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From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds comes a sweepingly ambitious, high-octane tale of power, destiny, love and redemption.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family's sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt's promises of eternal glory. For years she's pushed away any thought of revenge against the man--now a god--responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore's decision to bind her fate to Athena's and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost--and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

480 pages, Hardcover

First published January 5, 2021

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About the author

Alexandra Bracken

37 books24.4k followers
Hi! I'm Alex and I write books. Please note that I don't respond to messages here on GoodReads. Please send me a note on twitter or IG @alexbracken. xx A

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5 stars
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,383 reviews
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,540 reviews9,834 followers
April 20, 2023
While I fully acknowledge Lore will not work for every Reader, I freaking loved it and am not afraid to admit it!

Aptly described as Greek Mythology meets The Hunger Games, it's a meshing of ideas that truly worked for me.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. Essentially this event is a punishment created by Zeus for past rebellions.

During the Agon, nine Greek Gods are forced to walk the Earth as mortals, all the while being hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines.

If a God is killed during the Agon, the hunter responsible for their death gets to seize that God's powers and more importantly, their immortality, thus becoming a New God.

Melora, known as Lore, is a member of the line of Perseus. She is no longer participating in the Agon, however, having left that world behind.

She has successfully kept herself hidden since the last hunt left her entire family dead, including her two little sisters; murdered by a rival clan.

Living in New York City, Lore has done a good job blending in and has successfully flown under the radar of anyone related to the hunt. At least that's what she thinks.

One night a blast from her past, her childhood best friend, Castor, ends up tracking her down unexpectedly. Their brief conversation intrigues Lore enough to make her question whether she can really leave that life behind.

Their interaction really rattles her. She has suspected that Castor was dead, so to have him just suddenly reappear was a lot to swallow.

Little does she know, things are about to get a lot more interesting.

Arriving home, she discovers the Greek Goddess, Athena, one of the few remaining original Gods, injured on the front steps of her brownstone, pleading for help!

Before she knows it, Lore has rejoined the hunt, pairing with Athena and hoping to finally get revenge on the man she blames for the murder of her family.

Y'all, I loved this book from the very first chapter.

I was so intrigued about the whole concept of the Agon and absolutely loved getting to know these characters.

I think Bracken did a great job of building this out and keeping the pace steady throughout. There was always plenty of action and intrigue to keep me wanting more.

Lore is a strong character, who you can tell is hurting. As her past is slowly revealed, through chapters focusing on her childhood and the end of the last Agon, my heart absolutely broke for her.

Trust, this girl has been through it.

Over the course of the story, you watch her character evolve from a damaged soul to a true force to be reckoned with.

I loved the relationships within this story as well. The friend group, made up of Lore, Castor, Van, Miles and Iro, was so great to read. I loved their dynamic and the way their personalities played off of one another; particularly Miles, the only one not from an ancient bloodline.

The Agon, at its heart, is a competition; one of my favorite tropes. There was a lot of danger. I mean really, the entire time, Lore and her friends are on the move.

They're constantly in fear for their lives, which makes you constantly in fear for their lives.

This felt like a Superhero story and I was living for it. Towards the end, there are all sorts of surprising twists and reveals. So, so good!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Book Group, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I truly appreciate it.

Profile Image for  Teodora .
307 reviews1,643 followers
May 3, 2023
2.75/5 ⭐

Watch out, there comes an unpopular (personal) opinion!

When I first read what Lore was all about, I was sold. A mix of Medusa (who is one of my faves, I must say) and The Hunger Games set in the present world?? Descendants of the OG heroes trying to kill the old gods to steal their powers of godhood?? That's nuts...and I loved it!
But honestly, as I started the first chapter, then slowly made my way through the story, I realised that I am: 1) confused and 2) bored.

Don't get me wrong, the idea of the plot was really, really good and I was desperate to like it, but it just didn't do the trick for me.

Greek mythology generally confuses me so that's not this book's problem, it's mine. But even so, contributing to my confusion was the writing style of the author.
Honestly, sometimes it felt like she wanted to give us little sneak peeks of what's going to happen with the action, but wait! Not too much!
So she simply let us see glimpses of past actions while they were in the middle of happening.

I also had a problem with the characters. As I generally had no problem per se with either of them, I simply could care less about them because they felt (to me) a little bit flat. It was nothing there to get me emotionally invested in them. Which, I think, it's sad.

Overall, my experience with this book was the same as the action of sitting in a boat in the middle of a lake with no paddles and no wind to carry me anywhere.
Nice and all, but after a while, you need to get somewhere.

Profile Image for Robin.
310 reviews1,459 followers
October 25, 2021
↠5 stars

Greek mythology meets the Hunger Games in this stunning fantasy standalone from author Alexandra Bracken. Long ago, nine Greek gods rebelled, and as punishment for this rebellion, the Agon was created. Every seven years those same gods would be stripped of their immortality and forced to fight against an onslaught of humans desperate to gain power and immortality in their death. Lora, an outcast from the supposedly wiped out line of the Perseides, is drawn back into the hunt upon the arrival of the famed Athena on her doorstep. Together the two will form a tethered bond, joining unlikely allies in search of revenge, and an end to the Agon forever.

I just want to start by saying how in awe I am of this. This book delivered in every sense of the word, flawlessly executing complex plot and strategy, all while developing the personal relationships amongst the main characters. The writing style is one that slowly took hold, enveloping me within the world like it was greeting an old friend. Upfront there certainly was a lot to digest in order to move forward, but it seemed necessary given the nature of the story and how thoroughly it was explored. The character of Lore, whose complicated past begins to hold power over current events and alliances, is just one example. The internal conflict of her seeking revenge for the death of her family versus escaping from the horrible legacy of the Agon was one of the most compelling aspects of the novel. Bracken surely drew out the revelations to her past in relation to the progression of the hunt and the meaning behind it all. There were definitely moments when I wanted to throw this book at the wall, as I came to terms with yet another expertly placed plot-twist. My only bone to pick with this is that I needed more of a definitive answer as to the point of the Agon. In the concluding events, what was the fate of the gods, and what was Zeus's plan all along? These are questions that needed to be answered for me to really feel like the book had concluded in a finite way. This truly is a book that will take the world by storm, and I look forward to witnessing it in January.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review

Trigger warnings: blood, violence, gore, attempted murder, murder, murder of children (graphic), murder of parents (graphic), terminal illness, abuse, attempted rape, arranged marriage
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.6k followers
January 20, 2021
its been awhile since ive read a book that is inspired by greek mythology, so i already knew i would enjoy this. adding that story gave me a very mature percy jackson meets hunger games vibe, this was a lot more fun that i had anticipated.

i actually think readers will be surprised by just how brutal this story actually is. i mean, greek gods are violent beings, and this story definitely leans into that side of them. i think it made the concept of the agon that much more desperate and dangerous. it gave me anxiety, but in a good way.

however, i do think the story could have benefited from dual POVs. castors arc and development is too important to the story for him to just be a side character. i think if he had his own chapters, the world-building might have flowed a bit smoother and not have felt like it was crammed into confusing info dumps via lore.

but overall, this story is an exciting adventure and showcases a very unique side to greek mythology.

4 stars
Profile Image for Samantha.
417 reviews16.7k followers
February 25, 2021
TW: rape; pedophilia; gore; cancer

I wanted to enjoy this. I really did. But once I got to the end, I realized that I hated most of this reading experience.

This had so much potential and ended up being so incredibly flat. The world is supposed to be modern day, but you wouldn’t know it by how characters act and how incredibly misogynistic the hunter society is. Sure, they are more of an insular culture but you can’t honestly have me believe that they are living in NYC and totally cut off from modern society and norms.

Then I just didn’t buy most of the character dynamics and relationships. These people are supposed to be close and I just don’t see it outside of maybe Lore and Castor and Lore and Miles. But other friendships Lore supposedly have fall so flat and unbelievable. Without substance. And any conflict between “good” characters just get resolved. One of them tries to literally kill another one and it’s forgotten a few chapters later.

