saw the cover and thought it was going to be a story about angels. Damn feather threw me off. It wasn’t until I read the description that I realized I was wrong, but that it was actually about something even better! Not angels, but gods. Greek gods. The mythology buff in me was tickled pink. And that feather on the cover which originally misled me turned out to be a symbol for something much more sinister…

At the heart of this novel and series is an ancient conflict stemming from the events of the Trojan War. So before reading this, it might be a good idea to brush up on your Greek Mythology 101. Or rent Troy. It’s all good! In any case, you don’t have to be an expert on all the details to enjoy this, as Blake uses her prerogative to do some very cool and unique things to the legend and the characters involved. For one, the gods themselves are dying – and in the most bizarre ways. We learn of their plight through mainly Athena and Hermes’ perspectives, the former experiencing impending death by way of random feathers sprouting in her body like a cancer. This is making all the gods a little desperate, and some are driven to insanity.

Even from the very start, we’re presented a mystery. What do the gods have to do with a teenage girl named Cassandra from Kincade, New York? Granted, she appears to have some freaky psychic powers, but the character perspectives going back and forth between Athena and Cassandra cannot be any more different. The latter’s chapters show life in your typical small town high school, while Athena and Hermes’ chapters (at least in the beginning) have an almost abstract, dream-like quality to them which I really enjoyed. While the characters’ connections are revealed early on, the plot doesn’t explode until gods and mortals meet. And then the revelations are even more mind-blowing and unexpected.

The book’s greatest strength is its characters. I suppose if you’re a god you can choose to be whoever you want to be. I liked how Blake gave her gods all different and interesting identities – from Athena’s stern demeanor to Apollo’s loyalty or Hermes’ fun-loving personality and fondness for pop culture.

Most obvious weakness? This had the feel of “first book of a series” all over it. In other words, it read like one big long introduction. Voracious readers of YA fiction will probably know exactly what I’m talking about, and probably won’t find this all that surprising. It’s not hard to guess whether a book will have a satisfying ending or leave things wide open for the sequel; once it became clear that there was no way any of the conflicts would be settled by the end the novel, I admit my interest waned a little as that “let’s just bring on book two” attitude settled in.

That said, I am on board for book two. It’ll probably be one of my higher-priority sequels too, because let’s face it – how often does a book with a good Greek mythology angle come along?
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,280 reviews1,654 followers
September 10, 2013
I'm one of the few people who never got around to reading Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood, though I do have a copy and will read it...someday. Initially, it wasn't really on my radar, because horror isn't something I seek out, but the reviews convinced me. Antigoddess, however, was a topic that called my name and I was hopeless to resist that call, much like Odysseus and the sirens. Thankfully, Kendare Blake lived up to all the hype, and Antigoddess was a non-stop horrorshow and thrill ride.

Antigoddess is one of those books where the reader basically has no idea what is happening at any point. To predict the outcome, you'd basically need to be a prophetess like Cassandra. Sometimes, I hate this in books, especially in mysteries, but with Antigoddess it works. That feeling of being out of your element and out of control really plays into the mythology, the fact that these gods, even diminished are really beyond our ken. Though I don't mind predictable formulas (like romances and their inevitable HEAs), Antigodess was a refreshing change, because I had zero clue how it would end at any point, and have even less idea what will go down in book two.

I am all about Greek mythology, and, while Blake's interpretation might not exactly be canon, it's mindblowingly cool and creepy. So the Greek gods have basically continued existing and doing their things, blending in with humans or running around in non-populated places, whatever they want. But then, dun dun dun, they began to die. Obviously, they're not super thrilled about this because 1) they're supposed to be immortal and 2) they're dying in really nasty ways. Like Athena getting slowly smothered to death by owl feathers growing inside of her body. Anyway, Athena and Hermes are trying to figure out a way to stop dying, and so are some other gods (most importantly Hera and Poseidon) and they're all also at war. There are also so humans involved and it's all just nuts in the most awesome sort of way.

