Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Review: Goddess

After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.
In Josephine Angelini’s compelling conclusion to the masterfully woven Starcrossed trilogy, a goddess must rise above it all to change a destiny that’s been written in the stars. With worlds built just as fast as they crumble, love and war collide in an all-out battle that will leave no question unanswered and no heart untouched.  Quoted from Goodreads


In Goddess, we have yet another great end to a fun trilogy--more than great. It absolutely exceeded my expectations.  Here's the thing. I liked Starcrossed, but I had some big hangups with it. Too often, at least in my opinion, the first book in the series is the best, and then the second and third sort of trail after on borrowed sparks.  Absolutely not the case with this series.  Each book has gotten better and better.  The first was good, but this last one is great.  I'm telling you, 2010 was a great year for series, and it's kind of sad that so many are ending.

What I liked best? The tragedy.  Don't get me wrong, the ending is happy, almost too perfect really, but there's also tragedy.  There's sacrifice, and some great characters die or give up the things they love. Things don't all automatically work out, and we even had a few broken hearts in the mix. Really, it's the tragedy that grounds this story so solidly in the greek mythology Josephine Angelini is drawing on.

Plus, everyone steps up. Helen comes into her own and embraces her abilities and purpose; Lucas, Orion, Hector, Daphne, etc. all have their moment in the sun (or shadow, depending on how you look at it). Daphne's lies are all explained, and everything that was hinted at in the second book is played out beautifully. I really enjoyed the way each of the characters plays a modern counterpart to their more famous/ancient doppelgangers. She also does a great job of bringing the greek gods to life.  Sure, the story focuses on Helen, but I loved (or hated, depending) so many of other characters as well, I couldn't really pick a favorite.

This story, more than any of the others, pulls from the Iliad   We get the parallels, the replay, etc. The mythology/world-building of the story really comes together, so you can actually see history playing out the way the author describes.  Plus, we get a lot more action.  I'm sorry to say, but I wasn't a huge fan of the romance in these books. I like Lucas and Orion, don't get me wrong, but the whole" starcrossed lovers" thing came across as artificial to me.  It was more like, lets manufacture a reason for Helen and Lucas not to be together, that came across as weak and forced.  This book avoids most of that.  It's much more about the action, the war, trying to avoid the repeated tragedies of the Trojan War that the fates keep replaying, and it makes for a much, much better book.

Okay, so now for the things that bugged me.  First, the whole Matt/Achilles thing.  Maybe it was the plan from the beginning, but I really didn't like that aspect.  His suddenly getting powers and becoming immersed in that world, didn't really fit with everything else and seemed kind of contrived to me.  I had a few other issues I won't go into, but that was the big one.

Still, This book was, by far, the best of the series.  It's one of those where I want to recommend people read this series just because the third book was so good. I've had a lot going on this week, but I found my self picking this up every free minute I had. It's absolutely 4 stars for me, and it assured that I'll be picking up whatever Josephine Angelini writes next.

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