- Title: Lore
- Author: Alexandra Bracken
- Publisher: Disney Hyperion
- Publication Day: January 5, 2021
- Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
- Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
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.
The premise of this book is intriguing. For one week every seven years, rebellious Greek gods are forced into mortality, and the descendants of ancient bloodlines have the opportunity to kill them and take their power – and become the hunted seven years later. (Although if I think about that real hard, if the mortals who seize power and become gods are then the hunted, is it still the original rebellious gods who are on the hot seat? Maybe not….)
Modern day New York City and ancient Greek gods and goddesses. It’s an interesting juxtaposition. I’ve seen it described as Greek mythology meets the Hunger Games, and I can kind of see that. Lore is the last of her line, as her family was brutally killed in the last Agon. She is a hot mess of conflict, y’all. She wants out of the fight entirely. But she wants revenge on the man who killed her family. She doesn’t really know what she wants. But when a seriously wounded Athena, last of the original gods to survive, shows up on her doorstep and asks for Lore’s help in going after her family’s killer, Lore takes the opportunity.
The early part of the story was almost enough to make me give up on it. It was a lot of information without a real framework in which to fit it. The glossary helped, though, at least with keeping the families and the characters straight.
And once you got past that first bit, it got better. Sure, Lore was conflicted, but she’s also a teenage girl. How many of us really knew our own minds when we were teenagers?
There’s a little bit of romance with her childhood friend Castor, but it isn’t the main focus of the story. Had it been left out and had they stayed friends, the storyline wouldn’t have suffered. There are some entertaining fight sequences, but it was a little bit of a stretch to me to think that all of that devastation would take place in New York City and there would be no real comment on it.
Lots of action, plot twists, and a main character for whom you can’t help but feel a little sympathy make for a very readable story – once you slog through the setup. A good choice if you’re a fan of YA fantasy and into mythology.
Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Hyperion for the advance reader copy. All opinions here are my own, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t really like.