- Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
A war between the gods has started, as the deities of ancient Greece begin dying and in a desperate bid for survival turn to devour each other. Some, however, put aside old grudges and form new alliances: warrior goddess Athena and messenger god Hermes bond to save themselves, while sea-god Poseidon joins forces with increasingly mad Aphrodite and cruel, power-hungry Hera. Eager for any weapon that might help their cause, they crisscross the United States in search of reincarnated heroes from their past. Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Cassandra, the unwitting reincarnation of a Trojan princess, finds that her gift for predicting the future has warped into painful, grotesque visions of monsters and dying gods, and her loving boyfriend has revealed himself to be the god Apollo. Athena’s arrival (with Odysseus in tow) additionally awakens memories of war and betrayals, and Cassandra is forced to decide if she is willing to set aside ancient hatreds in the face of a new common enemy. Deftly reworking ancient myth into a contemporary setting, this novel delivers a strong set-up for an intriguing series that is sure to be a hit with fans of mythology retellings. Rife with allusions to the Trojan War, it manages to provide just enough detail to allow readers unfamiliar with the old tales to follow along while not overburdening the text with explanations. The slow, horrific demise of the gods affords plenty of opportunities for Blake to show off her gift for gruesome details, but the novel eschews overt horror elements in lieu of building momentum toward the final showdown. The focus of much of the action here is the battle between the gods themselves, leaving the actual teens relegated to secondary roles, but Cassandra really comes into her own near the novel’s end, so readers can likely look forward to her becoming a true heroine in future volumes.