What really makes me squee about Blake's world building is how empowering it is for women. Yes, there were always female gods, and some of them are quite powerful, but, in Greek mythology, the dude's are still really running the show. In Antigoddess, though several male gods are present, it's the women who are running the show, specifically Athena and Hera. Hermes defers to Athena, for example, and Poseidon to Hera. In the original mythology, Hera is powerful, but mostly just gets to be cuckolded over and over, without any ability to prevent Zeus from sleeping around and then punishing the girl, who, often, Zeus even raped. Hera still may not come out of this smelling like roses, but at least she's imbued with agency. Within the human characters too, Cassandra and Andie are exceptionally strong. Blake writes female characters who kick serious ass and have brains to back that up.

Though I didn't emotionally bond with the characters, they're all fascinating and compelling, so that even the comparatively slow beginning didn't drag for me in the slightest. Also, good news for those who are sick of romance dominating plot, that is not the case here. There are some ships that you can board, but they take up relatively little page time. Also, for the record, I am definitely on a couple of those ships, and got to watch the one I wasn't on sink. Mwahahaha. *high fives Kendare*

The other thing I really want to note is how well Kendare writes. I'm not a visual reader, but Blake has a way of making things very visceral, and putting definite images in my head. Very few writers can do this for me, and I'm always so impressed when it happens. Her descriptions of the feathers seeding Athena's body especially will be haunting me for a while.

Kendare Blake's Antigoddess is a dark, creative roller coaster ride of a read. For readers who enjoy action-packed books or unique mythological retellings, particularly with a feminist bent, Antigoddess is a must.
Profile Image for Brad Sells.
1,046 reviews56 followers
October 17, 2015
Antigoddess is an action-packed, sizzling, and explosive whirlwind that completely captivated me and never let me go. Kendare Blake's Antigoddess is absolutely epic and impossible to put down. One of the best books I've read in a long time.

I've wanted this book so badly ever since I first heard about it. So when I got my grabby hands on a copy, I dived in immediately. You know when you anticipate a book so hard, and then you're let down by it? That is totally not the case with Antigoddess. This book not only met my expectations, it blew it out of the water. Everything about this book - the characters, the writing, the pacing, the plot, the twists and turns, the development, the war - everything is phenomenal. Kendare Blake was quickly become one of my favorite authors. I was astonished by how truly amazing Antigoddess was. The pacing... oh boy, I couldn't put this book down. I was so wrapped up and absorbed in this world, I never wanted it to end. If you're needing some action-goodness and amazing plot-lines in your life, Antigoddess is the way to go.

The. Characters. Could they be any better? I have no clue. Athena was a phenomenal protagonist. Something is eating away at her life - literally - and she doesn't have much longer to survive. When you're on the run and in search for answers, it makes for such an awesome book: it did just that with Antigoddess. She's strong, fierce, loyal, and one of the best female leads I've read about. Hermes was also great! Sure, he may gossip quite a lot, but he sticks by Athena through thick and thin. And Cassandra! While I was a bit confused by her character in the beginning, she becomes such a vital and important piece to the Goddess War puzzle, and I can't wait to see where her character goes in the second book.

Speaking of the sequel... I want it so bad. That ending. I can't even. Talk about fast-paced! So much war and betrayal goes down in Antigoddess, and it's just one little piece in such a fantastic novel. I love last lines in books, and Antigoddess has one of my favorite last lines. It's such a cliffhanger and leaves you with your jaw dropped, begging for more - and that's exactly what I was like seconds after finishing this stunning beginning to a very promising series. I can't even explain to you how much I loved this book. Highly recommended!

Overall, Antigoddess is an incredible start that begins with a bang and never lets up. One of my new favorite books - Kendare Blake was created a masterpiece!
Profile Image for hal.
778 reviews106 followers
May 13, 2016
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I really don't know whether to give this three or four stars.

On the one hand, the first few chapters dragged. They were a tad boring and it took some time to get into the story. Also, Cassandra didn't have much of a personality. I could't connect with her. And Apollo/Aidan irritated the crap out of me. He's super overprotective of Cassandra. You'll see when you read it.

Yet the action picked up very quickly and after the first 50 pages, I soon had a vested interest in the story. And Athena was a very interesting character. I really enjoyed her chapters. And Hermes was pretty funny.

And, of course, how can you go wrong with Greek Mythology? When I was little, I was very interested in it, but sort of forgot about it as the years passed. Antigoddess restored my interest in it.

