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fineplan

Scavenging Book Stores and Libraries

Currently I'm a librarian and before that I was an archaeologist, a journalist, and definitely a bit of a world traveler.  I tend to mostly read science fiction and fantasy, though I do love a good mystery and I'm a bit of a book dabbler overall. I've been doing Goodreads for awhile, but a friend thought I might enjoy this as well. Let's see, yeah?

Greek Moods

Antigoddess - Kendare Blake

I absolutely loved the idea of this book -- Greek gods in the modern day who are suddenly dying from strange, but personalized curses.  I also absolutely loved Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood and I liked Girl of Nightmares quite a bit.  Obviously I was waiting for Antigoddess very impatiently!

 

As you've probably noticed from my three and a half star rating, this book didn't work for me as well as her others.  The book was really interesting, but for me, my suspension of disbelief never quite kicked in.  Why, for instance, are the gods and goddesses mostly teenagers?  Were they always teens and we just couldn't tell from the Greek artwork?  Why are some people reincarnated and others not?  Odysseus shows up, but not Penelope (who had a pretty important part of the story, even if she didn't go adventuring!)?  And how come some had the same names and others didn't?

 

And then, why hide the presence of monsters?  There was plenty of evidence left around.  The people could have just blown the whole thing wide open and got a bit more help!  But instead they come up with a cover story that's probably going to lead to them being greatly hindered?  Luckily everyone around them -- family and school-wise and not evil villain-wise -- seems to be so nice and trusting.

 

Of course, everyone also seems pretty lacking in knowledge of Greek mythology -- even after you'd think they'd go to the library and look some stuff up.  Especially once the Cassandra finds out she's supposed to be special to them.  Surely that's the time to google "Cassandra" and "Greek myth" if she's never heard of the cursed girl from the Trojan War...

 

I've noticed a lot of reviews talk about how well Blake shows her knowledge of Greek mythology.  I actually wasn't sold on that point.  I didn't think there was enough evidence either way.  She obviously knows something, but she twisted others things in totally different directions than the myths without acknowledging the originals.  So I don't know if she knew about the origins or not.  She could just as easily have been taking random names and placing them into the situations she needed.  Or, she cleverly twisted them to fit her very dark story.

 

And believe, this thing is dark and often gruesome.  However, I don't think the gore or nastiness was gratuitous.  It all fit the story just fine.  

 

I guess when it comes down to it, most of the characters didn't really seem real to me -- I have more connection to the fleeting image of a female goddess running through the woods, laughing as she's chased by wolves -- than I did to any of the characters who actually kept center stage.  The plot was a bit weak and the characters were too satisfied not knowing what was going on.  What the big DID do really well, for me, is create a mood and give me wonderful descriptions of awful things.  It's the atmosphere that brings the book up to three stars for me.