Lore by Alexandra Bracken brings Greek mythology into the modern-day. In Lore, every seven years, the Agon begins as punishment for a past rebellion.
The Agon forces nine Greek gods to walk the earth as mortals. Descendants of different bloodlines hunt them, and once killed, the killer then becomes the new god. Melora Perseous has avoided this world and her past for the last seven years, but with the new hunt coming- her childhood friend approaches her for help. Not only does Castor reach out, but Athena – the goddess herself – does as well. Lore decides to bind her fate to Athena, but it may not be enough to defeat the new Ares, a god self-named Wrath.
“If this is a trick and you’re here for revenge, you’re too late. Everyone else who bears my name is dead. I’m the last of the Perseides. The House of Perseus is gone.”
Lore has been trying to run from her past. After the person who took her in, Gil, died, she had less reason to be safe. She joined a fight club, allowing her hunter training to take over and for herself to empty her mind as she beat the hell out of anyone brave enough to enter the ring. And Castor, her childhood best friend who she believed to be dead, does. Castor was not supposed to live past 12, and things are just starting to get weird. The way the history between Lore and Castor, and Lore and the hunt is given to you in pieces makes you genuinely want more.
Once Lore meets Athena and binds her life to her, things begin to pick up. Lore tries to get her roommate Miles to leave, but Athena insists on keeping him around. I found how Athena acted about Miles as an excellent humourous relief from how serious everything else was going. Athena can be a bit much and somehow still behind on how times have changed.
“Fear is a foreign land I shall never visit and a language that will never cross my tongue.”
Lore attempting to redeem herself from her past mistake and seeking revenge for her family was written incredibly well. Bracken wrote the entire world in a way that was easy to understand while still holding a level of mystery that made you want more from it. The characters are well rounded, and their intentions match up with who they are. Even Wrath, who we rarely saw until the end of the book, is written so that you have a full understanding of who he is and what he wants.
“You- the one who knows the darkness of men yet refuses to be afraid.”
Childhood friends to lovers is a trope that I do love. The way Castor and Lore’s romance comes about is so gentle and unassuming that when it happens, it catches you off guard. Despite knowing it will go there, it doesn’t distract from everything else going on and adds to the story. Miles and Van’s romance makes sense, but I didn’t feel particularly attached to it. Although we got Van’s backstory, I did not feel connected to him as a character at all.
Overall, this story draws you in with the way it remixes familiar myths. It keeps you reading by giving you pieces of the story slowly while still keeping the pacing fun. You stay wanting to know what happens because the characters are easy to connect and relate to- despite them coming from a world we can only imagine. The underlying conversations about women and their place in the world are familiar not just in Greek myth but also in modern life. While it was subtle, that message did not go unnoticed, and I truly loved how Athena played a part in all of it.
“Power does not transform you, it only reveals you.”
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.