A year after Lore came out (a year full of me putting it on list after list) I finally did it. Guys, I actually read a past anticipated release! *Celebration plays*.
🗡 a very stabby competition
🇬🇷 inspired by Greek mythology
🩸 surprisingly violent
CW/TW: Sexual assault, life-threatening illness, violent depictions of death and fighting
Lore is, conceptually, one of the most unique books I’ve read in a long time. It’s essentially Greek mythology meets The Hunger Games. Bracken’s love for Greek history and culture seeps through the pages, the rich history of the competition these characters are subject to.
If you’re wondering what this is about, let me share! We follow Lore, who is the last of her bloodline (the bloodline of Perseus). She wants nothing to do with the Agon, a fearsome competition where nine gods are mortal for seven days, and each House (or bloodline) attempts to kill a god and claim their powers for the next seven years. It isn’t until Lore meets the goddess Athena and her old friend Castor that’s she’s dragged back into the world she thought she’d renounced. This time? She has a goal. She’s going to take down the leader of the House of Achilles, who has the power of Ares, all to get revenge for her murdered family.
If you read the above paragraph and are supremely confused, join the club! There’s just so much information as far as worldbuilding goes, it reminded me of the beginning of Legendborn. And I know a decent bit of Greek mythology. I probably still had questions at least until the halfway point.
Lore’s character is an interesting one. In some ways, I could understand her. In other ways, it felt like her only personality trait was rage. This might surprise everyone here but it can be a bit difficult to properly enter a character’s head when their brain is full of nothing but violent anger. Her and Castor’s relationship was adorable, and then choo-chooed full speed ahead to Romance Land. Don’t get me wrong, the childhood friends to lovers is great! But we kind of went off the rails a bit here!
Okay. I have to admit that the twists were really good. Like, spectacularly done. I didn’t see most of them coming! My biggest problem with the plot is honestly just the pacing. Sometimes, it’s full of action and sometimes it’s just planning or flashbacks. Lore would wax poetic about New York (great), her best friend Miles would insist on something and almost everyone would argue because he’s a human (happened way too much) and oh no, now we’re infiltrating the House of Something Or Other (I really shouldn’t be bored right now…should I?)
There were a few threads of tantalizing mystery just waving back and forth in the wind, occasionally grabbed and thrown into the reader’s view just to be tossed back out again. I hated the way a couple of things were wrapped up because they felt rushed. And you know what else I didn’t like? The villain.
Ma’am. I am a villain simp*. When the villain has less depth than Zuko, I’m already disappointed. When the villain’s depth is on par with say, the stepmother from Cinderella? Now we have an issue. He had no reason for being evil other than he wanted power and that was just kind of boring. I liked the other twist involving villainy but geez, the main bad guy really took away from most of the book.
*what an embarrassing thing to admit
I’ll be honest: I appreciated the violence level of this book. Greek mythology is brutal and unforgiving, and Lore echoes those sentiments. It really suited the atmosphere of the book.
Overall, I adored the concept of Lore. Bracken wove a tale that is wholly inspired by Greek mythology yet wholly her own. I really wish a lot of the book had just flowed together more smoothly and captured my heart. Tell me: have you read this one? Is it on your TBR?