Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini
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?