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Book Review: Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Greek Mythology x The Hunger Games x Wonder Woman: Warbringer? YES PLEASE! I was soooo excited to see Alex writing a more adult novel, and I L O V E seeing how she grew as a writer from The Darkest Minds to Lore.

I bought my copy of Lore from Blue Willow Books (who still have signed copies + special swag as of January 6th, 2021, including lenticular prints of the cover, an enamel pin of Medusa from the cover, a bookmark, and a signed bookplate from Alex! If you’re interested in this, buy it quick because supplies are limited!) so I could attend their live show of Alexandra Bracken and Susan Dennard talking about the craft of writing and other various topics, and it was awesome. My favorite part was when Alex told us that Lore and Vida would probably be really good friends. When I read Lore, I could totally see that!

You can watch the live stream recoding here!

About The Book:

Lore by Alexandra Bracken, published January 5th, 2021 by Disney-Hyperion. Recmmended reading age is 14+.

Trigger Warnings: Swearing, blood, gruesome fight scenes, death, and mentions of attempted rape, child brides, and murder.

Lore

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds comes a sweepingly ambitious, high-octane tale of power, destiny, love and redemption.

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.

About The Author:

IMG_9748 copy.jpg

Alexandra Bracken was born in Phoenix, Arizona. The daughter of a Star Wars collector, she grew up going to an endless string of Star Wars conventions and toy fairs, which helped spark her imagination and a deep love of reading. After graduating high school, she attended The College of William & Mary in Virginia, where she double majored in English and History. She sold her first book, Brightly Woven, as a senior in college, and later moved to New York City to work in children’s book publishing, first as an editorial assistant, then in marketing. After six years, she took the plunge and decided to write full time. She now lives in Arizona with her tiny pup, Tennyson, in a house that’s constantly overflowing with books. 

Alex is a #1 New York Times bestselling and USA TODAY bestselling author. Her work is available across the world in over 15 languages. 

Where to Find Alexandra:

Cover:

I love this cover because of how simple yet detailed it is. It’s stark white, except for the slight shading that shows you Medusa, the sigil on the shield of Agis! I also adore how she is made to look innocent, as opposed to the hideous monster that she is always portrayed as, as well as looking like a marble statue came to life (which I’m sure is an intentional nod to the fact that her stare turns men to stone!) So much thought went into this cover, and I think cover designer Marci Senders and cover artist Bill Elis; as well as map illustrator Keith Robinson for their amazing jobs well done! The YA genre has had a thing for snakes on the cover of recent young adult books for awhile now, but they way they did it made is so unique while still staying in style. The more I keep looking at the cover, the more I have things to say so I’m going to move on before this becomes a cover review, not a book review.

Plot:

I loved the plot of this. Someone who is already out of the game, being drawn back in to avenge her family, save her childhood best-friend (whom she was under the impression had died 7 years ago), protect her friend AND the legacy of her deceased mentor? So much to happen in one book, but Alex is a wizard and she made it work.

As far as plotlines, my favorite was the Castor x Lore plotline, because I love friends-to-lovers, long lost friends, and romance in general. The flashbacks spread throughout the book that showed the character and story development was done really well. It did a good job of introducing the reader to the world, as well as show us who and what was important to Lore, what drove her.

The Agon storyline was by far the most intense storyline. So much is riding on it, and it didn’t fail once. Alex expertly wove all of these plotlines together, as well as flashbacks strategically placed, and it worked.

Characters:

Lore was the badass female heroine and survivor story I didn’t know I needed. While reading Lore, all I could think of was Taylor Swift’s song I Did Something Bad, specifically the line “and if a man talks shit, then I owe him nothin”. It fits her so perfectly.

Miles was such a good sport. He finds a bleeding out woman on his doorstep, and helps clean up the blood and gore, then just fully accepts that the Greek gods are real and his best friend is descended from one of their bloodline; THEN goes on to volunteer to help out however he could even though he was scared out of his wits? GOD TIER.

Evander “Van” was a great character as well. He reminded me of a mix of Selwyn from Tracy Deonn’s Legendborn and Rick Riordan’s Nico DiAngelo from The Heroes of Olympus. He didn’t have a lot of page time, but when he did show up, he SHOWED UP. He was an integral part of this story line.

And finally, Castor. The whole time, I was picturing his as a blonde. That’s on me for being so excited during his introduction scene that I skimmed it to see what would happen next, though. His character development was Off. The. Charts. I loved his inner turmoil between being a new god and being the same person his best friend knew and loved.

Favorite Moments?

I loved her underground fight club scenes as well. Whenever an author writes a scene like that, it automatically becomes one of my favorites.

I also really enjoyed the fight scene between Lore and *that character*, and Lore was being walked back to the light which ended up being Castor and she just wept in his arms. So emotional.

Least Favorite Moments?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, I don’t enjoy scenes that require characters to go undercover/sneak around because the risk factor of them being caught for <dramatic effect> is too high. The second hand embarrassment factors are WILD. I don’t like to cringe inwardly if I don’t have to.

Reread?

I think I might, it was a really thrilling story! Also, I really love Miles and Castor so…

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