So overall an enjoyable read. Push past the first few chapters and you'll have a gripping and entertaining story.

Profile Image for Suzzie.
915 reviews163 followers
January 30, 2019
This was a fascinating story and intriguing characters. It is a unique way of missing the Greeks in a modern premise. The immortal Gods are dying and now a war is set with Cassandra and Achilles being the weapons both sides want. I am looking forward to seeing how this series plays out and I am glad I have the whole series on my end table! On to book two to see where the series takes us.

My quick and simple overall: entertaining start to a series!
Profile Image for Ria.
452 reviews64 followers
August 29, 2018
So i got this because it was cheap and it kinda reminded me of American Gods *which i need to buy*.apparently it is a trilogy because YA books always need sequels.side note,i don't get the Percy Jackson comparison *i read book 2 in like 2010?11? meaning i will never finish the series*.just because there are Greek gods it doesn't mean they are anything alike.
Positives,it is such a fast read...it took ten years to finish it because i'm a lazy bitch and took like a week vocation after reading 3chapters.also things get kinda interesting when they finally meet.
Negatives, Είσαι ακόμη παρθένος θεά EDGYYY.sometimes the dialogue made me wanna kill myself.
Are the gods having a convo about superheroes??why are they fucking nerds?
Kendare constantly explains to you pretty much everything that it is known for each god or hero...we know and even if we didn't, we can google it.move on.
The issue is that the chapters constantly switch between Cassandra's POV and Athena's/Hermes' POV.that means that even tho Athena and Hermes tell us what the fuck is up, Cassandra is trying to figure out what the fuck is going on.essentially we are watching this bitch trying to figure out what we know.what was the point of Athena and Hermes' POV?knowning everything ruins the mystery and makes it hella boring.
Btw,are we supposed to care for Athena,Hermes,Apollo and Cassandra.they kinda have a personality but it's sooo BLAND.i don't mind that they are bitchy and selfish because that's what gods are...there is romance in the book.we don't really see the relationships develope that much, so who cares?
Why are the gods teens.did i miss something?aside for being able to market it to teens, is there any other reason why they ain't adults?their history was very unclear.
My problem with this shit is that she tried so hard to turn this story into a trilogy and it shows.book 3 may be interesting but this is just a bland,long introduction to the story.was this originally one book that got dragged out into three parts because they realised they could milk the shit out of it?Nothing really happens in the first 100?almost 200?pages.instead of 400pages it could be 150 and nothing would change.
I was thinking of giving it 3stars because when i bought it i never expected it to be good.i just wanted to read something stupid.i thought it would be like Underworld *stupid,fun and with a bit of mythology that i got for 1euro* but noooo.this shit is just boring and there is nothing i hate more than boring.you can make bad shit but as long as there is something entertaining in it,it is acceptable *so bad it's good*.when you make bad,boring shit you can go and fuck yourself.it's rude to expect people to care for your creation when YOU yourself don't give a damn.do i wanna know what the fuck is happening and why?fuck yeah.will i buy the next books?god no.
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,663 reviews1,231 followers
September 9, 2013
With the influx of mythology retellings in YA in recent years, I was terribly afraid that I'd spend half the time comparing this novel to all of the other recent additions to the genre as other reviewers have complained of doing.  Fret not, my loves, for Kendare Blake makes this story her own, giving it her usual flair for the dramatic and making it wholly awesome in the process.

I'm going to share a little secret with you guys.  I kind of really loved this book.  So much so that whenever I needed to mark a favorite quote or passage in the ARC, I dog-earred the page!  Yeah, I know!  I never do that, but I was thoroughly engaged by this story and couldn't even be bothered enough to get up and get a Post-It note to mark important pages.  So unlike me, but there it is.  Honestly, I think this is probably the best mythology retelling I've read lately, full of Kendare's usual humor and alluding in a much larger capacity to the original stories I've come to love.
"I've come to find out what the fuck's going on," he said.
"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.
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.

I've kind of always loved seeing gods trying to destroy one another, in film and in books.  There's just something about all of that power and the ability to cause such destruction.  And despite the fact that the gods in Antigoddess are all in a weakened state, they still manage to cause their share of devastation in our world.  Innocent lives are lost.  Sacrifices are made.  And yet we still are no closer to learning the truth about the gods demise.  I have a theory that it's something like when we were kids and were told that if we didn't believe in faeries, they'd cease to exist.  Hera even alluded to something along those lines:
"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.

