Author: Josephine Angelini
Genre: PNR, Fairy Tales Retold, YA Contemporary, UF
Publication Date: May 28, 2013 (HarperTeen – North America)
Source: Publisher-provided ARC
Summary: 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.
☆: 4.5/5 stars – an awesome finish to a great trilogy!
Review: Man, this final BOOK, you guys. I’m still reeling from everything that was packed into this final installment of the “Starcrossed” trilogy. So many questions were answered, and questions you didn’t even know you had? Those get answered to. All in all, this is a fantastic ending to the trilogy, and I think that fans will be very satisfied with everything that goes down. While I did have a few little nits to pick on this one, otherwise? Loved it. If you haven’t read the rest of the trilogy, what are you waiting for? “Goddess” is the final book that all trilogies want in all technical areas.
I loved that this book started more or less immediately after the final events of “Dreamless”, literally picking up where the previous book left off. Everyone is bloodied and broken and the final battle is upon them. What I loved that Angelini did more or less immediately was expand the world (in a way I hadn’t thought she’d be able to do in terms of how big it already was) with a backstory of the original Helen of Troy, along with other famous figures in history you’d never think were involved with the Houses (Arthur and Guinevere, for example) and giving us a very full, lush history of what really went down at Troy, the origins of Atlantis, and why the gods have such a grudge against Helen in the first place. This was masterly wrought, and spun out throughout quite a few chapters, but the chapters in between when everyone is amassing for the final battle (along with trying to figure out who the Tyrant is), so it didn’t feel infodumpy. And it could have gone the way of the infodump had Angelini not used that way of alternating chapters and backstory.
The characters also get a boost – with Helen, literally – and we also get some new characters that do a great job contributing to the story without taking away from it in terms of how important they are to the larger Helen of Troy history with the gods, and how that affects everyone now. This was also very cleverly done – with seeing the original (uncensored, one might say) Helen of Troy story, it made everything that’s happened in past books make a lot more sense. Without spoiling everything too much, I will say – watch for Daphne’s parts, and you’ll see how many questions are answered just with her and her actions alone. And while I felt like Helen’s deification literally felt like things were a little over the top sometimes, Angelini balanced this out with the original history, along with the gods being the way we haven’t seen them since books like “The Iliad” – angry, bloodthirsty, and really just plain not cool guys to piss off. I like that Angelini went that route in terms of how she created the gods as characters, how it wasn’t like we’ve seen in other MG and YA series as of late, and that return to the way we were originally introduced to them in Greek literature was a pleasant surprise.
My only big one complaint – the love triangle dragged a little too long into the book. HOWEVER, I can see why Angelini did it – when certain plot pieces from the original Helen of Troy’s past fall into place, it all makes sense – and thus, makes pretty much all of book 2’s plot make sense, as well. As I said before, Daphne is the key, so watch for that. But I was happy to see that the love triangle did get resolved, and all of the historical pieces didn’t always have those three together in romantic situations. To spoil just a bit, there was a lifetime where Helen and Hector were married, which I thought was a really nice touch. It kept things fresh, and it kept us as the audience on our toes.
My second, smaller complaint – how the final battle with Zeus went down. I felt like that was resolved just a little too easily, a little too neatly, though I will admit the way that Helen went up against him was incredibly clever, and not without loss on both sides. In that sense, no one really “won”, as Helen suffered a huge loss, as did Zeus. Which was nice to see – the stakes were so high, and though it felt a little too neat for my tastes in terms of how it was resolved, it also really brought home the impact of the idea of the Tyrant, and how important this final battle really is/was to everyone involved – gods, demigods/descendents, and humans alike. No one escaped entirely unscathed, which was the right thing to do. Had everyone on Helen’s side come out without a scratch, I would have been pretty angry about the ending. But since it didn’t, I’m quite pleased with how things went.
Final verdict? With a lot of love, blood, violence, and history behind it, “Goddess” gets propelled to my best of 2013 list (and best series ender of 2013 list). It had everything I wanted, and I was pretty pleased with how it all went down, even with my nitpicks about it. I think other fans will be happy too, regardless of what “team” they are in terms of the love triangle. “Goddess” is out May 28, 2013 from HarperTeen in North America, so be sure to check it out then! And be sure to stop by the blog on Monday, May 27, 2013 for my stop on the blog tour with a guest post by Angelini herself.