Book Review: LORE by Alexandra Bracken

Title in gold on marble snake hair
Genre: Fantasy (contemporary mythology retelling)
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: standalone


Book cover for LORE: title in gold on a marble stature of medusa

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.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy this book, given it’s contemporary fantasy and that tends to be pretty hit and miss with me. But it was a buddy read and described as a YA Percy-Jackson.

Is it a bit like Percy Jackson? Well, if you look just at the last book and all the murder and death and battles happening in New York. In some ways, it is a fair bit darker with everything that’s happened to Lore in her past, all the people she’s lost and how they’ve been taken from her.

It has fast paced action (a bit too fast paced at times as there were some sequences where I didn’t understand what exactly was happening) and a new take on old myths. It’s a blend of different myths, smushed together and altered with time to be more brutal than the sanitised versions we get usually.

It’s also very feminist, looking at the place of women in Greek myths. I particularly liked the start of the conversation with Athena where Lore brought up the fact that Athena had been really useless towards women in the myths (I have a lot of thoughts about Athena from Greek mythology, most of which are along the lines of hating her character and how her myths were clearly shaped by men). It was nice to see a book acknowledge how rubbish Athena is as a “feminist icon”.

I will say that this book took me much longer than I’d expect for a book this side. Part of this was because it failed to fully draw me in, and so I was perfectly happy to read a bunch of eARCs around it. Something just didn’t click with me for this story and world, which is more a reflection of my tastes than the book itself.

Read my reviews of others books by Alexandra Bracken:

The Darkest Minds:

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