Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.
Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.
These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.
Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.
Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.
The Goddess War is about to begin.
I loved Blake's first book, Anna Dressed In Blood, so I could not wait to get my hands on this one. Blake's writing is excellent, and she's great at giving just enough information to keep the reader intrigued. If you like Greek myth, this is probably the story for you. If you don't, you might still like it because the Greek gods are forced to taste mortality, and they don't like it. :)
Side note: if you don't know much about the story of the Trojan horse, Odysseus, or Apollo and Cassandra, look them up. I did, and I think I enjoyed this book far more because of it. It added a layer of depth for me that I totally enjoyed. You don't need to know the details, just the big picture will do.
The story is told mostly in two alternating perspectives: Cassandra and Athena. Even though Athena is thousands of years old, her personality works well in a YA story. All the gods in Greek myth behave like spoiled children at some point or other, and being immortal and all powerful isn't exactly a motivator to grow up, so to speak. It's not until they are faced with death that we see who is capable of maturing and who isn't. Athena has a mix of both, and I loved seeing her internal struggle with losing her powers, plus her growing respect for life.
Cassandra isn't nearly as interesting at first, but then we find out her history. There is another power at work inside Cassandra, and we don't find out what it is. But I was okay with that, and was content to see how everything was going to pan out. I wasn't disappointed, until the very end.
The things I found confusing were surrounding Apollo. The truth about him is accepted a little too easily. Which, all things considered, I can understand not wanting to dwell on it. But what happens to him in the end makes no sense. If it had to happen, then fine. But I need to understand it, and, no matter how many ways I look at it, I just don't. So it felt contrived and unnecessary instead of emotional and powerful. But that was the only part of the book that I didn't care for.
Still, I'm hooked and will definitely be reading the next book.