Aside from all of the violence and infighting, I also loved that this novel comes with a pre-existent relationship for both of what I'm going to call the main characters.  (This is more like an ensemble cast, but Cassandra and Athena are allotted a little more page time, and though the story is told from a third person limited perspective, it switches between these two characters before their paths officially cross.)  For one, the romance is just beginning, though the sparks have existed forever; and for the other, it's been eons in the making, though it's only been a year in this mortal's life.

Resurrection.  Betrayal.  Love.  Sacrifice.  All the things you previously loved about mythology are in this novel, but they're infused with Kendare's awesome style of writing, her dry wit and humor.  After that ending, I kind of want to throttle the author a bit, but only because I don't have the next installment in my hands, and I need to know what happens!!!  It's not a cliffhanger, not in the usual sense, but it's totally a WTF!?! kind of ending, where something so major has happened and you're just left with your mouth hanging open at the end.  I almost want to taunt the author with, "Oh, c'mon!  Is that the best you can do?" but I'm afraid of what she'll bring to the table next.  I've read the Anna books, so I know she's not afraid to mess with my head or my heart, and so I'll leave her be...for now.  But she is seriously trying my patience.  =)

 photo jarrethwaiting_zps8b379f48.gif

Other posts relating to Antigoddess:  Katie's interpretation, teaser

Actual Rating:   photo 4-1.png  1/2

Thanks to Tor Teen for the review copy!

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.
Profile Image for Misty.
796 reviews1,233 followers
September 2, 2013
I loved the Anna Dressed in Blood duology.
I have more than a tiny obsession with mythology.
I harbor a bit of a girlcrush on Kendare Blake.*
Kendare Blake wrote a modern mythology retelling.

Sounds like a recipe for a book I could love, which generally means I won't, because the world is funny like that ha ha ha. But fortunately, this was one of those cases of me loving a book just as much as I was hoping to. I absolutely loved Blake's modern take on Greek mythology, the Trojan war and the Twilight of the Gods. All the petty jealousies, rivalries and cavalier attitudes of these familiar dying gods translated well to a modern setting, and Athena's growing shame over who they've all been - and whether they deserve their fates and afflictions - brings a much-needed humanness. Yes, it's missing some of the humor and lightness - and surprisingly, some of the gore - that characterized Anna, but honestly, I respected that. I want a tone and style that suits the story, not the same thing rehashed a million times with a different title and characters. Blake gave us two voices, Athena's and Cassandra's, and stayed true to those voices, and it works.

The alternating points of view worked for me, which is something that's always really dicey. I love the idea of alternating POVs, but I often don't like the execution. Even when it's pulled off admirably, I don't always think it's the right choice for the story, but in this case, I do. I can't really picture not getting both Athena's and Cassandra's stories in this way; I loved each and thought each was needed, both for contrast and for creating the whole picture. Cassandra is strong as a modern girl, and their two stories, hers and Athena's, act in tandem - as one becomes a little more human, one becomes a little more cold and god-like. And you know how normally when there are multiple POVs in a story, you sort of pick a favorite and can't wait to get back to it every time it switches? I actually had that feeling with both, which was interesting. It's "I can't wait to see what happens next" x 2. But it wasn't just Athena and Cassandra that drew me in; I liked seeing how other characters from the myths have changed and grown - and how they've stayed the same.

Some may think Antigoddess feels longish or repetitive, but I actually thought everything was needed and fit the story, and gave us time to get to know Athena and the gods. Even when it's circling the same ground, it feels like it's building towards something big - and Blake is not one to shy away from ripping the reader's heart out and then showing it to them, bloody and barely beating. [I both really respect her for this, btw, and want to shake her for it. She makes the same decisions I would make, but look, I'm used to my cruelty. I'm not used to having it turned back on me...] All told, I can't wait for book 2 and seeing more gods crop up, more betrayals and weaknesses exploited, more getting in touch with human side and fortifying the godly side, etc. If you liked Anna (or thought you'd probably like Anna, but were afraid of the gore...), or like mythology or retellings, I'd definitely recommend you pick this up.

