Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: Goddess

GODDESS
Starcrossed #3
Josephine Angelini
Paranormal Young Adult
421 pages
HarperTeen
Available Now
Source: ARC from author for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.


MY THOUGHTS
The world of the Starcrossed books has always been a complicated one–the cyclical nature of Greek mythology combining with a complex series of feuds between various demigod houses to keep us always on our toes–and while it's been fairly easy in prior books to settle into the story despite the intricacy, in this rather epic conclusion we get a touch tangled in the threads. There's no doubt that Ms. Angelini does a beautiful job linking all the various pieces together, creating a web of intersecting strands that impresses and dazzles with its beautiful strength, but at the same time, the creation of the web is such an overwhelming undertaking given the large cast of characters and their counterparts in both in past and present lives that she loses us at times along the way.

Where the focus in previous installments has been largely on Helen, Lucas and their forbidden romance, Goddess sees an expansion of the story as a whole, introducing new characters and new pieces of old histories which, while fascinating to read about, keep us at more of a distance from the core group than we have been before. The beginning is particularly challenging, Helen's recovery from the events at the end of Dreamless putting her out of commission and therefore susceptible to a flood of memories from past lives as she lays unconscious. The flashbacks combined with the aforementioned extensive cast of characters causes us to falter a bit as we start out, trying to sort through our memories as we attempt to recall not only who all the characters are at present, but also who they have been in the past and how their various roles in the Trojan War relate to one another then and now.

Despite a rocky start and a stumble or two along the way as we try and unravel the impressively tied knots between the gods and the Scions, Goddess is an entertaining read, our desire to know just what the Fates have been attempting to orchestrate all along as strong as it has ever been. Ms. Angelini's attention to detail is also extraordinarily noteworthy, each of her characters vital to the story in their own right so that none feel as though they are secondary. Instead, they are all important players in an impossible game where the odds of success are low and the possibility of the vicious cycle perpetuated by the failure of those who came before them repeating once again is high. Though we might not feel quite as connected to Helen and Lucas as we have in past books, there's a sense of camaraderie in place in Goddess that also wasn't present before, linking each character together in a bond that seems to strengthen chapter to chapter and infusing the story with extra energy as they fight to be the directors of their play rather than the actors.

Overall, Goddess is a story that would likely benefit from a glossary in the back outlining the various houses, all the members belonging to each one, and the god from which they are descended (there may be one in the finished copy, I cannot attest to this, but there isn't one in the ARC), so we can have a cheat sheet to help us when our memories prove to be less than the steel trap Ms. Angelini's so obviously is. Questions are answered, loyalties are tested, and love is both lost and gained, leaving us emotionally wrung out but ultimately extremely satisfied with our final moments in this tragically dark and stunningly hopeful world.

Rating: 3.5-4/5 

(I'm giving a range because I love this series, but this last book tested my ability to sort through and catalog a great deal of information, and I'm not ashamed to admit I got lost more than a few times)
 

Find Josie


This book was sent to me by the author free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

47 comments:

  1. I loved this book so much! It brought out mu inner greekcologist (that should be a word!) in me. I do agree that the characters and their individual backstories were a bit overwhelming and can be confusing, but I read it pretty fast, so it wasn't a bother for me. I'm so glad that besides the little flaws, you did enjoy the overall story. Great review, Jenny! :)

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    1. That totally should be a word:) I do so love this series though Aman, so even though I was confused at times, it still made me happy just reading it:)

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  2. Everyone seem to love/read this only I haven't started the series yet. I like hearing about this world as it sounds complex and amazing. I love stories about mythology so I must give it a try :) Great review, Jenny ;)

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    1. I feel like I say that all the time Tanja! There are so many series out there I want to start, and I do love this one. I'm a sucker for Greek mythology:)

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  3. For some reason this series has never called out to me. Stories with Greek Mythology rarely impress, so I've never been drawn to this series. I hate it when a story contains so much info you need to remember and then a year passes by in between publication and you're left to try and remember all the details. Not good for me because my mind can be like a sieve sometimes. Especially reading so many books. Great review, Jenny. :)

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    1. I definitely could have used a glossary of characters and their various relationships to one another, that's what really did me in with this last book. Still, even with that, I loved how she wrapped everything up!

