Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake

MortalGodsTitle: Mortal Gods

Author: Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmaresand Antigoddess)

Genre: Mythology/Paranormal

Publisher: Tor Teen

Pages: 352

Rating: 4/5

Ares, God of War, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She’s ready to wage a war of her own, and she’s never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she’ll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace.

Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can’t have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite.

The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra’s hate will get them ALL killed.

The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can’t, fates far worse than death await.

The second book in the Goddess War series seemed to have the same problems that the first one did, but it also had the same strengths and kept me just as interested – and now unhappily waiting for the third book to get a cover and release date, let alone come out!

The Beginning

After the tragic events of the first book, the characters get a little break to adjust to all the changes, so we come into the story a few months later. Things have changed – Odysseus has enrolled in high school and is just as charming as ever, Henry and Andie are still trying to come to terms with everything going on, Athena and Hermes continue to suffer and get closer to death, and Cassandra seems to grow angrier with each passing day. The beginning is a slow buildup with some new characters, like Ares and Achilles, as well as some new creepy scenes to keep you up at night.

The Plot

Looking back at this book, I feel like there wasn’t much in the way of a plot. That doesn’t mean that nothing happens, but it’s a lot of preparation at this point. I sure some people might claim that it’s a bridge in between the first book and the later two, but I didn’t mind it too much. This book was very necessary to prepare for later things, and it was seemed just as interesting to me. By the end of the book, I was starting to wonder if there would even be a final battle scene like we got with the first book, but rest assured that that happens, if that’s what you’re reading the books for.

The Characters

For the most part, my feelings toward the characters remained the same. I continue to love reading things from Athena’s point of view and seeing her interactions with her brother, Hermes, and Odysseus. I still like Henry, Cassandra’s brother, and Andie might be growing on me. I expected to hate Ares because that god is rarely depicted as a good guy in books, and even though he was certainly an antagonist, he felt like an interesting character to me. My main problem remains with Cassandra – I just don’t feel much of a connection with her. After the events of the first book, she’s a very angry person, and that just made her more insufferable to me. It wasn’t that I really disliked her, I just didn’t care for her as a character as much as I think I was meant to, and so I wasn’t always interested in what was going on simply because it was from her point of view. Silly, I know, but I just haven’t found myself caring about Cassandra the way I have with the other characters.

The World-Building

The world of Greek mythology continues to expand in an interesting way. Mount Olympus makes a small appearance, and the group of gods and mortals are forced to travel around in their quest to win the war, but most of the action continues to take place in Kincade, New York. I didn’t really get a sense of the town, though, which might have been the point. There are still plenty of secrets that we had better learn in the last two books, but things are slowly unfurling and keeping me really interested in seeing what we’ll discover next.

The Adult Situation

Cassandra and Henry’s parents continue to feel less like characters and more like they’re there because Cassandra and Henry are still minors. They certainly seem concerned about their children, but since they don’t know what’s going on, there’s not much they can do. It’s kind of frustrating for sure, but since I’m interested in the activities of gods, it’s hard to wish for more mother-daughter moments when it might bite into my Athena time.

The Romance

Romance is not big in this book, but there are strains of it running underneath the story. Athena continues to struggle between her obvious feelings for Odysseus and her role as a “virgin goddess,” which was interesting to me – but unfortunately the romance led to one of the problems I had with the first book: girl shaming. It was subtle most of the time, but a character is introduced who is a bit of a rival for Athena, and Athena could be just as judgmental of and condescending toward her as she is with Aphrodite, the goddess of love who is the target of Athena’s judgment simply for that reason. The quick jabs at this character, as well as Aphrodite, prevented me from rating this book higher (well, that and my continued dislike of or simply indifference toward Cassandra).

The Ending

As I already mentioned, I was starting to wonder if this book would end with a battle or not. There was a lot of slow buildup that could lead to something, but the close to the end I got, the less sure I was. I was wrong, though – there was another showdown at the end of this book that left another god dead and many character’s fates in limbo. It was much more of a cliffhanger than the last book, and now I’m stuck impatiently awaiting the next book!

In Conclusion…

This book had some of the same problems I found in the first installment, but I was often too interested in the story and most of the characters to notice them. I’m definitely looking forward to the third book in the series, which is sure to be just as painful as this book could be.

4stars

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