Saturday, January 9, 2021

Review: LORE by Alexandra Bracken


Rating: 3.5/5 stars

“It’s not always the truth that survives, but the stories we wish to believe. The legends lie.”

I was rather skeptical starting this book—I’ve always had a tenuous relationship with Greek mythology. Ever since we had to read Edith Hamilton’s Greek Mythology in ninth grade, I hated it. That book ruined mythology for me, and unfortunately, it has tainted my view of any type of mythology since. But I desperately do want to like mythology. It is obviously so influential in our culture, probably way more than I even realize. I want to like it, and the only way to do that is to embrace the stories that talk about it and actually bother to learn what the myths are even about.

Enter this book, Lore. I received an advanced copy of it, and at first I was just like meh? But then I showed it to my husband and he thought I would really like it. It’s described as if The Hunger Games were written by Madeleine Miller, who’s known for her Greek mythology retellings. I thought, “Okay, why not?” and I decided to give it a try. I’ve gotta start somewhere, right?

In this book, for seven days every seven years, the Agon occurs. During that week, the Greek gods become mortal and are hunted by the descendants of ancient Greek heroes, who will gain the power of the god they slay and become immortal until the next Agon.

Lore Perseous is the last one left of her bloodline, and she chooses to no longer participate in the hunt, not wanting the responsibility and danger that come with attaining godly power. But this year, she’s offered the chance at an alliance that may allow her to escape the Agon forever, but it may come at too high a cost for her to bear. Is it worth it?

“An oath was, after all, a curse you placed on yourself.”

This book was pretty good, better than I expected it to be, at least. It was fast-paced with lots of action scenes. I don’t tend to like action scenes in books (or movies), but I think they served this story well.

My favorite character was Miles, the human friend who got roped into the whole adventure simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I do appreciate that he had some answers that neither Lore nor the gods nor the other hunters had, though. Like he was still useful even though he wasn’t supposed to be involved in the Agon.

I will say that not knowing hardly anything about Greek mythology had me a bit of a disadvantage with this book, but I slowly learned some of the facts along the way. If you are a fan of the Greek myths, I think you will really enjoy Lore. I did learn some facts about Greek mythology that I didn’t previously know, but I still don’t consider myself a fan. 

Because I don’t know much about Greek mythology, I did have to refer to the glossary in the back to see which god had control of what. I’m very glad a cast of characters was included because it was very helpful to me.

There were flashbacks in this book from seven years ago during the previous Agon, when Lore would have been ten. While those were interesting moments in the book, I did have a hard time believing some of the stuff she was doing because no ten-year-old is that smart. I do think Lore would make a great movie, though. Almost every chapter ends on a suspenseful note, leaving the reader wanting to keep reading to find out what happens next, and the book has a fast-moving plot. 

Overall, Lore was a fun urban fantasy that fans of Greek mythology will love. It has feminist undertones, a great cast of characters, and a quick pace with lots of action. 

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