Overall rating: 4.5/5
Read if you loved: Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan, Circe by Madeline Miller, Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
Content warnings: Violence, sexual assault (brief)
Calling all Greek mythology lovers! Go read Lore. No, seriously, it’s wonderful.
Tired of the Gods’ unquenchable thirst for power, Zeus instituted the Agon, a bloodfest that occurs for one week every seven years. Nine Greek gods are made to walk the earth as mortals while hunters from ancient bloodlines venture out to kill them in hopes of inheriting their powers. Lore was on the brink of joining the hunt, but the brutal massacre of her entire family forced her to walk away. She has made a life for herself and says she is done with the Agon, but can you deny your heritage? The Hunger Games meets Percy Jackson in a jam-packed tale set against the hustle and bustle of present day New York City – you have a badass heroine, unexpected twists and turns, and seamless integration of mythology into the real world. What more could you want?
I have to be honest – I’m so biased when it comes to books based on Greek mythology. It took over my life as a child and nearly determined my undergraduate degree, so I will always have a soft spot for the genre. But I was really blown away by Lore. It’s such a fresh take, and there’s so much in there that I have missed in other books. There is diversity within the characters, a feminist lens on the beloved folklore, and a comprehensive plot that is able to honor the mythology whilst ushering it into today’s world. What tends to happen with some of the books I have read that combine fantasy and reality is that one element gets neglected. That doesn’t happen here. It’s a smooth dichotomy and you can tell Alexandra Bracken really took her time to develop the story and fill in plot holes. I loved Lore, Miles, and Athena’s characters, their banter was engaging and their dynamic on the page felt very fleshed out. This is also one of the few books where I cared equally about the past and present narratives because they were both captivating. Lastly, if you have any connection to NYC, I have to imagine you would love Lore. Beyond the thrilling plot lies a love letter to the city, and I could feel that flying off the page.
I was sooo close to giving this 5 stars but…the ending. And don’t worry, it wasn’t a bad ending, it just felt rushed and the book itself ended abruptly. There were some questionable character decisions that I could not buy into, and it felt like a contrived way to get from the peak of the action to where the characters eventually end up. I can’t really say more without spoiling but in any case, I just wish there was little more thought put into cleaning up those last few pages.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Lore – it was right up my alley and I’m so glad I read it. Curious to see if it gets picked up for an adaptation because it could make for a great movie! What are your favorite Greek mythology inspired novels?