Book Review: Lore by Alexandra Bracken

I initially had the opportunity to read a 6 chapter excerpt of Lore (coming 01/25/2021) and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the full book! Thankfully, the wonderful folks at Hyperion Publishing gave me a full copy to review, so I’m amending my initial review (which can be found here) and updating it to include my feedback on the full novel.

Admittedly, I’m a Greek mythology fanatic, and I love story lines that incorporate those ancient mythologies. Lore is a modern fantasy with a twist that brings those ancient deities into the modern world. Here’s the blurb:
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 first six chapters did not disappoint. It has an excellent pace, hints at mystery, adds some humor, and got right to the tension. It’s a fresh, unique take on Greek mythology and I’m excited to read more.

12/27/2020 update:

I did receive a full copy of Lore for review. And the rest of the book holds out just as well as the preview. It’s a complex and exciting tale about the Greek gods and how their meddling with and amongst mortals leads to endless treachery and power shifts. This Agon is an intense battle between gods who’ve been maneuvering behind the scenes, and outside of the Agon for a long time and everything they’ve aspired to is finally within their reach. The battleground for this year is New York City, which lends a perfect backdrop to the battles among ancient deities (and their more modern counterparts). I can’t imagine a better setting for the epic final battle.
Lore is a strong, fearless character who struggles with self-awareness at first, but becomes more in tune to her own past and possibilities as the Agon progresses. As a character, she stays consistent throughout. She’s tough, but the loss of her her family at the hands of these warring immortals, is something that haunts her. It gives her equal parts anger and fear, both of which are nicely balanced and help make her a well-rounded character.

The cast of supporting characters includes gods and mortals alike, and they provide a nice balance in this storyline. The lies and motivations of some of them are complicated and sometimes not clear, but it all becomes apparent in the end and the ending is a satisfying one.

If you’ve ever struggled with remembering all the gods and how they interacted with or influenced mortals, this won’t be an easy storyline to keep track of. In addition to the original gods and heroes of Greek mythology, there are new gods who’ve replaced those in the ancient bloodlines to keep track of. But Lore remains a great, energetic, and adventure-laden escape.

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