Release Date: September 10th 2013
Publisher: Orchard Books (Hachette Children's Books Australia)
Source: Review copy via publisher
"He was Apollo, the sun, and he'd burn down anything that tried to hurt her... Cassandra and Aidan are just your average high-school couple. Or so Cassandra believes. Blissfully unaware that she was once a powerful prophetess, Cassandra doesn't even know thats god exist... Until now.
Because the gods are dying - and Cassandra could hold the answer to their survival. But Aidan has a secret of his own. He is really Apollo, god of the sun, and he will do anything to protect the girl he loves from the danger that's coming for her. Even if it means war against his immortal family...
Sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; relentless action and suspense - ANTIGODDESS is the YA novel you've been waiting for."
“We should have seen it coming. It’s not as though it hasn’t been foretold and written about. The Twilight of the gods.”
Greek mythology is one of my favourite topics period. I’ve always enjoyed ancient history and it was one of my favourite subjects in high school. The sheer number of myths surrounding the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greeks have always fascinated me so I’m always on the lookout for YA books that are either retellings or have incorporated Greek mythology as the plot. There aren’t many that include the majority of the Olympians so I was very keen to read Antigoddess.
Cassandra seems like your average high school student with the uncanny ability to predict things like the outcome of a coin toss or when it’s going to rain. Then haunting dreams start plaguing her and she begins to see these dreams/hallucinations during the daytime.
Blake is true to mythology and Cassandra’s character is how I imagined a prophet would act, with adjustments for the modern era. Prior to her vivid visions, she’s a seemingly ordinary girl, the quiet type who stands on the sidelines. Her friends and boyfriend have much pretty much always believed the little things she sees because they do happen. When her freaky visions of mythical creatures being chased and killed begin, I liked how she questions them as to their relevance to her life. It’s obvious those visions are of another world so she takes it to mean something bad will happen, but not in the literal sense of actual Cyclops being killed which I found to be plausible. When the action does hit though, she’s pretty useless and I guess that’s reminiscent of the Cassandra in legends – never able to do anything but at least in this case people believe her. I can’t really say much about her character; I didn’t dislike her but I wouldn’t say she was profound either.
The ensemble of Olympians were mainly present which made me really happy. The book alternates between Cassandra and Athena; Blake shows what it’s really like for a god to die through Athena and Hermes’ desperate journey to find answers, and the physical changes they suffer. Various gods and goddesses are shown throughout the novel, at varying stages of their impending death and I liked how their traits came through – Athena the strategist, Aphrodite and her vanity, Hermes and his mischievousness. It was very interesting to see them with the outer appearance of 17-year-olds though.
It’s obvious Aidan loves Cassandra and believes everything she prophesises. He trusts her completely and really believes they’ll be together for a long time. He’s sweet and protective but in delaying the inevitable I just thought his actions just left them with less time to prepare.
The plot was very well thought out and I had no idea where it was going other than knowing the gods were supposedly dying. It’s a race against time as the different gods each try to get Cassandra because she holds the key to their survival… or their death. But do the gods really ever learn. Thousands of years ago, in their boredom, the gods sparked a war that ended in insurmountable casualties with dire consequences that reshaped the ancient world. Have their mistakes finally caught up to them? Is there a limit to being a god – to doing what they do? As this mounted, I was on the edge of my seat and that ending hit me so hard. I would have liked more action and a bit more build up, but the way Blake ended this had me completely intrigued as to how this trilogy progresses.
Despite the slow pace, I did enjoy this and I thought Blake did a very good adaptation of Greek mythology. The way she incorporated the gods, their various myths, powers and flaws with a twist nobody thought could happen was great. I mean seriously, who would have ever thought that gods could die? She does this in a very suspenseful and mysterious fashion and tops it off with her fantastic writing. Antigoddess is the first novel I’ve read by Blake but I can definitely say she’s a skilled writer – especially in the macabre. Her descriptions could be a touch gory, slightly disturbing, sending shivers down my spine and like a moth to flame, had me anxious for more.
“For the record I don't believe in Fate. I believe that the pieces have been placed. The ending hasn't been written yet.”