Wednesday 23 December 2020

Lore by Alexandra Bracken Book Review

 For the love of Gods!

Greek mythology meets hunger games in this stunning, fast-paced novel from best-selling author Alexandra Bracken.

From the moment my eyes were drawn to the front cover of this book I just knew I would be drawn into its world and the idea that humans can in-fact become gods.

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. 

Alexandra does a superb job of bringing the myths to life, mixing what we'd consider fantasy with real life in a modern NYC.


The concept - 

Way back when, nine powerful Greek gods rebelled against what they know, what they should do and as  a result of this rebellion a punishment was formed in the shape of the Agon. This event meant that every seven years those same rebellious Greek gods would have their immortality stripped from them, in turn forcing them to fight against an array of humans desperate to snatch their glorious powers (and of course their immortality) upon the death of said gods. 

The protagonist -

Lore, an outcast, no longer considered a god is unknowingly drawn back into the hunt. As a child, her whole family were slaughtered by an opposing family as retribution for upsetting tradition. She finds herself right back in the thick of it when Castor makes an appearance with a warning that her life might be in danger and then there's that little issue of the famed goddess Athena bleeding out on her doorstep. 

"For seven days, every seven years, the gods walk on earth as mortals. If you can kill one, you become a new god and take their power and immortality, but you'll be hunted in the next Agon as well."

This story is primarily about the hunt, the need/thirst for power, the thrill of the chase. The stakes are high and the fear is real. 

There is also the sub plot of Lore and Castor.

Total opposites on paper. Lore is feisty, strong-willed and despite suffering a huge trauma at a young age, she still has the determination to fight for what's right. Where as Castor comes across as quite meek, he wants the same outcomes as Lore but despite becoming a god himself, he lacks the confidence that Lore exudes. 

Friendship to lovers. It wasn't necessarily needed for the story to work but from a YA perspective, it definitely added an extra element to the tale.

Nine bloodlines descended from ancient heroes chosen to hunt them.

I've never read a book like this and I'm sure I never will again.

I'll admit there were times when I felt it a little too complicated, confusing with certain events and terminology but Bracken did a great job of keeping the momentum going. The pace never slowed and the action did not cease.

And can I applaud her for the feminist focus throughout, showing that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to those over-looked goddesses.

"You may deny the fates, but they will not deny you."

I'm sure this could be made into a series but I was more than satisfied with the ending of this novel. 

Lore is complex (in a good way), diverse and edgy. This is a book that is definitely going to make an exciting start for books in 2021.

Make sure it is on your to be read list now!

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