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  4. I think the library had a translation of book 1, but translations are so meh

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    1. I would not want to be the person translating this book, that would be a challenge for sure!

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  5. I really love the covers of this trilogy, but am not interested in the story itself. Seeing that this conclusion wasn't the strongest for you - and knowing that conclusions nearly always disappoint me - I doubt I'll pick this up. Still, lovely review Jenny!

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    1. It certainly won't be a series for everyone, and there's a lot going on in it, but I'm still a big fan:) I think wrapping a series up would be really hard, but she did a good job making sure all my questions were answered. That's always my big thing!

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  6. This one was a little rocky for me too - definitely not my favourite book of the series although I rated it quite kindly (I think) due to my love of the characters and the first book. I definitely could have done with a cheat sheet - you're not the only one who got a little lost at times during your reading of this one!

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    1. Oh good, I was thinking it was just my poor feeble brain that couldn't keep track of everyone in this book! I gave the range in the rating due to my love of the previous two books, but I did struggle at times with this final installment.

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  7. It does seem like this finally book was a little rocky for you and I'm sorry to hear that, Jenny. But I'm happy to hear that you were satisfied with it.
    I especially like how all the characters in the book were important to the plot line.
    I don't know if this series is for me, but one of these days I might give it a shot, Jenny!
    Lovely review! :)

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    1. There were just a lot of people and various past live incarnations to keep track of Nick, and sometimes I just got lost. That being said though, I love Josie's writing and storytelling and I will read anything she writes in the future:)

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  8. Jenny, you sure do have a way with words. "Tragically dark and stunningly hopeful"? Girl, you'd have me on that alone. I haven't read past the first book of this series, but I loved it and, despite the information overload, it sounds like a series that I really should finish someday. Preferably when I have a shortage of books...so, I guess, never. Ooops ;) Lovely review, m'dear!

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    1. It would probably have been easier if I'd read them right in a row, or at least books 2 and 3 right in a row, you just forget so much waiting a year in between:) If you do decide to finish the series, I recommend reading the last two one after the other for sure!

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  9. The whole Greek pantheon has such a convoluted history, it's almost impossible to keep all the stories straight so I'm not surprised it bled into this story. I don't remember reading the first one in this series so I think I'll have to start there!

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    1. Read them all together Mary! I think that's the way to go so you don't lose track of all the characters over time. Because there are a lot of them:)

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  10. I haven't started this series yet but I do own them all (at least I am pretty sure I do!). I love mythology and even though this last one gets a little sticky, I am sure I will love it too.

    Great review!

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    1. She does an amazing job with the mythology Ali, I really enjoyed that aspect of it even it was hard to sort through at times:)

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  11. I liked the first book, but I haven't continued the series since. It's a shame that it's not as easy to follow along as it could have been. I hope the finished copy does get a few maps and charts - I know my memory is awful! There's only so much I can keep track of without it becoming overwhelming... But still, I'm glad you enjoyed it overall. Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. I'll have to go to the bookstore and check out the finished copy to see if a glossary of sorts is there:) It would help for sure!

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  12. This almost sounds like a high fantasy, with all of the houses and complexities of the plot and oodles of characters. Love your review Jenny!

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    1. It could be high fantasy given the size of the cast and the complex world! I did enjoy this one though, even if I was confused in some areas:)

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  13. I agree, it's a bit confusing. I think it's a series that would be more easily understood if read closer together. I think when I finished I still felt slightly lost, but I still loved it and was happy with the conclusion.

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    1. Definitely. I should have done a reread but I wanted to know what happened so bad I didn't bother:)

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  14. Hmm it's too bad that this one wasn't as tightly wound up as the others. I haven't read any of the books in this series but I am always taken aback by how pretty the covers are.

