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Goddess War #1
Description⎮Reviewed Jan. 2017
Narrator: Kate Reading
Length: 10h 28m
Publisher: Macmillan Audio⎮2013
4.5★ Audiobook⎮ I’m so glad that I didn’t give up on Kendare Blake after my failed attempt(s) with Anna Dressed in Blood. Antigoddess is so different from that and so much more my speed. It still has touches of Blake’s horror-esque graphicness, but was much milder overall. I’m not sure where the Stephen King comparison on the cover comes from, though.
Antigoddess was extremely reminiscent of Josephine Angelini’s Starcrossed trilogy, although not as well written or developed. Still, it’s hard to mess up a plot that involves reincarnated Greek gods because that idea is just so cool. Instead of Helen and Paris of Troy (as in Starcrossed), Antigoddess focused on the prophetess Cassandra and the god Apollo. Different players, same game.
Antigoddess alternated points-of-view between teenaged Cassandra and Athena and Hermes. The chapters with Athena and Hermes were most informative, as they provided some backstory on how the gods had been keeping busy for the past 2000 years. There was a strong, but not always positive, family dynamic between Athena, Hermes, and the rest of the gods. Because, as you now, they are all closely related. [insert incest joke here].
Even if you weren’t aware of the close familial ties, Blake makes it clear. She does an excellent job of helping the reader/listener recall long lost Greek mythology facts from 10th grade. Quick tip: Just assume they are all half-siblings via Zeus, unless told otherwise. The mythology brush up was really appreciated, as I hadn’t thought about Greek mythology in a very long time, despite still being interested in it. However, I do wish Blake had been a little more imaginative in using Homer’s tales, instead of relying so strongly on them. There’s a pretty large 2000 year gap between the Trojan war and the contemporary plot and Blake does very little to fill it.
That’s why I can’t give Antigoddess more than 4.5 stars. I enjoyed Antigoddess a lot, but mostly because I already enjoy Greek mythology, not because I enjoyed anything particularly specific to the way Blake used it. Her character development of the gods was adequate, but the world-building felt neglected. I’m very hopeful that my appreciation of Kendare Blake’s writing style and her attention to world-building will grow in the following installments. In that respect, Antigoddess definitely has one up on Starcrossed in that its entire series is available on audio.
Narration review: Practically from pressing play, I was in love with Kate Reading’s narration. She also narrated Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, which was one of the first audiobooks I heard. Her voice has one of the most beautiful timbres I’ve ever heard. It caused me to listen to Antigoddess well into the night, when I’d only intended to listen for a couple of hours. She provided accents when necessary and altered her voice considerably when a character’s voice was damaged. The vocal distinction could have been more prominent with background characters, but it was wonderful most other times. I already have the next two installments in this series and is quite possible that I’m looking forward to them more because of Kate Reading than the actual story. ♣︎