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.
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.
Are you a fan of books with descriptive gore? Have you tried Kendare’s books before?
Zoe is a critical reviewer. When she’s not reviewing, you can find her performing in plays / musicals, doing gymnastics, or designing websites.