Red at Night

Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake

published on October 14th, 2014 by Tor Teen
Young Adult | Mythology

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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.

REVIEW

This review contains spoilers from Antigoddess.

Wow! That was definitely a pleasant surprise. I think I’ll even go as far as saying that I liked this more than Antigoddess (the first book in the series). Kendare Blake has really surprised me here, and I’m seriously impressed. Not only by the creativity in this book, but by the way in which Blake handles everything.

We pick up right where Antigoddess ends – the final fight in which Apollo, Poesiden and Hera are killed. Athena is back at home; preparing for how she is going to win the war once and for all. But can she truly kill her family? Cassandra is devastated by Aidan’s death, and promises she’ll bring vengeance any way she can…and she’ll start by killing the one who killed Aidan. The alliance between the two of them is fragile and easily breakable, but it may be the only thing that will be able to save the gods.

One of the things I loved about Mortal Gods was the mythology. Kendare skillfully incorporates mythology into a modern-day setting and it’s absolutely flawless. The mythology really gives her characters motivations and backstories to define their personalities, and that really explains why they are who they are. The research done on the topic is clearly extensive, and it truly pays off. From the Trojan War study to the many myths to the gods and goddesses – all of it is explored in great detail with wonderful accuracy.

The characters were absolutely wonderful too. They all had realistic motivations and personalities (based on how they might have been portrayed in mythology) and were all highly relatable.

Cassandra’s need for vengeance and her feeling of not belonging in this world was so wonderfully portrayed. You could feel her loss, her longing, and how much Aidan’s death really destroyed her psychologically. And how having this gift to kill the gods is really wrecking her consciousness and making her begin to question who she is, and you can’t help but relate to her because of that.

After Aidan’s funeral, she had asked Athena what her power meant. Athena blinked and replied that it was her purpose. That she killed gods.

She killed gods. Both intentionally and by accident. Hera. And Aidan.

And maybe Athena for good measure.

I really liked Athena as well. Athena has always been one of my favorite Greek goddesses, and I really like her character here. She’s a bit worn down at this point in the story – with everyone’s lives on her shoulders as she leads the dying gods and former heroes into battle. Not only is her life on the line, but that of her dying brother and some of the people she’s come to know as friends. The pressure and the reality of the situation is starting to get to her, and it really shows. The one thing I feel could have been different was the way Athena was portrayed. As the goddess of battle, fine arts and strategy, I felt that Blake never really focused upon Athena’s strategical mindset or her passion for the fine arts, and purely portrayed her as simply the goddess of battle; and I would have liked to see the other sides of her.

All in all, this is an absolutely wonderful second book to add to the Goddess Wars series. Kendare Blake has nailed it, and I’m really impressed. With such a cliffhanger ending, I look forward to seeing where she takes the story in the third installment.

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Skulls 4

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Are you a fan of books with descriptive gore? Have you tried Kendare’s books before?

About Zoe

Zoe is a critical reviewer. When she’s not reviewing, you can find her performing in plays / musicals, doing gymnastics, or designing websites.

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15 thoughts on “Review: Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake

  1. I’m reading this review even though it has spoilers and I’ve never read the first installment in this series #rebel

    Hahaha. More like I have the brain of a fish and will literally forget these spoilers once I exit off this lovely blog.

    Anyway wow, this review makes me really want to give this series a chance. I’ve heard things about it but for some reason it never really interested me??? Which is odd because like greek mythology is one of my favorite things. Lol my love for it started with the Percy Jackson series and since then my love has only increased exponentially. There’s just something so fascinating about it and the themes it raises about humanity. It makes me really happy to hear that the mythology in this series is on point and adds to the atmosphere while adapting the story to a more modern time period.

    The characters sound so realistic, especially Cassandra. Grief can be such a hard emotion to capture accurately but it sounds like Blake nails it in all of it’s emotionally power. It really takes a strong character to rise above all of the tough emotional turmoil and it sounds like Cassandra is one who could after dealing with it for awhile.

    Athena definitely isn’t the goddess of war, and seeing her in that position would be jarring for me. Like you I’d like to see her wisdom, she’s the goddess of strategy afterall. So often in YA we see this typical warrior character, so seeing something more strategical would have been nice.

    Great review Zoe! (: You’ve convinced me to give this series a chance

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  2. Wooooot had to skim because I haven’t read the first book but I read the first paragraph which was a spoiler, but no sweat, I don’t really mind! Actually I am even more intrigued of this series since I love Greek Mythology and I think this is a good book with such concept! Hihhihi. Great review, Zoe! I like series that gets better and better! :D

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  3. I still haven’t read the first book in this series, even though I can admit (in shame) that it has been on my shelf for over a year now. Shame on me! I will get to it soon. But I’m really glad that you’ve enjoyed this one and it sounds really good. I’m still not happy about the title change but well I’ll have to live with that. Great post, Zoe :)

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  4. WHOOO! I really enjoyed Antigoddess but I have a curse with sequels this year – they all suck, dude!! I hope this one gives me the same kind of awesome feeling. I love enjoying a sequel more than the first book, even! I also love how much research and wonderful characters it had in book 1 I can only imagine it gets even better from there! I know the ending of the first was so intense, whoa!! I still remember the 2 perspectives doing that sort of merging to the climax, you know. So excited to see a great review on this one!

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  5. What a great reminder to read the first book which I have on my shelf somewhere! (So weird how my bookcase eats these books up and I forget about them). I had no idea the sequel was out already, but I really love the sound of the mythology in these books. Cassandra sounds like an amazing strong character. Lovely review Zoe!

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  6. Much as I want to read your entire post, I can’t. I love spoilers but I love greek mythology more. I added this one to my to-reads. OH GOSH! I have have piles of em but still, thanks for blogging about it. I have been god-dieted since sherrilyn kenyon’s Night embrace.

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  7. Dammit, had to skim a little because I still haven’t read book one yet. I have it and need to move it up my list soon. She’s such a brilliant author, I absolutely loved the Anna Dressed in Blood series, so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy these just as much. Based on your excitement alone, I’d say it’s a winner. Lovely review Zoe <3

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  8. I haven’t read Antigoddess yet (but am planning to because it sounds so deliciously creepy), so I had to skim through your review a little. Sorry about that! But it’s always so satisfying when a sequel lives up to your expectations and doesn’t fall prey to the second-book syndrome — glad that you enjoyed Mortal Gods so much!

    The only thing I’m not that fond of are the covers. :( They look so unoriginal, but it’s Kendare Blake, so I guess I can expect the story to be top-notch! Haven’t read Anna Dressed In Blood yet, though. Gosh, I’m so behind on all these popular books…

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  9. Oh, I definitely need to get my hands on this series. It sounds amazing and I’ve read Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood, which I loved. I still haven’t read the sequel to that one either. Another book I need to get to quickly!

    Love the review! I seriously forgot all about this series, even though it on my TBR.

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  10. I’m not a big fan of Greek mythology which is why I didn’t pick up the first book, but I’m happy to hear you loved this series, Amy! I did enjoy Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood, so I can see why you’d enjoy her writing. Lovely review! :)

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  11. I did not read your review because I don’t want to be spoiled!! Haha, and it seems like this is a book I’ll read. And it’s from the Author who brought Anna Dressed in Blood! Now, I haven’t read that one but the review were pretty high. So, I’m excited!! :D Looks like you enjoyed the book based on your rating. Thanks, Zoe!! :)

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