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    1. Aren't they gorgeous? I have fun just staring at all three of them on my shelf:)

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  15. Loved this review! There was a lot of drama to sort out through but in the end, I still enjoyed it. I like the way it ended too.

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    1. I liked the way it ended as well Savy:) She wrapped everything nicely I thought.

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  16. I know right it is hard sometimes to keep track of everything and I know I have said a time or two in my reviews that a glossary would be so helpful. I also struggle sometimes when it has been a freaking year or more since I read the last one. I still haven't tried this series even though I have been lusting over the covers for like three years now!

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    1. Yes. This is a series that needs to be read all together. It's just too hard to remember all the characters and how they relate to one another present and past! Still enjoyed it though:)

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  17. Oh it is usually the ending book that I like the least. Looks like it would be in this trilogy as well. Still, you love the series so much so it is worth me reading them... and at least now all 3 are out. I do hope for that glossary since I know I would be lost. Brilly review.

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    1. I think you'll be much better off in this last book if you read them all together Melissa! It will be much easier to keep track of everyone:)

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  18. I haven't read this book yet or this series. But I have them all. I couldn't resist the gorgeous covers, even though I shouldn't judge. ;) I can't wait to read this series. Thanks for sharing, Jenny! :D

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    1. I'm a huge fan of this series Emma, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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  19. I've heard from other people that you can get lost from time to time when reading Goddess. I am afraid that I won't remember all the details from the series and sort of get lost in this last book. A cheat sheet would be PERFECT! Nonetheless, it sounds like an entertaining read and the end to a great series. Thanks for the great review!

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    1. I feel like I should have made a cheat sheet before I started. That takes effort though and I was way too lazy to do that, so I just dealt with the confusion:)

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  20. I really need to catch up and read the sequel! Glad that this book was entertaining, even though it was also a bit confusing at times.

    Nice review :)

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    1. It was still a highly enjoyable read:)

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  21. I hate when books are so complicated I get a bit lost and it sounds like a glossary would have been a great help in this one! Still it sounds like it was a satisfying enough end, and I'm very glad to hear that because this is on my TBR pile and I don't want to ditch it. :D Amazing review Jenny!

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    1. Yes! I really want to take a trip to the bookstore to see if there is a glossary. I can't help but hope they put one in the final print version:)

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  22. I am reading this one slowly, trying to savor the last book. So far I'm not having any trouble, but I'm not too far into it. There is definitely a lot going on!!

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  23. I remember having to force myself to keep reading the first book because you and Small really enjoyed it, Jenny. I did end up liking it overall, but I didn't continue with the sequel because I have a hard time remembering what happened in prior books and with such a large cast of characters and multiple connections, I'd be lost again. So I can sympathize with how you felt about this one.

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  24. Great review! I also had trouble connecting back to these characters and this world. While I liked how the past and present combined through Helen's flashbacks, I agree that all the different characters and situations slowed down this book a lot for me. And YES to wanting a glossary. I honestly still do not understand why there are only 4 houses when there is a huge pantheon of gods, nor can I remember which god goes with which house. Especially, as the characters have traits from various gods, depending on how the families married. But like you, I enjoyed how this author tied everything together, It's a pretty epic conclusion!

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  25. I'm hoping, as I have been since I started the series, no matter what my feelings may have been through out it, that everything sort of works out and in a way that's best for the characters. The story is so complex and rich with detail and imagination that keeps me interested enough to overlook the oddness of the characters, the quantity of them, and their relationships. I'm hoping that I'll love this finale.

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  26. I'm about to start reading the rest of this series. I read the first one, really liked it and then began the second one many times and it just never stuck. I think I was afraid of starting it without the last one being out! (I've been burned too many times...!!!!!!! Can't handle the waiting!)

    Loved your review! :)

    Liza @ Book Crook Liza

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