You know what else is flat? The villains. These are some of the worst, one dimensional villains I have ever read. It’s like the author thought: “you know how we make sure everyone knows villain bad? Make him a pedophile rapist.” It’s such lazy writing. And he’s not even the only rapist! Not only that, but the lack of adults in the world is apparent and yet the author doesn’t even try to explain that away. The only adults present are other gods who are all bad, and we just have these teens running around with not even a mention of adults who would be involved somewhere in the lower structure of hunter society.

So we have all these bad, one dimensional villains and then have the audacity for Zeus to be depicted as neutral good?! Excuse me?! Ancient Greece nerds disagree on a lot and we love a good interpretation but we all can agree that Zeus was shit.

Yeah... Um... I’ll be doing a gripe about this. I have more to say.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,172 reviews98.2k followers
February 13, 2021

Finished copy provided by Disney-Hyperion

"Nine gods have betrayed me and now demand cruel revenge."

Nine gods have been abandoned by Zeus as punishment for a rebellion filled with betrayal. Since the banishment, these nine gods are forced to walk among humans like mortals, while carrying out their bloodline. Yet, every seven years, the Agon takes place in a city for seven days, where all the descendants from all of these ancient bloodlines can kill the god they descend from and take their powers (and immortality) for themselves. And the start of a new Agon is finally here, and is going to take place in New York City, yet our main character is haunted by the last Agon where her family was brutally murdered.

➽ Melora Perseous (Lore) – of House Perseus, underground fighter, trying to block out the loss of her family in the past, and the recent loss of another loved one. Lore is also last of her bloodline.

➽ Castor Achilleos – of House Achilles, Lore’s best friend and fighting partner growing up, who had leukemia.

➽ Miles – Korean, queer, Lore’s roommate and best friend.

➽ Van – Black, queer, Castor’s best friend.

➽ Gil – Recently passed away, but the one who became a family with Lore and Miles these last few years.

➽ Athena – Betrayed by her sister, Artemis, and one of the last original gods, yet is wounded so badly at the beginning of this book that she makes a deal with Lore so they can both try to get revenge.

"I will help you survive this week, and you will destroy the god once known as Aristos Kadmou, the enemy of my blood"

And so, Athena and Lore’s lives in this Agon are forever intertwined, while they try to survive in New York City, and try to get the vengeance they so desperately have wanted these last seven years against a new god called Wrath. But things change even more so when Lore realizes she is a lot closer to another god than she realizes, and she also is quickly realizing that things are a lot more personal than she ever imagined. Especially when Wrath wants to kill all the gods, regardless of bloodline and regardless of transferring magical abilities and artifacts attached to those bloodlines.

The premise and set up was truly amazing, and I was invested after the very first chapter! But I will say, this book felt a bit too info dumpy at times for me, and I imagine if you didn’t know much about Greek mythos this story could get extra confusing, but I really did overall enjoy it each time I picked it up. Truly, it made me realize how much I do miss reading urban fantasy, and I think the New York setting was very genius for the Agon. I loved learning about all the different types of magic and all the different artifacts, but I do wish they were woven into the story a little better, even though I was being all sidetracked like “wow I love this shield and I’m going to spiral about Dota AND the Iliad because of it and my nerdy ways!” And even though I did love the New York setting, I would forget that this was set in modern times, especially any scene with Wrath and any scene showing us Lore’s past. Then we should see Castor’s medical treatment in the past, or they’d mention New York bagel styles and I’d be reminded, but a bit of whiplash while reading.

I also want to briefly mention, and I do not want to be too personal, but childhood cancer is something that is very close to my heart and something that impacts every day of my life, so reading a book about a boy who had to go through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and stem-cell transplants, for a cancer he had to fight twice, to get to see him be a modern-day Greek God… it was just very powerful. I can’t even think of another YA book where we get to see a young side character be impacted by cancer and see those around them be impacted by it too, and not have it be the focal point of a sad story starring it. I just wish we had more representation for this very real situation where people’s lives are so heavily influenced by this disease that impacts so many children every single day. (This is one of the few triggers I do personally have, but I thought it was very well done, and it made my heart very happy to read, and I wish more children and young adults living with cancer, or living in remission, could read stories that give happy and hopeful endings.)

"It’s okay to want good things […] and to believe that you deserve a good life."

Overall, I really liked this unique spin on Greek mythos, and I really enjoyed how this author intertwined this story in a modern day setting. I think it was a solid standalone, and I was very impressed with the characters, so many of the themes, and the central discussions of found family and second chances, and the constant reminder that there is no “right way” to heal from trauma and grief. Also, I will always love a good reclaiming of Medusa and her whole entire monster story. Be still, my Circe loving heart. But I really enjoyed Lore and Castor’s relationship. I loved the Van and Miles and truly were amazing side characters.

"And now history remembers her as a villain who deserved to die."

Content and Trigger Warnings: a lot of blood depiction, murder, loss of a loved one, graphic torture depictions (some to children), graphic violence, gore, sexual assault, grief depiction, ptsd, child abuse, threat of pedophilia,, threat of rape, implied pedophilia, slavery, talk of cancer (leukemia), child cancer (and mention of chemo, radiation, stem-cell transplants, etc.), mention of heart attack, mention of cancer coming back, bombings, explosions, brief mentions of suicide, and war themes. This is a pretty dark book, and it surprised me a lot with the constant learning of the torture that happened to Lore’s family in the past, so please use caution and make sure you are in the right headspace.

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Buddy read with Maëlys! ❤
Profile Image for Angelica.
805 reviews1,132 followers
April 14, 2021
I have read a lot of books in my years. The majority of them being YA.  A great many of those books have been formulaic and full of tropes. It has gotten to the point that I can almost always figure out all the plot twists and reveals long before it comes. But, let me tell you, I had no idea what came next in this book. Every time I thought I knew where it was all going, something else came up that turned everything on its head.

And yet! It was not enough to make me love this.

Because while my expectations were challenged, every twist was met with indifference. Things would happen, and all they would get from me was a slight raise of the eyebrows. For the life of me, I simply did not care.

My main problem with this book was that it was both too long and not long enough. It was all very fast-paced, nonstop action. And yet, there were moments when the story lulled within the action. It all started blending together. Despite that, I wish there had been slower moments to better know the characters and history of the world. There is a perfect balance between action and rest that I like, and this book didn't quite reach it. 

Another problem I had was with the characters. While I generally liked them all, I was never fully invested in them.  The most interesting character to me was Athena, by far. I wish we could have gotten more from her history through the many Agons past. Everyone else, Lore included felt 'meh' to me. Lore, in the beginning, was contradictory and hard to get behind. She wanted to be free of the Agon, but she wanted revenge against the new god, Wrath, but she also wanted glory, but she wanted to stop fighting? Girl, pick a struggle, and stay with it. All the other characters had amazing potential, especially Iro and Van, but we never got to see it

There was a bit of romance in this novel. Worry not, the romance takes the seat furthest in the back of this story. It doesn't distract, and it doesn't take away from the story. And yet, it felt forced. The romance is between Lore and Castor, two people who haven't seen each other in seven years, having last spoken when they were children. And now, after a few days together, you want to tell me they are in love? No. I don't buy it. It would have been best if the romance hadn't existed at all, and they had remained friends. It literally would not have affected the story if it hadn't been there at all.

Lastly, there were so many loose ends. So many unanswered questions. So many things that I wanted to be explored that were simply left as they were. I wanted more! Especially from the ending. I kept looking at the dwindling number of pages in worry because it simply could not end in such a rushed, unexciting way!

Also, just as a side note, the civilian body count in this novel is astronomical. I wish there had been an epilogue because the ruin the gods left in their wake made it seem like they had all but entirely destroyed New York City, and no one was questioning or mentioning it.

All of that having been said, this book did have a lot of good parts. I loved the idea of the plot. Percy Jackson meets The Hunger Games is such a cool concept, and I think the author did a great job of making it flow. The mix of mythology with modernity was well done. I also enjoyed the writing. This was my first time reading one of Alexandra Bracken's novels, and I truly liked her writing style. My favorite line was, "fear is a foreign land I shall never visit and a language that will never cross my tongue.” The moment I read it, I was like, damn, I wanna write lines like that.

