Book Nerd Guest Post
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Series: The Goddess War (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen; Reprint edition (August 19, 2014)
“This new series from one of the best up-and-coming horror/suspense writers around updates Greek mythology but offers far more than a Percy Jackson retread. Blake's spunky and imaginative narrative illuminates the personalities of the gods, especially Athena, who's gone a bit punk and is endowed with wry humor.... This edgy first installment maneuvers forces into position; readers will want to stay tuned.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The gods' world, while contemporary, is violent and laced with bizarre circumstances and powers, but Cassandra's is a normal adolescence in spite of her clairvoyance. It is Cassandra's visions that align their two worlds, creating the series debut's ultimate drama and tension, which promises to play out in subsequent Goddess War adventures.” —Booklist
“This is Kendare Blake we're talking about, so people die, and there are terrible sacrifices. It's a great start and, of course, the cliffhanger ensures that I will be impatiently waiting for the sequel.” —USA Today
The Importance of Being Humorous
I love that you have a lot of humor and sarcasm in your books! I love laughing out loud and really loving a character's humorous side. Is that something that comes naturally with a character? Do you plan the amount of humor to include in a book? Do you ever cut some humor to keep a darker tone overall?
It absolutely comes naturally. I didn’t think there would be much humor at all in Antigoddess, except perhaps the ironic kind. But then Hermes showed up. Irrepressible Hermes. And he managed to sneak it in, even in the most dire of situations. I don’t think this sort of thing can be planned, or forced. The character has to show up and speak naturally. Not all of them are going to be funny. Not everyone is funny. Everyone is funny sometimes, and to varying degrees, and so it goes with characters.
I’ve never written a scene and thought, “whoa, I need to lighten this up.” In fact, the scenes that are dialogue heavy are almost never changed. Because how can I change them? That’s what the characters said. It feels like rewriting history if I take the words out of their mouths and turn them around.
This sounds hokey I know, but characters are real people. They have their own histories and motivations, so when they speak, I never have to put the words in their mouths. This made it particularly difficult for ANTIGODDESS, being aware of the characters’ histories and motivations and knowing that many readers wouldn’t be. It was tough to walk that line, let them do their thing, and then keep it understandable through exposition and inference. But I hope I did okay!
It would be Athena and Anna. And then I would make snide comments about one to the other, so maybe we could find out who would win in a grudgematch.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
The one I was in, probably. I get the technology, but I also get to remember what it was like before that technology was really smooth.
Things you would change about your high school years if you could go back in time.
1. Save my two classmates who died.
2. Skipped slightly less during my senior year. No wait. I’d skip the same amount.
3. Tell all my friends their boyfriends blow.
4. Get to know all different people.
5. Not get locked in that locker, that one time. My fault, for getting in, in the first place.
6. Nominate my brother for homecoming queen.
7. Savor the cafeteria flavor. It wasn’t all bad.
8. Talk to my teachers more. Get to know what they really wanted me to learn.
9. Take my driver’s test fewer times. Like way fewer.
10. Ride the bus more.
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.
Readers who are fans of mythology or even ones who have the bare basics of it will find the story to be captivating. It is safe to say that gods are suppose to be immortal, but just the thought of them dying for some unknown reason presents a magnetic appeal that is difficult to pull apart from. The interactions of the gods were beautifully written. Their own way of slowly dying was excruciating to read especially the moments that Athena pulled one of her feathers out. The book does contain some graphic scenes but it has become one of Blake's signature style (Anna Dressed in Blood).
The originality that this book delivers brought out well-detailed and amazing writing about mythology. Blake's direction for the plot is solid and it is evident that there is so much more to the story. Gods and goddesses have always been the same in most mythology books. Blake manages to give them complex personalities that somewhat gives them some human traits. The thought of losing their invincibility never crosses our mind but Blake puts them in situations that degrades their statuses. Facing death, these gods and goddesses are now more emotional, vulnerable and liable. Blake's story tells us a pivotal lesson about humanity.
Diving into this book without any background of mythology will not get you lost in the shuffle. Blake provides the right amount of details to give readers enough that don't feel too overwhelming. The ending culminates to a pivotal epic scene that only opens up a doorway for more to come. The Gooddess Wars series is one that many readers will adding to their "can't wait to read" list.
And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Kendare & Tor for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive a Surprise ART Bookmark by James Vallesteros.
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