*But the restraining order hasn't gone into effect yet, so it's cool.
Profile Image for Mary ♥.
450 reviews106 followers
December 13, 2019
3.5/5 stars

Gods are cold. War, killing, and stabbing each other in the back is really what we do best.

To put it simply:

Talk to me about how the Chaste Goddess was "fixed" by a mortal boy and I will cut you, I swear
-A quote by me

Honestly? I don't know how I feel about this book. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Did it infuriate me? Also yes. It was fast paced, breath-stealing, action-packed, bloody and violent and full of mythology, in a way that would make me love it, if not for the simple fact that Athena found herself a mortal boyfriend and cursed her status as a virgin goddess forever just for kicks. This romance between her and Odysseus was not toxic. If anything, it was full of mutual respect, and desire, and the idea of someone to lean on, for both of them. And yet, it was so absolutely unneeded , exactly because it perpetuated the idea that a person needs sexual love to be happy, and that it's what makes us human.

If not for it, I would have enjoyed this story so much more. The writing was sharp but also teenage-y, matching the urban fantasy setting and the mix of mythology and pop culture, and the plot took cutthroat turns in almost every chapter. I also loved how this was written in dual POV, because the more POVs a story has, the better it is, for me. My favourite characters were Hermes and Aidan, and I also really liked some of the friendships and family dynamics in this story.

What managed to keep me reading, except of the plot, was the world building, and the way in which every god was 'punished' by being mortalized. I found it extremely clever, and saw the undertones about the need to survive. I also believe the fight scenes in this were really well-written, but having read Kendare Blake before, I am not surprised one bit.

Overall this is a story you can read if you want, since it ends in a cliffhanger as well, but I am not interested in keeping up with the series (for now, at least). I recommend for readers who don't think that much through and for something quick and cruel.

Until the next review, keep reading ♥ For those who celebrate Christmas or other things this period, enjoy your holidays ♥ For those who don't celebrate anything, enjoy your days ♥
~Mary ♥
Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,998 reviews1,209 followers
August 26, 2018
Bear this one thing in mind: no one can write about gods/dying gods better than Neil Gailman in 'American Gods' and N. K. Jemisin in 'The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms'...

With the above statement in mind, I feel confident to say although Antogoddess by Kendare Blake is not the best fantasy novel about gods which I've encountered, still Ms. Blake did manage to keep her story fast paced, effective, enjoyable and with a couple of creative ideas fixed in.

Rating: 3.7 stars

I have more interest in the story line about Athena and Hermes than the one with Cassandra and co. still I actually like how...accurate the reference of mythology feels to me. I am looking forward for the sequel!

PS: Hermes is such a sweetheart!

PSS: I don't like the main romances in the story much, but at least they don't take up too much space!
Profile Image for Nasty Lady MJ.
1,060 reviews16 followers
September 11, 2013
To see full review click here.

I really do love Greek mythology. And when YA gets it right (which is rarely) I'm in a happy mood.

This book made me pretty happy.

And while I'm going to talk about the book (obviously) in this review. I think the best way to explain what I like about it is what usually goes wrong in these retellings.

I think the first thing that was in favor of Antigoddess was its synopsis. The gist is that the Greek gods are dying. There's nothing about insta love, forbidden love, or any of that nonsense in the summary (though there is some romance), there's an actual action oriented plot. And it involves something pretty big.

Another thing in this books favor is that it's not a straight up retelling.

While some retellings have been decent, a lot of them have been meh. That calls for both literal and loose interpretations of myths. Notably the Persephone myth. God, there are tons of bad and so so Persephone retellings out there in the genre right now.

Honestly, I probably gave Blake extra points for killing that sucker off right away.

That being said, it wasn't just the fact that this book parted from the usual cliches that made it enjoyable.

The writing itself for the most part was engaging. Sure, there were some parts that confused me a little bit but for the most part I could not put this book down. I will admit though, that I was more engaged with the Athena parts of the story than the Cassandra parts.

It wasn't that Cassandra was a bad character, she was just...well, boring compared to Athena. And while I did enjoy her relationship with Aidan in the beginning I was slightly groaning. Though I do give props for Blake for putting them in an established relationship. I think that saved the book from suffering from insta love.