Ultimately, this novel wasn't bad. It just wasn't what I wanted.  I know that this is not a story that will stay with me or that I will ever want to return to. It was an ok way to pass a few hours and nothing more. 

TW: torture, attempt at rape, blood and gore

**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**

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Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,470 reviews9,636 followers
February 14, 2021
Ok, dolls, I’m going to use the spoiler tag again under the FairyLoot picture to show you the goodies! I miss putting them on my blog but they messed that all up so here we are. There’s some awesome stuff


Ok, I don’t feel like putting the goodies on my blog SO under the Owlcrate picture I will put up a spoiler tag with all of the goodies and the book cover 😉

My Thoughts 💭

I’m giving this a 4 stars 🌟 right now. I think I missed something. 🤔 There is a lot a lot of gruesome killing in the book for a YA book. But I still don’t see where Medusa actually came into the book through anyone 🤔. Brilliant cover though!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for :).
137 reviews172 followers
March 13, 2021
okay i have no clue how im going to structure this review, so i apologize in advance for any chaos.

trigger warnings:
sexual assualt, rape (a very present theme in this book), abuse, death, violence, gore

*bear with me, this synopsis is terrible, but the plot is hard to explain* this book follows our main character, lore, who is a part of these like greek bloodline thingys that hunt the gods when they come down to earth as mortals for seven days to be killed by descendants of greek heroes. anyways like 10 years ago lore's family was killed and she was all like "nah id prefer not to die, im out" so shes not involved with this hunt for gods anymore but then stuff happens and she gets thrown back into the world.

yall im so sorry that was the worst plot explanation ive ever given. but one of my new years resolutions is to not stress over reviews so whatever. i do this for me, and for the kind people who enjoy my reviews. theyre not gonna be perfect, but i try my best.

anyways moving on.

lore looked so promising! a greek mythology book that takes place in new york? sounds like my personal heaven. unfortunately, this book had so many flaws that i genuinely just could not overlook, and my overall enjoyment of the novel was not as high as i had hoped it would be.

before i start ranting, i do have a few things that i really enjoyed about this book, and felt like should be mentioned.

first of all, someone needs to go pat Alexandra Bracken on the back for her originality. a big issue in young adult fantasy, is reused tropes and plots. there are so many YA fantasy books out there, that its hard to write a book that hasnt already been written. i know many people will see greek mythology and think "percy jackson rip-off!!!" which, i personally think, is totally unfair. (youll catch me being the biggest pjo stan, but not every greek mythology book is copying it) no one calls out authors when they use fae or witches or any other popular tropes or characters in their books, why should it be different now? i had many many issues with the plot and pacing of this book, but the general concept was so unique and had loads of potential.

another thing that was great about this story was the antagonist plotline. i DESPISE books with weak villains, but i didnt feel that at all. there were a few antagonists in this story, but theres one in particular who, i felt, was written very well.

there was only one other thing that i liked in this book, and that was the urban fantasy aspect. if you know me at all, you would know that new york is literally my favorite place on earth. like actually. i spend an unhealthy amount of time wishing i was in new york. so, obviously, when i learned this book took place in new york city, i was jumping for joy. i was disappointed by many things in this book, but definitely not by the nyc parts. the way the storyline fit into the city and its people was awesome, and i really appreciated that the main character had such a deep love for her city. because, relatable. (i meant that its relatable in the sense that i love nyc, not my own city. i live in dc. i used to think it was cool. then the capitol got stormed and i could barely leave the house.)


ill split this into like four parts to make sure i can cover everything. characters, plot, romance, writing.

so i guess that means ill start with characters.

im not gonna do my character analysis that i would usually do for each character, because honestly i felt detached from them all. not one of the characters in this book had consistent personalities. the love interest was all over the place, the main character started out as this bad-ass fist fighter and then turned out to be annoying, and the side characters had no depth.

also, i have a question. were these characters supposed to be morally grey? because theyre not. at all. they were literally the OPPOSITE of morally grey and it got very annoying, very fast. theres nothing wrong with book characters that are good people (i do love my comfort characters, who are also murderers, but thats besides the point), but they have to have their flaws yaknow? each of these characters felt way too perfect.

overall i felt absolutely nothing for any of these characters and could care less what happened to them.

next, plot.

ask me to explain what actually happened in this book. i think we can all tell from my synopsis that i really didnt get the story. i truly believe that this plot had so much potential, but the execution was awful.

the worldbuilding was horrendous. im not exaggerating. im a mythology nerd. I UNDERSTAND GREEK MYTHOLOGY. SO THEN WHY WAS THIS SO HARD TO FOLLOW?!?!? i feel so bad for anyone who read this book without any background knowledge, because i barely understood it. at the beginning of the book, the bloodlines that are trying to kill the gods were explained (in a very info-dumpy way) and then its like the author was just like "oh! well i explained it once! theyll get it now." NO NO NO NO NO. I WAS SO LOST DURING EVERY PART OF THIS BOOK. AND I SWEAR IM NOT STUPID. I UNDERSTOOD House of Earth and Blood AND THAT BOOK WAS LIKE INFO DUMP HEAVEN. but yeah, i would have appreciated a lot more explanation.

the other thing about the plot was that it was so fast moving, that it became boring. that statement really doesnt make much sense, but i can explain it. i hate slow books right? like if theres no action or plot then ill throw the book across the room and leave. this book was definitely not slow, but it always had something going on, to the point where i felt no suspense. all 400 pages of this book read like a climax, which ended up making the actual climax of the story underwhelming.


now ill talk about writing.

i dont have anything negative to say about this books writing, but i dont have anything positive to say either. it was nothing special. honestly, it was just insanely average.

there were definitely times that the things that characters said felt so unnecessarily preachy. like there are quotes from this book that sound something straight out of a self help book.

for example:
"you have to start thinking about your future, otherwise your past is always going to hold you back."

its not that big of a deal, but i hate those quotes that were so clearly created for the sole purpose of sounding "deep."

the last thing ill discuss is the romance.

the main romance in this book was terrible. there was a side romance that i thought was cute but the romance that was really focused on was atrocious. and dont even get me started on the love interest.

actually, do get me started. because i am pissed. this book was marketed to me as a "feminist take on greek mythology." and i was like, "sick. lets go murder those misogynistic gods." the actual narrative on sexism in greek mythology was done pretty well in my opinion. BUT THEN THIS "feminist novel" JUST HAD TO GO AND HAVE A SEXIST LOVE INTEREST. castor, the love interest, didnt do anything obviously sexist. he didnt make any misogynistic jokes or anything, BUT THERE WERE STILL SO MANY DOUBLE STANDARDS THAT HE INCITED.

there was a point in the book where the MC starts killing some people blah blah, and castors all like "this isnt you lore. youre better than this. dont kill people." which is kinda annoying but like if you wanna be the ethics police, than sure, go be the ethics police. BUT THEN LATER IN THE BOOK, LORE'S IN DANGER AND GETS HURT, AND OF COURSE CASTOR, BEING THE Possessive Male Love Interest™ he is, hes all like "ill kill them." excuse me castor? i thought that killing was wrong? youre allowed to murder anyone who hurts your beloved crush, but said beloved crush cannot take revenge on the people who have caused her harm.

you cant claim to be a feminist novel and then have an important character be sexist. thats not how it works.

okay so thats all folks, i hope you enjoyed my review, because its kinda a mess. the bottom line is, if this book was on your most anticipated releases list, cross it off. or dont. who knows, maybe youll love it, but i definitely didnt.


don’t you just love it when one of your most anticipated releases of the year is not that good? anyways i’m still debating about my star rating. probably two stars. maybeee three. i’ll think about it. rtc.


ITS HERE ITS HERE ITS HERE!! i’m gonna try to start this tomorrow after i finish tog.

ahhh my pre-order of this book arrives tomorrow 😚😚
Profile Image for Yumiko.
235 reviews517 followers
May 26, 2021
This review contains no spoilers.

