Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality. Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

Good to know:

  • TW: sexual assault, gore, violence
  • (Probably) a standalone
  • YA urban fantasy
  • 450 pages

Hey everyone, I hope you’ve been staying safe and keeping busy! I know the past few months have given me the chance to read a lot of the books I’ve been eyeing, and I was super excited to receive an arc of this one.

Lore follows the story of Melora Perseus, the last of the descendants of the hero Perseus (I recommend reading the synopsis above, it’s a bit hard to explain the premise). It’s filled to the brim with fight scenes, romance, and good old Greek god drama. It is definitely a unique take that I was excited to jump into–I went in with expectations of something in the vein of Percy Jackson.

Unfortunately, Lore was written with the same simplistic style of Percy Jackson without the lovable characters or gripping plot. From the start, I was quite disappointed by the way things progressed; it followed the formula of a typical YA–all action, no substance. The story moved at a non-stop pace, but I was never brought to the edge of my seat and it was almost a chore to keep reading. The writing lacked subtlety and the “plot twists”, while somewhat unexpected, felt inconsequential.

I never felt connected to the characters or invested in their story. I feel like Bracken tried to create an anti-hero complex within Lore, but it was shallow and a bit confusing. Lore and the lover boy had zero chemistry and the friendships were absolutely lackluster. The side characters were basically cardboard and the antagonists are out-villained by Doctor Doofenshmirtz. There were violent scenes that were horrible to read and didn’t contribute much beyond shock factor.

I feel like I don’t have much beyond complaints for this one. It was a long book that I didn’t enjoy very much. I can’t tell if it’s because I’ve outgrown YA or because this one was particularly bad. Based on my past experiences with Alexandra Bracken (which weren’t great), I’m hoping it’s the latter.

If you’re looking for Greek-mythology inspired books, I recommend Circe or Song of Achilles.