Happy Saturday book friends! So recently I was thinking about my most anticipated releases for the year, and found out I had hardly read any. I know some are not out yet, but still. I felt bad lol. So I decided to finally do something about it and read some of my most anticipated books I already own.
First up was Lore, which came out last January. I had been looking forward to this one because I have come to enjoy Greek mythology a lot, and I really enjoyed Bracken’s other books. This one is no exception, as I literally flew through it in two days. Be warned though, this book for sure comes with a content warning. So read that if you want to, and I’ll tell you about my thoughts!
By Alexandra BrackenMy Rating: ★★★★☆
Published 5 January 2021 by Disney-Hyperion
Greek mythology | Young Adult | Urban fantasy
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.
What I Liked
I really enjoyed how fast paced this book was. It is surprisingly hefty, with over 500 pages, but there is plenty of action going on. The story takes place in New York City, which I really enjoyed because I love New York. Plus, I hadn’t read an urban fantasy in a long while. This book also really doesn’t hold back. It read like YA, I think it’s officially classified as YA, but it was surprisingly gory.
The whole story is told from Lore’s perspective, so it’s a good thing I did like her character. She grew up in a brutal system, with all sorts of brain-washing that applied here. One of the great things about this book is Lore’s internal struggle between staying as far away from the Agon as possible, and avenging her family. What I also loved is that there are so many villains to pick and choose from. I don’t think I’ve read a book with so many characters that I absolutely loathed. However, this is also one of those books where you start to question every character’s motive, even the ones that are supposedly allies.
I said it’s a very fast paced book, and it kinda has to be, because it takes place over the whole Agon, which only lasts a a few days. The plot was easy to follow, though you might need some time to learn the several Greek terms and different families that appear throughout the story. I did see the plot twist coming from the beginning of the book, so there’s that.
What I Liked Less
So I liked Lore as a character, but there are many more important characters in this story that work together with Lore. I would’ve loved it if the book had some chapters from their POV. Especially Miles, Lore’s very non-Greek-hero-descendant friend. Lore’s allies each do their own part to ensure their survival, and it’s honestly a shame that I didn’t get a chance to look into their head a bit. Athena would’ve also made an interesting POV, because throughout the book it’s very clear that she doesn’t think like a human does. Her actions are based purely on logic and strategy.
Lastly, I would’ve liked it if there was more info about the origins of the Agon. I felt like the explanation for it was kind of pressed in between dialogue, when I felt like it should’ve been given a bit more importance. The Gods were punished by Zeus, but then what was his plan afterward? Was the Agon to go on forever? These are questions that also appear in the book, but I felt like weren’t really resolved at the end.