I really thought A Court of Silver Flames was going to be my worst read of the year, but damn, Lore really has a way of making me seriously question my life choices.

this cant be
this cant be real
this is turning into my favorite book and i am QUAKING
pls let it last
pls be amazing

At this point, I'm just laughing at myself, because that was one of my updates for this book, and now I just hate everything. I feel like I just wasted my precious eyes by reading the words in this damn book.

{Side note: I'm glad people are realizing how shitty this book is.}

*Long, weary sigh*

That was the sigh of a person who was initially excited for this book. That was the sigh of a person who was screaming and raving about how good this book was in the beginning. That was the sigh of a person who was tricked.

Can this book just fucking die? Please? I would start a petition to have this book banished from history and to wipe anyone's memory of this horrible book. OH MY GOD. MY HATRED IS UNBEARABLE. If this book was a person, I'd murder it.

The beginning of this book (AKA the first fifty or so pages) really had me fooled. I thought Lore was a completely strong, badass, resilient, sarcastic fighter who spoke only with her fists, but then...there was nothing about her I could really like. No matter how hard I tried to like her, I just ended up hating her guts.

The sad part is that this book had so, so much potential. Normally, I love every book with Greek mythology, and I'll admit that the synopsis of this book was fascinating and appealed to me. But Bracken completely ruined it. This is what everyone's been saying about Lore:

"Greek mythology meets The Hunger Games."
Me: *chokes*

No, sweetie. No. I got absolutely no HG vibes from this book whatsoever, and the Greek mythology portion was absolutely horrendous. The only thing this book succeeded on was making me hate every single character and every single god and every single word in this damn book.

There was so much info-dumping to the point that everything just became really confusing. Sometimes I would be reading a passage and it would be a whole fucking page explaining something to me, and I'm like...Bracken, do you think I'm stupid? There was absolutely no need for the author to add the amount of information that they did. It was completely unnecessary. I won't go far to say that the world-building was nonexistent, but it was definitely...nonexistent. I mean, it was there, but it's definitely not the type of world I would yearn to live in. It's not even the fact the fantasy world is dangerous, because obviously I'd love to visit District 12 with Katniss. It's just the simple fact that Bracken's world is utterly plain, dull, boring, stupid, pointless, and not appealing to me at all. The only thing we learn about Lore's so-called "world" is that she has a weird obsession with New York. Um...right. I get it. New York is beautiful and amazing, but repeating it ten times isn't going to thrill anyone.

Bracken missed the entire scope of the New York setting. In her novel, it was just, "rainy days", "exciting adventures", "don't stay out after dark, monsters shall eat you alive." That sort of thing. I don't know what New York you're talking about, Bracken, but I don't think we're living in the same time period. I live in New York, and it's not fucking like that. At all. I get it, she hasn't lived there her entire life like the rest of us, but if you don't know a place fully well then don't write about it. If you don't know what you're talking about then don't talk about it. Simple.

I'm sorry, did you say plot? No. No. Lore is just 400 pages of anticlimactic bullshit. The first half of the novel is preparing you an exciting, thrilling event of these stupid fucking teenagers hunting down gods, like teenagers are strong enough to actually destroy them, and that shit doesn't even happen. Or it does happen but it disappoints you so thoroughly that you just wonder why you ever bothered investing your time in this book in the first place. You mean to tell me I pushed myself through this book only for the ending to be completely unsatisfying and bland? The reader gets absolutely no reward for pushing through the beginning of the book. It was just, "Hey, here's my book. I put the most effort in the beginning, that's why it's absolutely enticing, but towards the middle and ending I got superrr lazy and I decided, hey, you know what? Fuck it. People will read anything nowadays. Let me just wing the remaining 300 pages of my book. People are bound to love it anyway."

I'm sorry. That's not how it works here, sweetie.

This disappointed me on every level possible. The biggest disappointment for me (and trust me, there were many) was definitely the romance. The romance in this book? Laughable. It was a fucking comedy. If I was depressed, I would read this book and feel better about my life.

The love interest is a joke. The characters are a joke. I liked Castor at first. I did. I liked him because of his very first interactions with Lore, and I thought they were a good match. But again, the storyline went and destroyed every exciting thing Bracken had planned for us. There was nothing, absolutely nothing between Lore and Castor. NOTHING. It was a mixture of insta-love and slow-burn romance, which I know makes absolutely no sense, but which I shall explain now. Bracken tried this thing where Lore and Castor were childhood friends, and I agree, that's a pretty sweet thing. Apparently they hadn't seen each other for eight years, blah blah blah, I don't really care, their story puts me to sleep. So these bitches haven't seen each other for eight years (which is ample amount of time to fall out of love with each other) and yet...the moment they see each other, they're...in love? Oh my god. I wanted to die.

"Lore, I was born knowing how to do three things—how to breathe, how to dream, and how to love you.”

Is that line supposed to be romantic? Because all I did was cringe.

Castor and Lore basically fall back in love after like, two days -- which makes absolutely no sense, seeing as how they haven't spoken in eight years.

Literally Castor & Lore throughout the whole book: tIME dOESN'T mEAN sHIT bECAUSE oUR lOVE cONQUERS aLL.

Cringy? No, never that.

Can we talk about the interactions between Castor and Lore for a minute? This is how most of their conversations went:

Castor: I'm not fit to be a god. I'm unworthy.
Lore: Yes you are. You are worthy.
Castor: Stop lYING to me, Lore. Be honest.
Lore: Cas, you're honestly the best person I've ever known. You have the most beautiful heart.
Castor: But I don't know what to-

I despise characters that have no self-confidence. I fucking hate them. I understand everyone has insecurities but characters who make self-deprecating comments 24/7 just isn't my forte.

The characters can all fucking die. I would read their deaths just to amuse me.

The story began progressing, and supposedly the rising action had kicked off, and there was just...nothing. There was absolutely nothing about Castor, or Lore, or Miles, or Athena, or Van, or anyone for that matter, that I could bring myself to like. I tried understanding them and trying to see if they resonated with me in any way. And there was nothing underneath. I felt absolutely no attachment. Every character in this book could literally drop dead and I would laugh. This book did a terrible job with the characters. They were flat, one-dimensional pieces of shit that I couldn't care less about. If you're here to get attached to some really lovable characters, this is not the book for you at ALL.

Lore is, in all honesty, one of the most irritating pieces of shit I've ever had the displeasure of reading in my life. In the beginning of the book she acts tough. She is tough. But the reader only gauges that because she's fighting in a ring against a boy and punches the shit out of him.

...I'm sorry?

So you mean to tell me a girl has to knock out a guy in order to be "strong"? No. I do not fucking approve. A girl can love wearing pink dresses, likes painting her nails and all that girly shit, and she can still be the toughest, baddest bitch in the show. My point is, a girl doesn't have to do something "mannish" (like wrestling/fighting in a ring against a man) in order to be considered strong. Her dress code has nothing to do with it, growing up with older brothers has nothing to do with it. All these stupid ass tropes need to fucking die because you're teaching girls the wrong thing.

The writing was absolutely terrible. It was pointless. This book was pointless. I'm sorry, but Bracken has no voice whatsoever. I mean, she does, but it's not enthralling at all. Her words put me to sleep. Her style is so bland and stupid that even the supposed "exciting" points didn't move me at all. Her writing style sucked all the good elements of this book dry.

There was nothing about this book that made me want to turn the page. Everything was coated in a seemingly interesting storyline that had a lot of potential, but it just ended up being extremely disappointing in the end.

Also, where was the Medusa part in this book? When did that come into play in this novel? That's a genuine question. I'm not being sarcastic. I DNFed this shit so I probably shouldn't ask that, but I got more than halfway, and I heard not a whisper of Medusa anything???

Is there anything good about this book at all? Yes. The first fifty pages. After that, put it down. The rest isn't worth it. The character growth is barely there, and it doesn't even matter because there's no point in having character growth if the character is so dull.

