ARC Reviews,  Reviews

Alexandra Bracken’s Lore ARC Review

Thank you to Alexandra Bracken, NetGalley, and the team at Disney-Hyperion for the advance reader copy of Lore, a standalone contemporary fantasy

I was a huge fan of Alexandra Bracken in my teens, especially The Darkest Minds series. I applied for Lore on a whim on NetGalley never expecting to get it because I am not exactly a strictly YA reviewer. Nonetheless, Disney-Hyperion took a chance on me. So keep that in mind when you read my review, I was a huge fan of her earlier work and I do not read as much YA as I used to.

Check out the Goodreads synopsis…

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.”

Check out my more detailed thoughts below…

  • Characters: Lore is the main character of this standalone urban fantasy novel. As an orphan Lore has fended for herself for quite a while, she’s a fighter both physically and emotionally. The story begins in medias res, in the middle of a boxing match she is in. Lore is really Melora Perseous, the last remaining member of the House of Perseus. It is one of many Houses named for famous Greek Heroes and it is these Houses that compete in the Agon. When the Agon occurs the Gods of Olympus walk the earth as mortals and the descendants of the heroes have one week to kill them in order to take upon their powers. The most important God in Lore’s story is Athena, who shows up on her doorstep bloodied and wounded. Athena knows who killed Lore’s family and offers to help Lore avenge their deaths. Castor is the other important character in the story, he was Lore’s childhood best friend and training partner. He has been dead for the last seven years so when he appears at the start of the new Agon it floors Lore.
  • Pacing: A lot of the reason why I docked stars from my rating came from this category. I often felt like the pacing was off. When I was invested in the story the book was flying by and then I would hit walls of dense mid-book territory that kept me reading this for days on end. I worry a not as fast reader would really slog through this. So if you love Alex’s work or Greek mythology it may be worth the slog for you. This is not to say that I think the book could have been shorter, the world was so expansive and cool. Such a unique take on Greek myths, something that I loved seeing played around with, in books and fictional worlds. I just wish there were more action scenes and less of what felt like filler in some parts.
  • Setting: The story is set in modern-day New York City and it really takes center stage in the story. Lore and her pack of friends galivanting all over the city. Often the city bears the brunt of the damage this Agon is inflicting. Lore really identifies with her home and works tirelessly to protect it.
  • Romance: The romance between Lore and Castor is one built on friendship. Lore spends a lot of the book staring longingly at Castor, commenting on his beauty. This is not a major part of the book and that could have been a combo of things. I would not have said it was because it was a YA book because based on Alex’s previous track record she is not scared of writing heart-stopping romance. It may have just been the nature of this being a standalone that not much time could have been afforded to the romance.

Lore receives three out of five stars.

Thank you again to Alexandra Bracken, Disney-Hyperion, and NetGalley for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

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