Overall, the romantic elements-which were ore or less a very small subplot-were handled appropriately. I liked how the gods stayed in their characters. In many of these Greek retellings the gods are bizarrely not themselves, Cupidity and The Goddess Test. Here though, the characters still fit their origins though they've been modernized.

The fates the gods suffer are all bizarre and grotesque. Some might find this factor to be a reason not to read this book. Personally, the book being a little macabre didn't bother me so much. I think mainly because it wasn't the focus so much of the book. Sure, we're told that Athena is being suffocated by feathers, Hermes is slowly wasting away, and Hera is turning into stone. But when reading the novel those weren't the things I was focused on. Instead I focused on the characters, their interactions, their struggle to survive.

I also enjoyed how elements from the Trojan War were used here. While it was not a direct retelling, Troy is apart of these characters history both the gods and the reincarnations of Greek and Trojan heros. There were consequences for actions in the past and I liked that. It wasn't like Starcrossed where the various dignities and gods were either glamorized or demonized. Blake's approach was much more realistic.

I also liked how the book ended. It made me cry and want the next one. Which is rare in YA-the wanting to read the next one thing. To be honest I'm a little burnt with series and waiting. But I'm actually excited about reading the next one.
Profile Image for Kay.
371 reviews34 followers
December 18, 2013
This book was just awful, from the immature, awkward dialogue to the gross, over-the-top slut-shaming to the shallow understanding of Greek mythology. Antigoddess wants to be a dark and gritty story, and so of course Athena is a tattooed punk, all the gods are dying in grotesque, horrible ways, and there's absolutely no levity or lightness to the story, making it feel like a melodramatic slog. I'll give credit where credit is due: Kendare Blake is excellent at conjuring up brutal, beautiful imagery. Unfortunately, that imagery is the only solid point in the book; the characters are flimsy and the plot is nonexistent. The mythological figures feel out of character, which is pretty difficult to accomplish considering the vast multitudes of personality quirks and traits encompassed by Greek mythology. Athena talks like a fourteen-year-old who's just discovered she can swear with impunity, which could be overlooked if she weren't so blindingly stupid. The goddess of war, wisdom, and crafts spends most of the book doddering about and throwing out standard gritty male antihero lines like "I did what had to be done" and "someone has to make the hard decisions." She spends most of her time walking into really obvious traps, and while I get she's not at her best, I expected a little more cunning out of her. I guess she's too busy mooning over Odysseus or something.

Which is another thing; for a book that viciously characterizes Aphrodite as vapid, silly, and vain, man do these main characters spend a lot of time mooning over each other. Apollo is a particularly egregious example, both because he was a limp excuse for a character and because his relationship with Cassandra was at best creepy and at worse abusive.

Man, though, Aphrodite. It's like Blake was pointing a giant finger at her going "Hey guys, this one! You're supposed to hate this one!" Every time she appeared in the book she was characterized in the most unappealing, venomous way possible and that, coupled with the slut-shaming and slut jokes and Athena being unable to come up with any comeback for Hera that wasn't "you bitch" made this book feel like a festival of misogyny. (As an aside, Demeter going on about how "revealing" Athena's jeans + tanktop are makes me laugh. Take a look at a vase. There's a lot of ladies wearing sleeveless dresses).

All that aside, the plot made no sense. I understand that this is the first book in a trilogy but some questions should've been answered, re: how on earth is killing each other helping anyone? Like were a little bit better off than our intrepid heroes, but that was mostly due to the fact that their particular deaths were more useful. Maybe they were supposed to be more powerful somehow, but that didn't seem to be the case. The question of why the gods are dying now remains, but there were vague allusions to Olympus actually being destroyed or something? I understand some drama needs to be held back for later books, but considering the entire plot of this one was "These people plan to eventually do things" and "These people don't want to do things so they try to leave but they don't get too far" I think Blake could've spared a revelation or two.

