CBR13 BINGO: Mythic Square BINGO! (Book Club Square to Free Square diagonal)
I was looking for something to tick the “Mythic” square off my CBR Bingo card and wanted something that was heavy on the re-telling and light on requiring PhD level knowledge of Greek mythology in order to “get it.” This fit the bill but I think if I had a better memory for the mythology class I took 100 years ago in college it would have been helpful.
This a YA mythic send up. Zeus is mad at the gods for behaving badly and treating mortals like playthings. As a solution, I guess, he sets up an every 7 year hunt (The Agon) which still pretty much treats mortals like playthings.
Think Hunger Games but with immortal Gods sent to earth and rendered mortal and vulnerable for just over a week. Down on earth, multiple mortal bloodlines of the Gods have been training to hunt and kill them. If a mortal manages to kill a God, they will become immortal and ascend as the new version of that God. The bloodline situation is a wee bit convoluted and I have to say that at some point I gave up trying to make sense of it. Again, it may make more sense to someone who understands Greek mythology better? I found that once I just kept that on the back burner and followed the story, the more enjoyment I got out of it.
As a child training for the hunt, Lore is caught in bloodline war with a newly ascended God, Wrath. Looking to obtain a powerful artifact and subsume their bloodline, Wrath backs Lore’s family into a corner that they cannot easily remove themselves from. When Lore comes home to find her parents and two baby sisters murdered, she goes into hiding and denounces her “destiny” as a hunter. After years on the run, she returns to New York City and manages to live her life under an assumed name until the 7 year cycle comes to a close and the Agon returns to her city.
Lots of bloody shenanigans. Fairly funny dialogue from the Goddess Athena. Interesting tidbits about New York City architecture and history. All in all? The idea was interesting, if a bit complicated at times. I think it was just an okay book for me, though. I agree with Malin’s review that it felt like it should have been the first book in a series. Maybe if it had been paced that way (or even if it was the last book in the series with preceding books written about Lore’s childhood and exile) it would have made the story more fleshed out. There is something here, but I’m not sure it was completely successful.