Overall, if you're here for a really excellent read, run. Greek mythology, run. If you're here for the romance, run. If you're here for the plot, run. You won't get any of that except a mouthful of sorrowful disappointment. And if you're here for the "Greek mythology meets Hunger Games", go get your fucking money back. You've been lied to.

This read was devastating because the beginning had me thinking it was going to be another favorite of mine.

Alas, I have been disappointed yet again.
Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
369 reviews978 followers
June 26, 2021
I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Oh HELLO, Medusa!!! :o


I was lucky enough to receive a full ARC, after the chapter sampler was made available.

"It's not always the truth that survives, but the stories we wish to believe. The legends lie."

And everyone...this book was such a fun read!!! This was a Greek mythological Hunger Games, where the descendants of famous Greek heroes ran around New York, trying to kill the Ancient Greek gods of old in order to steal their power for themselves.

There were also so many strong feminist themes about the women who were often forgotten and excluded from Ancient Greek lore, which was something I really enjoyed, especially since I often complain about that exact thing. We always get to hear about Achilles, Perseus, Heracles, Theseus, etc but the women around them are often relegated to mere damsels in distress or play the part of the villain.

Plus, there was the CUTEST childhood friends to lovers romance that I’ve read in a while between a badarse girl who could do some major damage and the SOFTEST boy who just wanted to help people. They were just SO ADORABLE! <3

"You may deny the fates, but they will not deny you."

I’ve never read a book by Alexandra Bracken until now, but I’m glad that I finally did. I highly recommend giving this a go when it releases in January!!! :)
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,204 reviews40.8k followers
December 11, 2021
There are too many things allured me about this including tempting storyline and incredible cover! But you know the feeling something bothers you and you cannot put your finger on it. Yes, something totally bothered me about this book.

I have to admit: The premise is hopeful: Banished nine Greek gods who are vulnerable enough to be drifted from their powers at each seven year for seven days long fighting against descendants of Greek heroes who are adamant to take their lives!

The world building is impressively great and Lore is unlucky heroine, underground fighter, suffering from painful grief after losing her parents and one of the loved ones recently. She’s the ruler of House of Perseus. Unfortunately one of her best friend Castor ( from House of Achilles ) fights against leukemia. Miles and Van are also at their friend circle.

Now the new Agon is approaching in New York after 7 years later. Lora never healed after losing her parents at the previous one so she is adamant to fight against the descendants with all of her power. She cannot deal with more loses in her life.

At the beginning, after suffering from betrayal of sister, Athena who is still terribly wounded makes a smart deal with Lore which both parties will get their revenges even though it means shedding more blood.

This book has interesting and intriguing plot line but the execution of the idea and overloading of action scenes make you roll your eyes! Too much happening in a short time period! You just get agitated at each second with too many triggering, ultra depressing subjects including terminal illness, gory, bloodshed for fight scenes, extreme violence, rape, sexual assault, slavery etc.

The ending was also abrupt and a little dissatisfying for my taste. There are too many elements of this book like pieces of puzzle which put at the wrong places. Something truly missing about the entire picture and I cannot honestly name what it’s.

Maybe I was expecting more. Maybe story telling style, exaggerated violence, too much triggering subjects cut my living cords and exhausted me lot to enjoy the entire journey.

But at the end, I can only give 3 stars for the promising premise and intriguing world building. This book wasn’t exciting, earth shattering experience I was hoping to have.
Profile Image for Nicole.
448 reviews13.5k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
April 3, 2022
DNF 50%
Nie dałam rady, czytałam tę połowę 2 tygodnie.
Ma bardzo dużo akcji, co dla niektórych będzie dużym plusem, ale mnie absolutnie odrzuciło, bo kosztem akcji brakowało mi opisów bohaterów.
Profile Image for J  (Midnight Book Blog).
163 reviews558 followers
February 15, 2023
Wow, I loved this one. It was everything the Greek Mythology loving kid in me has missed. (Also trying out a new review format, so let me know what you guys think!)

Plot: The story was so good! It never dragged, and wasn't predictable. The Greek Mythology was really interesting, and I thought the twist on it was fun and new.

Characters: I LOVED THEM SO MUCH. Miles, the kind optimist (I wanted to be friends with him so bad). Van, the guarded tech master and protector of the group. Castor, the underdog and long lost love. And Lore, the fierce, determined, and ultimate embodiment of female power.

Pacing: super fast and lots of action. This would be a great read for people who are easily bored in books.

Content warnings: sexual assault, violence, death of family members

Click here for an in-depth review on my blog!

*ARC received in exchange for honest review
August 16, 2021
”I was born knowing how to do three things—how to breathe, how to dream, and how to love you”.


Estoy un poco decepcionada con este libro. Tenía todos los elementos para que me gustara (mitología griega, Nueva York, acción), pero al final se me hizo bastante lento y casi que me tuve que obligar a terminarlo. Creo que mi principal problema fue el ritmo porque, en el fondo, la idea de Alexandra Bracken y la trama en sí mismas eran geniales. Pero, empecemos por el principio.

Lore es un libro que nos narra la historia de un Agon, es decir, una especie de competencia que se celebra cada siete años en la que nueve de los dioses del panteón Olímpico pierden su inmortalidad y quedan vulnerables ante los cazadores de las casas descendientes de diferentes héroes griegos. El peligro del Agon para los dioses es que si alguno de los cazadores logra matarlos, van a desaparecer por completo y sus poderes se trasladarán al mortal que, a partir de ese momento, se considera un nuevo dios. El peligro del Agon y de matar a los dioses y a los nuevos dioses es que es un ciclo sin fin y los nuevos dioses serán vulnerables de ser cazados en el siguiente ciclo. El punto es que en esta ocasión todo empieza con Lore, la última descendiente de la casa de Perseo, que ha intentado salirse del mundo de dioses, cazadores, etc. Sin embargo, justo cuando está a punto de empezar el Agon, dos visitantes inesperados llegan a la vida de Lore: Castor, un gran amigo que pensó muerto, y una Atenea que está al borde de la muerte. Con esas visitas, Lore se ve envuelta nuevamente en el mundo de dioses nuevos y antiguos, de peleas a muerte, traiciones, secretos y, sobre todo, un mundo en el que tienes que pelear contra el destino mismo.

¿Verdad que todo suena absolutamente increíble? Creo que van a conocer a pocas personas en su vida que amen tanto la mitología griega y la hayan estudiado tanto como yo, pero algo sucedió con este libro y sencillamente no conecté con la historia ni con la forma en la que estaba narrada. Peor aún, más allá de Castor, ni siquiera me interesaban los personajes. Lore podría haberse muerto en las primeras páginas y a mí me hubiera dado absolutamente igual. Y creo que ese fue mi mayor problema, no puedo disfrutar un libro si no me importan los personajes. Honestamente, creo que lo acabé porque (además de que nunca dejo sin terminar un libro) quería saber cuál era la verdad detrás de todo lo que le había sucedido a Castor y cómo iba a terminar este Agon para él.

En fin, es una lástima. Aunque debo admitir que el final, literalmente la última página del libro, me pareció precioso.
December 27, 2020
Review of Sample, 6 Chapters and Loving it so far!

The following ratings are out of 5:
Romance: N/A – so far
Heat/Steam: N/A – so far
Story/Plot: 📕📗📘📙📒
World building: 🌎🌍🌏🌎🌍
Character development: 👤👤👤👤

The setting: New York City – Present time.

The Hero: Not sure yet. Probably Castor will be the Hero, he is an old friend to Lore (Malora – last mortal descendant of Perseus). Castor is also from one of the bloodlines, descendants of hero’s that are now hunting the Gods while they’re in mortal form. Though Castor trained as a healer not a hunter.

The heroine: Lore – Her family was murdered by Aristos Kadmou, who hunted and killed Ares during the last Agon (see quote below), taking his place and his immortality. Lore has put it all behind her and is no longer involved in the hunts. She now fights men and women in underground fight clubs for money and to keep her feelings of loss at bay. Though she knows if hunters find her she will be a target (not sure why).


