Review of Goddess by Josephine Angelini

Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini

To be published by HarperTeen
on May 28, 2013

Source: borrowed an ARC from Around the World ARC Tours.

Summary (from Goodreads:) After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count. To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

My take:  I have a great amount of affection for these books, and I'm very sad to see this trilogy come to a close. I will keep it this review as spoiler-free as humanly possible.  I may reveal minor plot developments for Dreamless and Goddess but not major ones.

If you want to read my 99% spoiler-free review of Dreamless (with recap of Starcrossed) you can find that here. It includes a rundown on the four houses and the Scions and all that stuff that you might have forgotten.

Goddess takes up right where Dreamless left off, with poor Helen all bloodied and beat up -- though still brave and defiant -- after her unpleasant encounter with Ares.

There's a lot to wrap up in Goddess. As the blurb states, Helen inadvertently released the gods from Mount Olympus. Humans are dying mysteriously, and Helen and her friends -- Orion, Matt, Lucas, Hector, Cassandra, and Claire -- know that the gods are responsible and need to find a way to stop them.

Then there's the matter of The Tyrant. You might remember that in Dreamless, Lucas and Cassandra are worried about the Tyrant -- a Scion of mixed Blood who was "born to bitterness" and "capable of reducing all mortal cities to rubble." The Scions aren't sure who the Tyrant is, but all signs point to Orion.

And then, of course, there's the whole messy business of Helen and Lucas, and how they have been cruelly kept apart by a lie.

Like Starcrossed and Dreamless, Goddess has a LOT going on both plot-wise and in terms of world building.  At times throughout the trilogy, I struggled to keep track of all the complicated backstory: the four different Houses, the fact that Scions are reincarnated with the faces of well-known Greeks and Trojans, the special talents and powers (Descenders and Falsefinders and the like.) In Goddess, there are even more revelations: new powers for people, new characters, new developments. My one criticism of Goddess as a reader would be that a) too much is told to the reader through dialogue and b) too much exciting stuff happens off-stage.

I think if I had to pick a favorite book in the trilogy it would be Dreamless -- I thought of all the three books, that one was the most cohesive. But there's a creative exuberance about the whole trilogy that I enjoy, and ultimately I think you just have to go along for the ride and try to follow along. Josephine Angelini has a vivid imagination and a quirky sense of humor, which are often in short supply in YA.

So, yes, Goddess introduces more new developments (still spoiler-free; don't worry!)

There's a new character introduced in Goddess, a young woman with a mysterious heritage and talent.
We learn more about Orion and his parentage. (Also, we learn that Orion is the reincarnation of my favorite character in all of Greco-Roman-dom.)

Helen learns that she has new powers. She also dreams of herself as Helen of Troy, but also dreams about Morgan La Fay, Guinevere, Lancelot and King Arthur. Interesting that Helen is dreaming about two of the most legendary love triangles in history: Helen-Paris-Meneleus and Guinevere-Lancelot-Arthur. Which brings me to the love triangle. Oh, yeah...

You could see the Helen-Lucas-Orion relationship as a love triangle. Helen and Lucas were kept apart by a lie and then in Dreamless, she met Orion in the Underworld. I was definitely not very fond of Lucas's whole broody/sulky act in Dreamless, and I grew to like Orion a lot. In Goddess, Lucas seems to have snapped out of his funk, thank goodness. But I never saw this as one of those nail-biter love triangles. It's pretty clear to me where Helen's heart is pointing her.

But then… there's a twist … isn't there always? A very cool twist that threatens to tip Helen's hand, to take away her choice in the love department.  While I won't give away anything about the ending of Goddess, I will say that I found it appropriately epic, featuring sacrifice, death, ingenuity, and unconditional love.

Are you reading this series? If not, do you have a favorite mythology-themed book?


  1. I am reading this series and I am so anxious to find out how everything concludes especially regarding Orion's fate-trying to remember if you've mentioned your favorite Greco-Roman character before...I fell hard for the boy in Dreamless and want only good things for him.

  2. I kind of really love how this series ended. And I'm really impressed that I didn't see some of those final twists coming. I found it was rather epic, too. :)

  3. I haven't read this series yet. And the covers are one of my favorites for a series. So gorgeous!! I really think I should invest in this one... it sounds amazing! Great review! :)

  4. I loved Starcrossed and pre-ordered Dreamless and then never read it lol!! I do want to get to it soon though since Goddess comes out soon. I love this cover. So pretty!!

  5. Another series I have yet to start. I even own the first book. Sigh.

    Fave mythology inspired book. Gotta go w/ the Percy Jackson series:)I like how they stick pretty close to the real myths (in an updated form.)

  6. Oh I can't wait to read this one! Great review, Jen. :)

    Sabrina @iheartyafiction

  7. I was not a happy camper when I read Dreamless. I abhor love triangles, but it wasn't even the triangle that bothered me the most. It was the treatment of the family towards Lucas. They all acted like he was a criminal or something. With the mention of the not seen twists, I think I'll make myself finish this trilogy. Hopefully I'll like it better than I did Dreamless.

  8. I am definitely ready to read this one, I am super curious about how everything is going to end up. As far as YA books featuring mythology this one is by far my favorite. I don't know why but, I never really was a fan of Orion, I have always been Team Lucas but, I didn't like how he was acting in Dreamless either. Thanks for your thoughts!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  9. No, I am not reading this series, but I have thought about it. Glad it was a good ending and a good series :)

  10. For some reason I still haven't read this book! I've always heard so many great things about this series so I think it's time I finally give it a chance. Great review!

  11. Goodness. I should have read your recap before starting this book. I honestly STILL do not understand the Four Houses. Why those gods in particular? Why aren't there demigods or houses descended from the others? It all felt so very arbitrary to me. Maybe it was explained in book 1 and I forgot? Even so, I enjoyed the mythology the most in GODDESS, especially the connection with the events of Troy. I thought that was pretty cool. Unfortunately, I was just unable to connect back with this book. Perhaps a re-read would have helped me do that more. However, we discussed how I liked Dreamless the least. I hate those pseudo love triangles, and I got annoyed by this dragged out secret. I'm really glad that you liked these books more than I did overall. I'm actually pretty jealous of you for that.

  12. I love this series and I can't wait to read this! Now I'm dying to read what the twist is at the end.

  13. I'm SO behind in this series, but your review is bringing me back to this world and making me want to get caught up asap! I really loved Starcrossed, and started Dreamless but I got diverted and never went back. Thanks for keeping spoilers out of this. I'm very nervous to find out what happens with Helen and Lucas (Orion can buzz off :D). Wonderful review!

  14. I haven't read these yet, but they sound kind of crazy and intense (in a good way). I like modern mythology and it's been a while since I read a reincarnation story.

  15. I like the way it all tied up in the end. At first, I was getting frustrated but then, I'm came to like it. I love Amiee Carter's series.

  16. I've had this series on my tbr for forever and just need to read it. Since the kids and I studied Ancient History this year, I've been getting into the whole Greek mythology thing a lot more.

    I don't have a favorite series yet, but I think that's because I'm just starting to read books based off of mythology. Everneath by Brodi Ashton and Abandon by Meg Cabot are both based on mythology and the underworld and I liked both of those. :)

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

  17. i loved it, but i hated how orion was 'used' if you know what i mean. I love him to bits and i wish he was mine LOL but putting him in there just to kind of give it a push kind of hurted me.. It really did. And who he ended up with.. not so happy about.


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