Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake

Mortal Gods (Goddess War, #2)Title: Mortal Gods
Author: Kendare Blake
Source/Format: Won; Hardcover
More Details: Young Adult; Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Tor Teen; October 14, 2014

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

Ares, God of War, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She's ready to wage a war of her own, and she's never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she'll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace. Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can't have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite. The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra's hate will get them ALL killed. The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can't, fates far worse than death await...
I won a copy of Mortal Gods a while ago, and until recently it’s been sitting on my shelf unread. I’m not very familiar with Blake’s work, but I’ve heard no shortage of glowing praise about Anna Dressed in Blood. I also haven’t read books that involved Greek mythology in a long time. So, I was really looking forward to getting to Mortal Gods.

The first thing that struck me about the story was the premise, which is basically along the lines of: the gods are mysteriously dying out, and the main character, Cassandra, is caught up in the middle of it. There’s a lot of action, internal conflict amongst the gods, and all the while sides are being chosen. Sounds interesting, right? Well, Mortal Gods was pretty fantastic. I really did enjoy the book. It had a lot going for it, from the mythology aspect, to the utterly normal moments amongst the chaos. All in all, the combination had a cool effect.

The plot in itself was enough to carry the novel—it was interesting, and the early introduction of the conflict raised enough questions to keep me reading. I did enjoy Blake’s take on Greek Mythology. There were familiar names like Ares, Aphrodite, Athena, and Hermes—just to name a few. The roles they occupied were as their mythology dictates with some minor changes to accommodate the plot. Then there was Cassandra. She wasn’t a bad main character, but sometimes I felt like her decisions were getting clouded by her grudge against certain characters. Other than that, she fit seamlessly into a story with Athena and Co.

I’ve read books where things rapidly unfold, but there’s never much of a reaction to it. It’s like, okay, this thing went down. So, tell me how this impacts the characters. How do they feel about it? How are they going to deal with the consequences and emotional impact? That wasn’t a problem here. There was an emotional aspect to Mortal Gods that I particularly enjoyed. There were a lot of relationships, friendships, current love interests, and even ones who were previously lost. Blake dealt with the fallout of these things in a way that blended it with the present story, without having it take over the plot entirely—yet the characters were certainly influenced by it.

I never considered reading Anna Dressed in Blood before, but after reading Mortal Gods, I’m curious to see if all that glowing praise is true. Two thumbs up for this one.

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