Lore by Alexandra Bracken – Book Review!

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

Once every Seven Years Nine Greek Gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendant’s of ancient bloodlines all in search of their powers. Lore thought herself long out of this world, but on the eve of the most recent Agon she finds one of the God’s bleeding on her doorstep and is once again drawn into the world of brutality when she finds she can’t pass up the chance for revenge for the brutal murder of her family years ago. But this Agon seems different, one of the God’s is aligning the houses together and building a force like none that have been seen before, Lore will find herself having to place her trust in the people she thought she had left behind if she, and humanity are to make it out alive.

Lore is a totally kick ass character and I loved how she wasn’t wholly good, she gets tested a lot through this book and doesn’t always make the right decisions, but that just makes her more believable and relatable as a character. Her story is told via the present and through flashbacks, which are vitally important to her story, and when you come to understand how she got to where she is now, you understand her motives and the reasoning behind some of her more sketchy actions. She may but on a big and brave face, but underneath it all she is still a little girl who blames herself for the worst event of her life and doesn’t think she can be redeemed. Her story is heart breaking in parts, but her snarky attitude and tendency to punch first, ask questions later bring a levity to the story, as do some of the side characters.

I have to say, there wasn’t a character in this book I didn’t like. I mean, I didn’t ‘like’ the bad guy, but he was just so incredibly well written. Lore completes her journey alongside a rather odd cast of side characters, her ‘unblooded’ friend Miles, the boy she thought dead, an ancient God and two friends from her past, and she has to rely on every single one of them to help her complete her goal. I loved the addition of Miles because it gave the author a really simple and effective way to introduce us to Lore’s world without it getting info dumpy, plus he’s an absolute cinnamon roll and I just loved him.

There’s a feminist underbelly to this story that I just adored and is greatly missing in Greek Mythology as a whole. Bracken shows the reality of life as a woman in an ‘old fashioned’ world, within the world of ‘Lore’ it is only the male descendants of the ancient bloodlines that are allowed to ascend, and the one time a women did claim the power she was shunned from the community and constantly hunted. But she also shows how women have been greatly misrepresented throughout history, there’s a great example of this with Athena in the book, and also how it’s complete bull that men are stronger than women, she shows that men crave power when women crave to end it, and I loved all of the relationships and scenes that she wrote into the book to show this.

You all know how much I love mythology in a book, so it’s no surprise when I say that I adored delving into Brackens take on a modern ancient Greek world, she blends the modern and the mythological with ease and I loved how she took the ancient God’s powers but put a more modern spin on them to fit into ‘Lore’s’ world. While there’s a whole heap about this book that I loved, I really think this would have worked better as a duology. As a whole the pacing of this book was way off, Bracken does a great job of slowly introducing us to her world, but because of that the end went at a break neck pace and I had to re-read so many different parts because I kept missing bits. I also feel like the author bit off a little more than she could chew with the mythology and differing story lines, if you’re gonna write a stand-alone, fantastic, but you have to make sure that everything can get tied together in a neat bow by the end and that just didn’t happen.

Overall, there was a lot to love about this book, but the pacing and overload of information and different story lines just let it down a little. I think if you’re going to enjoy this book, you should go in knowing that it’s going to get a little overwhelming in parts, there will be questions that don’t get answered and the ending will come across as a little too easy, but if you tend to stay more for the characters than the story line, you will probably end up enjoying this one.


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9 replies »

  1. BECKY! I love how well you wrote this review. You accurately conveyed all the days of messaging that we accrued in our discussions – all the raving about the mythology and feminism, and the agonizing about our zillions of questions. And the way we both agreed that while a fast-paced story is great, this definitely would have worked out so much better if it was spread out over two books. Great job, and I’m absolutely looking forward to our next buddy read!

    Liked by 1 person

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