I don't know. Maybe I'm being unfair to this book because I feel like the Percy Jackson series already did Greek mythology a million times better, but I've enjoyed other mythology retellings (i.e. Gods Behaving Badly). I think I just found so much of Blake's interpretations grating and wrong-headed that it became hard to enjoy much of anything else about the book. That plus the plot issues, the dialogue, and the slut-shaming made me really dislike Antigoddess, when I had initially been looking forward to it.
Profile Image for antigone  g.
42 reviews50 followers
June 16, 2015
Okay, I have REALLY conflicted feelings about this book. There were certain things I liked, and other things I completely HATED. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying this is a bad book. But, - unfortunately - this is an average book. I think a lot of people will enjoy it. I enjoyed some parts of it, but it just didn’t blow me away. When I first read the synopsis I thought this was going to be awesome! Even though there’s a ton of YA that deals with Greek Gods and Goddesses, Antigoddess has one of the most intriguing and unique concepts in YA literature today. The once immortal Gods are now dying and they need to race around to save themselves… cool huh? Yeah, that’s what I thought. But in reality things were a little different.
One thing I really disliked in Antigoddess was the pace. There’s some action in this book, but for the most part it was quite slow. I have to confess that it started off at a nice pace and it stayed at a nice pace for a while, but it never REALLY picked up and even when it finally did, nothing big was really happening! I was waiting and waiting and waiting for something important to happen, but I felt like I was waiting for ages. So, even when the pace eventually picked up, it never really exploded. The Gods were wandering around, collecting information about Cassandra, but we never got anywhere near answering the question of why this is happening to them, why Cassandra is so important and how they are going to fix it.
It was really well written, of course (its Kendare Blake we’re talking about), but the characters were extremely dry and un-relatable. They were lacking the ability and spark to make me care for them and empathize with their problems and tortures. The only character I grew fond of was Hermes. The God of Thieves and mischief was cute, funny and made me laugh out loud once or twice. Cassandra – the main female character – was dull… and boring… and even annoying at times. She’s supposed to be this great weapon, but all she does is bitching around and acting like a weak little child. Not cool. Another thing I did not like was the romance. The relationship between the characters wasn’t overdone, but for some reason it felt forced. Especially Athena’s attraction to Odysseus.
I honestly don’t know how to rate this book. I guess my biggest complaint is that the whole book felt like a set up for the rest of the series. There was a brief moment I thought this was a prequel. Anyway… It was not a bad book, but it didn’t bring me the level of enjoyment I expected, given the synopsis and my endless love for Greek Mythology. I will definitely continue with the rest of the series, though. I do see potential and I trust Kendare Blake.
If you like Greek Mythology and you’re looking for an easy read you could pick this up. I didn’t love it, but I hope you will!!!
Profile Image for Zoe.
406 reviews931 followers
July 19, 2015

When I first heard about Kendare Blake's Antigoddess, I knew I needed to have it. I'm a huge fan of Greek mythology, and Athena and Hermes are two of my favorite gods and goddesses in Greek mythology. How could I not read this book? While it isn't quite as good as Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, it is sure to satisfy those who have a fondness for mythology.

Athena is an immortal goddess. She's not supposed to die. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer.
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.

And they need all the help they can get, because Hera has aligned herself with other ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to save their own lives. The Goddess War is about to begin.

Kendare's characters are extraordinarily well developed; and it's clear that she has researched their myths inside and out. Each character is given their own personality; but above all it's clear the inspiration of their behaviors comes from the Greek myths they reside from.

Athena was by far the highlight of the story: she satisfied my need for a strong heroine, and then some. She is just like I've always imagined her Athena to be - strong, intelligent, strategic, and willing to stand up for what she believes is right, even if she is a little bit prideful at times (Arachne). I wish Blake focused just a bit more her powers of wisdom and strategy instead of her prowess in battle however, but she was still excellently depicted.

All in all, I really did like Antigoddess - besides the few minor problems I had with it. I'd highly recommend it to fans of Greek mythology and gory stories.
Profile Image for gio.
1,036 reviews385 followers
September 17, 2014

Athena sta morendo. Così come suo fratello, Hermes, e tutti gli altri dei, ognuno di loro che pian piano soccombe a una maledizione diversa. Così piume di gufo cominciano a spuntare nel corpo di Athena soffocandola, Hermes si consuma lentamente in una febbre che sembra mangiargli la carne. I due si trovano a cercare Demetra sperando che almeno lei, nonostante le sue condizioni, possa dire loro cosa fare, come salvare se stessi. Sembra che Cassandra, una ragazza in grado di predire il futuro sia la chiave per ottenere delle risposte e che lei possa essere un'arma nella guerra che li attende. Perché se Athena e Hermes non vogliono morire anche Hera e gli altri non hanno nessuna intenzione di desistere, anche a costo di uccidere tutta la loro famiglia.

