The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake. Old Gods never die… 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.
Cassandra was just a regular girl who just happened to be able to tell the future. Or at least she thought she was ordinary until she finds that she's actually the reincarnated version of the original Cassandra of Troy and she's now stuck in the middle of a war between the gods. Turns up immortal does not mean eternal as the greek gods are starting to die, and each in their own horrific way. They've split into two factions, both fighting for survival, but one side seems to have lost all remnants of sanity and is killing off the other. Cassandra is said to hold the key to the war making her the most wanted person alive. She's in this war whether she wants to be or not, as when goddesses rage, mortals fall, and only she can stop it.
I had a really hard time getting into this book, and quite frankly I'm not sure that I ever really did, at least not to the extent that I would have liked. A lot of that had to do with the dual perspectives, which I'm generally not a fan of. I realize that they are a good way to show different sides of a story, but in this case, they just didn't seem to fit together very well, even if both were largely important in their own way. Each new chapter was jarring, with no real transition or obvious correlation at least for the first half the book that was. As things went on, the two story lines did start to line up a little better, but by that point it just was too late to really draw me in. I'm not sure what could have been done to fix this issue, but when you add it into my character disconnect that I'll talk about shortly, ANTIGODDESS just couldn't quite hold my attention.
As I said, I had a large character disconnect from the characters in ANTIGODDESS, especially since none of them seemed to be very well fleshed out. Perhaps that was due to the page having to be split between the two different perspectives/storylines, but I just got the feeling that there was something missing from them. Like that spark that draws you into a character be it good or bad just wasn't there for any of them. Come to think of it, a lot of the problem could stem from the fact that we were told a lot of things, but rarely shown them. For example, Cassandra and Aiden were supposed to have this really strong relationship/love and have never fought, but I did not feel any swooning at all when they were together as it all felt bland. And then when something actually did come between them, the reaction just was not intense enough in my opinion. I mean this was their first BIG fight/issue, and I just felt it didn't get the attention it deserved. So, when you are overall indifferent about the characters, it becomes very hard to care about what is happening in the story, and unfortunately that was the case here. In fact the only character element that really drew me in was with Athena and a certain other character, but even that just didn't develop quite enough to really satisfy me. I'm hoping that in that case, the groundwork was just being laid and it will play a larger part in the next book.
ANTIGODDESS was one of my most anticipated reads for the year. I absolutely LOVED Kendare's Anna books, and since this one surrounded Greek mythology, another favorite thing for me, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this. Unfortunately it just wound up being a mediocre read for me at best. Granted, my disappointment could largely stem from my overly high expectations, but I can't help feeling let down. That being said, I still see myself picking up the next book as I was hooked by the world and want to see what happens next, especially after that ending.