At the start of the book I was pretty lost, but later things were explained. I don’t feel like this is giving away spoilers since the few reviews I have read so far of this sample seem to be saying the same thing about the storyline being to complicated and confusing especially since we are dropped in to Lore’s life without the background information and the forward as well as the first few chapters use terminology for events that are not explained fully till later. So I am just going to add a few quotes that help.

“They sat in silence for several minutes after Lore had finished giving Miles a ruthlessly pared-down explanation of the Agon, the nine gods it had been created to punish—including the one whose wound she had seared shut in their living room—and the nine bloodlines descended from ancient heroes chosen to hunt them.
She distilled over a thousand years of history into mere minutes, feeling more and more insane as his face remained carefully blank. It wasn’t like Lore could blame him; hearing herself say the words “For seven days, every seven years, the gods walk on earth as mortals. If you can kill one, you become a new god and take their power and immortality, but you’ll be hunted in the next Agon as well”

Like I said above, Lore is the last mortal descendent of Perseus but basically has opted out of the fight for various reasons. She doesn’t want power or immortality. Though she does want her family avenged. But the killer is a god and even though Gods are mortal for seven days, he has a powerful bloodline and they protect him as well as hunt the other Gods.

However, Castor came to warn her that she is being hunted by the new Ares. Also the God Athena comes to her after being wounded badly and wants her help. Athena gives Lore some information she wasn’t aware of.

“The Spartan . . . they called you,” Athena breathed. “Little Gorgon . . . I searched for you . . . chose you . . . knowing that skill . . . knowing that you are no longer one of the hunters. . . . But you have . . . never been weak . . . never powerless.”

I had been wondering where the Medusa hair on the cover came in, until I read that part about her being called “Little Gorgon”. Not that Lore actually has snakes in her hair (at least as far as the sample goes). Also it is said that the Perseides (Descendants of Perseus), were given the Aegis, the shield of Zeus which had belonged to Athena until Zeus created the Agon as punishment for the Gods. The shield was taken when Lore’s family was murdered. The shield has special powers and bore the head of Medusa on the front.

This sample was very good and really just whetted my appetite for the rest of the book. I can’t wait to find out where the story goes. I just love Greek Mythology, add to that a fierce heroine and I am super excited. I definitely will snap this one up the first chance I get!

I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

Profile Image for marta the book slayer.
396 reviews904 followers
November 24, 2021
Someday in heaven (if I make it there):
Me: I'll take novels for 200
Alex Trebek: This novel is nothing but plot
Me: What is Lore


I think the worst feeling to have towards a novel is disinterest. For books I hate or love, I can easily write any sort of review to coherently express my thoughts. This book, however, is in a territory I would not like to venture towards. I can't find anything that I enjoyed about it which makes it very hard to write a review, but at the same time I want to save all of you from having to endure this bland atrocity.

Firstly, the 0.5 stars come simply from the interest I had for this book during the first 15 pages or so. Beyond this it was a downhill very slow and confusing rollercoaster with no sense of direction. I will title this rollercoaster I am on: The Plotinator

This book is so plot heavy. There is SO MUCH going on that it's impossible to follow. You have nine Greek gods that come to walk the Earth as mortals, but they are not really mortals because they have powers for some reason, and then there are houses of mortals but only some people can kill the gods and if certain people do it then they don't get anything.... I don't know about you but confusion is not something I enjoy in a book.. If plot is your favorite thing about a book then I would say go ahead and read this, it's the only thing holding up this novel. Personally, you're better off reading the synopsis and creating your own imaginary scenario for how the plot progresses from here.

One of the reoccurring themes of this novel is "feminism". I place this term in quotation marks because I don't consider every single page reiterating that something cannot be done because ___ is a woman to be feminism. I love strong female characters, but if the only way the author convinces me she is a strong female character is BY EVERY SINGLE OTHER CHARACTER telling me she isn't... guess what?? SHE IS NOT A STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER. Lore is the blandest person while simultaneously having a different opinion every other page.... okay so maybe she has a personality but not a very good one.

I really do not care about any of the other characters because they were poorly developed. The dialogue between people is only meant to drive the plot along and there never seems to be real emotion in what anyone is saying. Often times Lore's inner monologue is just repetition of what she or someone else said a couple chapters before, which got old fast. Additionally, the "relationships" in this novel were also really boring and predictable. She doesn't see or interact with someone for seven years and then loves them because honestly his only personality trait is "being so beautiful".

The ending is absolute trash. I wish I could erase it from my memory. I'm not spoiling anything in my review but I did not read 500 pages worth of garbage to have this plot heavy book end in such a stupid way.

Overall, this book was a terrible drag. I almost gave up multiple times and honestly I wouldn't have missed much. Once again, TikTok recommends the WORST BOOKS and GR 5 star reviews are misleading.

part of race against time challenge (aka read all 2021 releases before the year ends.)
Profile Image for Lucie V..
975 reviews1,804 followers
May 12, 2022
If we do not end the Agon, it will end us.

✅ Greek mythology
✅ Action
✅ Strong and independent main character
✅ Some plot twists
🆗 Characters
🆗 Romance
🆗 Villain
🆗❌ Plot. Very confusing first few chapters, but the rest is good

3.5 stars

I enjoyed reading this book, it is a good balance of action, mystery, romance, and scheming. There are a few plot twists, and the characters are nice.

I wanted to give this book a higher rating, but honestly, the first chapters are quite confusing and we get thrown into the action very quickly, without having a chance to really know the characters. Also, the bad guy is just so generic and shallow... The rest is good though!

The author mixed greek mythology and urban fantasy in a very nice way. I have not read that many books about greek mythology, so it was really intriguing and interesting from the first chapter. This book has a hunger game vibe, but instead of being teenagers killing each other, it's hunters killing gods to take their powers. The setting also reminded me of The Mortal Instrument series. Both books are about a magical part of society that is hidden and known only by a handful of people (and both stories happen in New York).

I admit that the beginning is confusing. I had trouble differentiating all the families and understanding how exactly the Agon works (who can take the power of the god, who is hunting which god, etc.), but I pushed through it and it became clearer in the fourth chapter. The list of all the families and their important members helped, but it really was a struggle to get invested in the story at first. You definitely need to take some notes if you want to have a clear picture.

Lore is a nice character (once you get to know her, which does take a while). She can take care of herself, is a fierce fighter, but still has a good heart and all she wants is to live a quiet life far away from the Gods and hunters after being the only survivor of the massacre of her family seven years ago. She ends up being part of the Agon once again because of unforeseen events, and we can see how conflicted she is. She wants revenge for the murder of her family, but she also wants to protect the quiet life she built for herself in the last 7 years. She realizes that she can't be part of both worlds, and she needs to find a way to stop the Agon for good if she hopes to live a normal life.

“I was born knowing how to do three things – how to breathe, how to dream, and how to love you.”

The romance in Lore is cute, but somehow it did not satisfy me, I don't know if it's because of the fast development or the pace of the book... It is a sweet "childhood friends to lovers" story and it added a cute touch to the book. At first, I was not sure about the place that the romance would hold in this book, since the beginning is all about fighting, revenge, killing, and trying to survive for the Agon week, but the author did a good job of showing how the badass girl and the sweet boy completed each other and how they'd had feelings for each other for years. They are adorable.

Overall, I was expecting more from this book, I still feel that parts of the plot are weak, due to the generic villain and the unoriginal quest for power, but I still enjoyed reading this book, and I would recommend it.

Fanarts by Mariamarcelw and Runningquill-art

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Profile Image for Ashley Nuckles.
190 reviews7,246 followers
January 26, 2021
Kicking off 2021 with a return to goodreads and this book! Loved the story and the Greek mythology, and really thought the idea of the Agon was cool. The romance kept me going though the flashbacks made the story feel a bit choppy. Either way though, I kept wanting to come back and read more which is always a good sign. :-)
Profile Image for human.
640 reviews988 followers
April 14, 2021
Thank you to Netgalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

(actual rating: 2.5/5)

For a book with a cover and synopsis like this one, I was really expecting something more engaging.