- Devo dire che l'idea di base si è rivelata davvero interessante e a tratti inquietante in senso positivo. Il libro in sè piuttosto introduttivo, ma comunque non mi ha mai annoiata e non mi è mai sembrato statico.

- Le parti dedicate ad Athena mi sono piaciute tantissimo, il suo personaggio è davvero badass e il suo punto di vista riesce a essere più crudo e schietto rispetto a molte protagoniste del genere, cosa che me l'ha solo fatta apprezzare di più. Un personaggio sfaccettato, con la crudeltà di una dea immortale e le insicurezze di una dea che si trova ad affrontare l'ignoto: la morte. Anche il suo rapporto con Odysseus mi è piaciuto, l'ho trovato abbastanza complesso senza risultare per questo drammatico e tantomeno scontato.

- Hermes mi è sembrato molto...cucciolo. Avrei voluto anche il suo punto di vista, perché mi sarebbe piaciuto sapere cosa si cela nella mente del messaggero degli dei protettore dei ladri. Il suo personaggio mi è piaciuto, ma probabilmente l'avrei anche adorato se avessi potuto sbirciare tra i suoi pensieri. Comunque, arrogante e scanzonato, si è rivelato davvero carino.

- Sulla trama in sè non ho nulla da dire: sviluppata bene, interessante, scorrevole senza essere frettolosa.

- L'unica pecca per me è costituita dalle parti dedicate a Cassandra. Non mi ha trasmesso nulla, mi è sembrata molto apatica e anche la sua relazione con Aidan non è stata sviluppata benissimo. Empatia zero, mentre suo fratello e Andie promettono bene. Il punto di vista di Aidan sarebbe stato decisamente più interessante.

- Il finale è stato un po' troppo brusco, ma comunque posso perdonarlo alla Blake, dati tutti i punti a favore.

Antigoddess è un buon inizio di serie, scritto bene, pieno di spunti interessanti e sopratutto privo dei soliti cliché degli young-adults. Dopo diverso tempo, uno sviluppo promettente basato sui miti greci, finalmente!

Profile Image for Karen.
1,419 reviews107 followers
June 14, 2013
I hate to compare an authors books/writing to their earlier work. I think each book and series should stand on it's own, but I admit I had high expectations going into Antigoddess because I was a huge fan of the Anna Dressed in Blood duology. I think Blake set a new standard for YA horror with that series, going places that I had never seen an author go before. It was gory and anything could happen to any character at any time which I found refreshing.

I found Antigoddess to be a bit predictable and I just could not connect with the main characters.

The dual POV's were at odds and never really set a consistent tone. The first is Athena traveling with her brother Hermes as she tries to solve the mystery of why and how the Gods are dying.
The second is of Cassandra, a teenage girl, leading a seemingly normal life with her boyfriend, BFF and family. She has always been a bit psychic but now her visions are increasing and she realizes that her gift is about more than predicting whether a coin will turn up heads or tails to make a few bucks. She may be the secret to saving the Gods she never knew existed.

Cassandra and her friends have really odd reactions when the truth is finally revealed. They find out something HUGE and kind of go...OMG! for about a minute then huh....and head back to school. Athena's narrative switches back and forth from deliciously creepy to sarcastic humor which just didn't work for me. Which is weird because I usually enjoy both.

As the two narratives intersect things get more interesting but by that point I wasn't emotionally invested in the relationships that Blake was trying to build.

I'm not well versed in Greek mythology. That may have been a problem for me that other readers who are might not have. There seem to be a lot of things happening that assume you are up to speed with the history of the characters already. By the time things were explained in more detail I was lost.

The most disappointing thing for me though was that I felt like I read bits and pieces of this story before in The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter and in Vessel by Sara Beth Durst.

Antigoddess is fast paced and readers with a prior knowledge of Greek Mythology might not be as lost as I was. The characters felt pretty standard and bland which I found disappointing but I'm sure that many readers will enjoy this modern spin on the old tales.
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