Review: Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini

Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini Published May 2013 by Harper Teen 421 Pages (Hardcover)
Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini
Published May 2013 by Harper Teen
421 Pages (Hardcover)

Quick Review

I really enjoyed the idea behind this series, but, though I did enjoy the first one quite a bit, this installment and its predecessor are just not well executed. The overall story arc should have been wonderful, but the plot gets too tangled up in its tortured romance and too loudly dropped hints. The characters, who should be strong and fascinating, simply are not. I don’t hate it so much as feel really bad for it. There were glimmers of greatness, but they just weren’t enough to save it. 2.5 Stars.

Summary (Spoilers for Starcrossed and Dreamless)

Half-god scions Helen, Lucas, and Orion have united the four Scion houses when they became blood brothers, fulfilling a long-standing prophecy and releasing the Gods from Olympus. Now they must prepare for war and face a slew of betrayals, beginning with determining who among them is the long feared Tyrant.

How Much Did I Not Like It? Let’s Figure It Out.

I talk about the plot in pretty general terms here, so you should be ok to read it if you haven’t yet read Goddess. If you are especially spoiler-sensitive, however, you may not want to read past this point.

I made it sound pretty cool in that summary. Summaries are hard to write, by the way, I see why a lot of bloggers copy over the professional’s from the jacket cover. Anyway, the plot pulls a lot of interesting concepts from Greek myth including what the novel calls “The Great Cycle,” wherein  children are destined to overthrow their parents, and warrior tropes from The Iliad. I’m not very familiar with The Iliad, I read The Odyssey in high school, but my only experience with its prequel is the oft-criticized movie Troy. One interesting thing about that movie (other than how terrible Brad Pitt looked with long hair) is the sameness of the people on both sides of the battle. Hector and Achilles fight to the death, but in some other world, they could be the best of friends. The same strange sense of sadness over this type of battle comes into play in Goddess, and it was a highlight of the story, though this story was noticeably less populated with death than its inspiration, which was, I think, a weakness. Sometimes it’s good for characters to die.

A couple of pretty major characters did die, though. I felt that his/her deaths weren’t adequately felt by the rest of the characters in the story. No one was highly affected by their losses, at least that we could see on-page. Few deaths could be just as poignant as many, but nobody took/had the time to mourn, even after the action was finished. They were too wrapped up in other things.

Which brings me to the main focus of the book. Goddess is a romance novel and every character has someone to love at some point in the book. There was one instance in particular that was very strange, (though I enjoyed that one in spite of myself) and previously unattached characters fell hopelessly in love instantaneously, seemingly so that their romance could be included on the same playing field as the others. All of the romances were a bit overwrought, with each lover completely focused only on his or her partner, ignoring the other familial and friendly relationships in their lives. Helen and Claire, friends since birth,spectacularly lose sight of each other. I hate it when a romance book puts romantic love on a pedestal above all of other types. It’s especially ridiculous in this story; all of the couples have known each other only for a few months at most.

A problem for me all the way back in Starcrossed was Lucas and Helen’s romance, which really doesn’t make sense. Neither has any personality beyond being whiny and angst-ridden and, other than fate, they have zero reason to be in love at all. And they, like everyone else, focus on each other to the detriment of their friends and family, which fits with The Iliad, but here it is seen as a romantic manifestation of fated true love rather than the utmost in selfishness.

Wrap-Up

I could probably go on, but then this review would be spoiler-central and I think you get the idea anyway. The plot had potential. It had moments where it was great and overall, with a few noticeable and irritating exceptions, I was kept guessing enough to want to finish the book. However, the romances were flat and not unique and other than its interesting concept, the book didn’t have a whole lot going for it. It is better than some of the other paranormal romances I’ve read this year (Hush, Hush and Tiger’s Curse come to mindGod, did I ever hate Tiger’s Curse.) but other than hardcore fans of the genre looking for something new, this is a series that can be skipped.

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