'Lore' is set in the modern-day world where The Hunger Games meets Greek mythology. Every seven years, there is an event called the Agon, where nine gods and goddesses lose their immortality and are hunted for a week by the descendants of Greek heroes, as punishment for their betrayal to Zeus. The nine families hunt to kill, and by doing so, gain the power of the being they've cut down.

Last Agon, Lore, the main character, lost everything she held dear. Ever since, she's decided to distance herself from that world and live her life free from the obsessive, cutthroat ways of the hunters. But blood calls to blood, and darkness is rising - and no one should count her out.

From the very beginning of the story, I was invested. The synopsis had already appealed to me, and the beginning of the story reeled me in. Lore was a, seemingly, great main character - strong in her resolve and even stronger with her fists.

But as the book progressed, things started to drag. I realized around 60% that I was just forcing myself to finish, I've come to the conclusion that this book has more gore than actual action, because while we're told that Lore spent years training for the Agon, and as a result, is very strong and good in battle, we don't really see much of that. There's a lot of build-up to the action scenes but there usually isn't a lot of action.

That being said, the big reveal at about three-quarters into the book isn't much of a reveal. There was a lot of foreshadowing of what was going to happen, and I found that I had been able to predict all of it, especially the betrayal of a certain character. Things start getting very convenient for the sake of wrapping up loose plotlines at the very end as well.

The characters overall were a bit bland to me. Lore herself does go through a bit of character development and growth, but for the most part, I was pretty indifferent to her story and couldn't really bring myself to care (she also has a strange obsession with NYC that had me cringing at times). I also felt that she was quite naive, although that is somewhat acknowledged in the book. Castor, Lore's childhood friend, fell extremely flat for me. His defining character traits are that he a.) has Apollo's powers but doesn't remember how, and b.) he's nice. I actually liked Van (Castor's cousin) and Miles (Lore's friend), but I felt that there could have been more development for their characters.

Honestly speaking, I really didn't like the romance between Lore and Castor. Just like the characters themselves, the romance was pretty boring. At the very least, it isn't insta-love, but the slow-burn didn't feel like slow-burn, but rather, that it was being dragged out just for more page-time. I didn't feel any sort of chemistry between them either, which translated to me being more invested in the growing something between Van and Miles.

The passage of time was also quite confusing in this book. Lots of things happen, but it's written to seem like it happens all at once. At one point, I had been reading a part of the book, wondering how on earth the characters could go through all of that in three days, seemingly without sleeping, and then there was a line saying "five days had passed". It doesn't make much sense, and I would have been more inclined to ignore the issue altogether if it hadn't interfered with the progression of the plot.

One of the best things about this book, however, is the world that Bracken has created for the story to take place. I loved the idea of the Greek gods and goddesses becoming mortal for a week and being hunted by the descendants of major Greek heroes, even if the whole reason behind it was just alluded to rather than actually shown to us.

Overall, I found this book as something with a really good concept, but not necessarily good execution, and part of that may have been because of how much I had hyped it up for myself. It wasn't really for me, but I can definitely see a lot of people enjoying this. I would recommend this for anyone who is appealed to the idea "The Hunger Games but make it modern with Greek mythology".
Profile Image for Nellie.
129 reviews131 followers
January 23, 2021
This was one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2021 and the synopsis was amazing, but unfortunately, this book was a huge letdown. It was unnecessarily dense and confusing. Not to mention the romance was boring because the characters were meh. I could feel the reading slump creeping in while I was reading this. It started off great but I just lost interest at around the 25% mark and never got invested in it at all after that.
Profile Image for Nash (all too unwell).
315 reviews847 followers
August 9, 2021
“Sometimes the braver thing is to accept help when you've been made to believe you shouldn't need it.”


Well,what did u expect? An Alexandra Bracken book that's bad. Nope, not possible.
I really like this book. It was super fast-paced and I had soo much fun reading this

As their punishment for their mistakes, the nine greek gods are forced to walk the earth in their mortal form and protect themselves from hunters who are desperate to kill the gods and take the powers for themselves! The Agon happens every seven years and it is the time when u should be scared!
Its been 7yrs since Lore fled the Agon, seven years since her family died and seven years since she started a normal life. But now as the Agon approaches, Castor her friend whom she long gave up for dead, and the Greek goddess Athena seek out her help. With a new shot at revenge for her family, Lore enters the Agon to finally settle the score and prevent great loss.
Lore must now fight to protect not only herself but also her friends in this deadly game.

I had no idea about the greek world before I read this book. So it came as a huge surprise and I enjoyed it<3 The legends were twisted and super fun!
The world was really good and ................
Basically it was awesome!

I adore Bracken's writng and this book was no exception! The story was well built and had a good flow. Initially, it was super confusing bcz I had no Idea abt the Greek legends, but I caught up!
“Fear is a foreign land I shall never visit and a language that will never cross my tongue.”
“It wasn't that anger was inherently good or bad. It could lend power and drive and focus, but the longer it lived inside you unchecked, the more poisonous it became.”


We stan!

“I was born knowing how to do three things - how to breathe, how to dream, and how to love you.”
Well I was born knowing how to sleep, eat and fangirl lol
Who doesn't love friends to lovers? I loved the romance. It was perfectly balanced as the sub plot! I love Lore and Castor and ofc Miles and Van.

Lets talk characters
Lore is awesome! I adore her and she is a great MC. I mean she fights for a living. If hse ain't cool, then who is? Watching her make choices and solve problems was super satisfying!
Castor ! Adding him to my fictional boyfriends list! Cas is super cute nd I love him. He has a lot of problems and watching him solve them was super. Having acquired Apollo's power, he is not condescending! He is mature nd not power-hungry like the majority of the characters!
Miles the best friend everyone deserves. I wish I had a friend like him! He is super supportive and he is tht person we cant help but love.
Van ! First I was scared tht he would because a love triangle. But the moment he started talking to Miles, the energy was palpable. I started loving him and his relationship with Miles is awesome!
Athena and Iro were also great side characters. They play an important part in the story and I loved reading abt them!

Final thoughts
Was this book good ? Yes
Does it deserve the hype : Kind of

Recommended for anyone looking for a super fast paced book that kinda reminds you of the Hunger games!

This is my review
Now I shall go read the greek legends!
Thank u *bows*
Profile Image for Lucy Tonks.
488 reviews717 followers
October 29, 2021
“It’s not always the truth that survives, but the stories we wish to believe. The legends lie. They smooth over imperfections to tell a good tale, or to instruct us how we should behave, or to assign glory to victors and shame those who falter. Perhaps there were some in Sparta who embodied those myths. Perhaps. But how we are remembered is less important than what we do now.”

Why do I love Greek Mythology so much? This was such an interesting take on the myths everyone knows about. I've read quite a few books focusing on mythology, obviously, but never one that was so ambitious and somehow Alexandra Bracken made it all work.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. To punish them for their past rebellion, Zeus forces nine Greek gods to walk on Earth as mortals while the descendants of ancient bloodlines hunt them, eager to clain their power and immortality as their own. Lore Perseous has long abandoned the Agon after the murder of her family. For years she has pushed away the taught of getting revenge on the god, formely man, who is responsable for their deaths. But as the next hunt begins in New York, Lore is seeked out by two participants: Castor, her childhood friend who she believed dead and a wounded Athena, one of the last original gods still alive. The goddess offers an aliance against their mutual enemy and the hope of leaving the Agon forever, but their power might not be enough to defeat the new god.

I've read this book a few months ago and as much as I liked it then, I've come to realise that it's a bit forgettable. The overall story didn't really have any lasting impact on me. It's not a bad book since I did rate it 4 stars and I really liked it when I finished it, but I jsut wish it stuck more with me than it actually did.

I'm a sucker for Greek Mythology and when I read the sypnopsis and saw the author talking about it on Instagram I knew I had to pick it up. I was not disappointed on that aspect. Bracken put a lot of work in the research so she could make everything work out and the mythology geek in me was so happy seeing everything, seeing the way she played with all myths I knew. One interesting thing in this one is that Athena is actually one of the main characters. I did read books with gods as main characters *cough * *cough * Lore Olympus and A Touch of Darkness *cough * but none were really as good at this and actually made her an intriguing character.

The characters were okay. You did root for them, but the thing is you never really formed a connetion with them. When reading I like to feel for the characters, to connect with them. I love stories with well fleshed out characters, but in here there wasn't really enough focus on how well they are developed. Lore was a cool main character but she didn't have anything unique to her. Just another YA main character that I've read hundreds of before. I'm sorry to say that. She was better than more than half of those girls, but that does not change the fact I want something new. I really liked Castor, but I cannot say I remember much about him at this point to be able to specifically say what I did like about him. Main characters aside, we did get a few interesting side characters, but I'm sorry to say that I do not remember their names. Just because I forgot tehir names does not make them bad characters. It's just me being horrible with names.

“I was born knowing how to do three things - how to breathe, how to dream, and how to love you.”

The romance was really cute. I always like the say that I love enemies to lovers, but honestly childhood friends it lovers can be just as good if done right. I need to read more books with this troupe because I never realised how much I actually like it. We also got queer romance between two side characters which I was here for it, but sadly we didn't get much about it.

Let me tell you one thing. This book is fast paced. Want an easy read? Go for this one. The plot moves pretty fast and I cannot say I was bored for one bit. I needed the answers and I really wanted to know how everything will wrap up. I'm not sure how long it took me to finish this novel but I didn't take me that long for a 500 page book.

The ending was interesting. I didn't really knew what direction is going to take and how everything will be resolved so I was very intrigued to see that. One complaint I have is that the book ended a bit abrupt. I would have liked to see more of the aftermath and how everyone was doing instead of being done with the book. Just an epilogue there or something.

I knew Alexandra Bracken will not disappoint as this is not my first book by her. If you love mythology as much as I do, give this book a shot. It's an easy read that anyone could find enjoyable. There are still books by this author I haven't read so after reading this one and remembering how good her books can be, I plan to read more of her novels in the future.

“When we can't change the past, the only thing left is to move forward.”
Profile Image for Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction).
453 reviews6,973 followers
March 20, 2021
There were a lot of things I found interesting about this one, but ultimately it just wasn't for me. I couldn't get on with the world building and felt a massive disconnect from it, but it's fast paced and great for those who would want nonstop action and high stakes.
Profile Image for Jananie (thisstoryaintover).
290 reviews13.5k followers
January 25, 2021
Well. I have thoughts. This wasn't the worst but it definitely wasn't my favourite which is a tad disappointing. Had some good things going for it: the challenging of misogynistic myths, Castor's unfailing love, loyalty, and goodness, the budding romance between Miles and Van, the antihero tendencies of a certain god. But holy was there also erratic pacing, convoluted backstories and overall premise, and SO MANY flashbacks and dream sequences that drove me nutty. Anyways, no shade to this book, it was still good, just didn't live up to what i was hoping it would be!
Profile Image for Shawna Finnigan.
477 reviews315 followers
April 12, 2022

I was nervous about reading this book because of all the mixed reviews that I’ve seen of it, but it ended up exceeding my expectations. Lore is an epic story filled with Greek mythology, squad goals, and plot twists that had me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole story. The story weaves the complex architecture of New York City with both popular and lesser known Greek myths to create an interesting, fast paced book.

I’ve seen a lot of people compare this book to Percy Jackson and some even go so far as to say it��s a “Percy Jackson rip off” but that’s wrong on so many levels. I would say this book is closer to an intense version of The Hunger Games or the Mortal Kombat movies, but this book is so unique that those comparisons don’t seem to capture what this book is truly about. This book is perfect for Greek mythology fans and action fans, but the content matter definitely makes it more suitable for adults or older teens who can handle really intense subject matters. If you struggle with some triggering content, check the trigger warnings for this book because it deals with some very triggering things. All of them are handled well, but some scenes were challenging to get through because of their content matter.

The characters were a major reason why I loved this book. Castor, Van, Miles, and Lore made a super fun group that was ultimate squad goals. Their blend of personalities made for an awesome team up. Some of the characters don’t appear super likable at first, but as you learn about the characters’ past trauma and how they’ve been coping with that trauma, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the characters.

The romance in this book wasn’t super intense, but the romance between a couple of the side characters was beautiful. It was something that I wasn’t expecting, but it was slowly woven in to the story and it helped create some happy moments in the midst of all the violence and chaos.

My only issue with this book was the ending. I considered dropping my rating down to four stars because I was so disappointed by the ending, but it was only really the last 3% of the book (or 16 pages) that was bad so I think I’m going to stick with five stars for right now. One of the villains just suddenly acted out of character to save one of the good characters, which was incredibly frustrating to me, and after the villain did that, the remaining pages became extremely cheesy. There was also quite a few loose ends left at the end of the story. I wish this story would’ve been slightly longer so that the ending could’ve been more satisfying, but it was really only 3% of a 480 page book that disappointed me so it could’ve been a lot worse.

Overall I found this book to be a phenomenal read that I will always cherish. I cried while reading this book and I also smiled from pure happiness. I’m planning on reading more books by Alexandra Bracken soon and I hope Lore gets a spin-off novel at some point in the future.

I also filmed a reading vlog for this book, so I’ll update my review with the link to that vlog once it’s published onto my YouTube channel.
Profile Image for Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨.
1,078 reviews636 followers
January 28, 2021

I don't know what it was with this one, because I should have loved it. Greek mythology is right up my alley, I've loved it since I was a child. My name comes from Greek mythology for crying out loud! But somehow, this was still a miss. Perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind? Others sure seem to like it, anyway - I'm just not one of them 🤷‍♀️

"I was born knowing to do three things - how to breathe, how to dream, and how to love you."
- Castor

👍 What I Liked 👍

Premise: The Greek gods cast out of Olympus to fight for their lives against the descendants of the legendary Greek heroes. It had a kind of Hunger Games feeling with a Greek mythology twist, that was compelling.

👎 What I Disliked 👎

Exposition: The execution of this book could have been better. The world was rich and complex, that's for sure, but it needed more exposition. The information came in clumps here and there, making it feel like you were continually behind on everything. I felt like I had to catch up all the time or that I was missing something. It was a bit frustrating.

Frantic: There were so many highs in this book. So much action, so much happening again and again. Action is great, but there needs to be 'downtime' too. This didn't have much downtime, making it feel frantic.

"Mystery": There is a central mystery to this book that didn't feel like a mystery to me at all, because I had it figured out from the beginning. It only took one sentence (of course I won't say which) in one of the first chapters to lay the whole thing bare for me.

Ending: The ending felt strange, as if something had been left out. It made the ending both confusing and unsatisfying.

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Profile Image for Cecilia.
277 reviews251 followers
March 8, 2022
3,5 ⭐️

Hace unas semanas que terminé de leer esta historia, pero aún no me decidía a escribir la reseña; tenía sentimientos encontrados, si bien la lectura no ha estado mal, pero tampoco me ha encantado.

El libro tenía todo para ser una lectura épica para mí: mitología griega, aventuras, acción, muertes, entre otros, todo esto sucediendo en Nueva York y en la actualidad; lamentablemente no fue así, aunque es extenso (en cuanto a páginas) siento que me falto más desarrollo para poder vincularme con los personajes, como, por ejemplo, con Castor, de verdad intenté empatizar con su triste historia y su personalidad llena de bondad, pero no fue un protagonista memorable. Incluso con Lore, si bien me convencía su personalidad valiente, aguerrida, dispuesta a todo con tal de proteger a las personas que quiere, lo que es consecuencia de su historia de vida, no logré conectar al 100% con ella.

Sin embargo, existieron personajes, bueno solo uno, que lograron entretener mi lectura, como es el caso de Miles, amigo de Lore; creo que sería el único que salvaría.

Aún así no es un mal libro, tiene partes entretenidas, suspenso, un poco de romance y mitología griega, todos los elementos necesarios para una buena historia, pero creo que la excesiva acción planteada por la autora, le impide profundizar en los pensamientos y emociones de los personajes, ya que hay demasiados giros argumentales y todo pasa muy rápido.
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