Monday, May 6, 2013

Goddess by Josephine Angelini

by Josephine Angelini
Read: April 22 - 24, 2013 
Published: May 28, 2013 by HarperTeen *UPCOMING*
Source: Around the World Arc Tours
Category: Paranormal Romance
Series: Book 3 Starcrossed

NOTE: Goddess is the third book in a series. The first two books are Starcrossed and Dreamless respectively. I tried to make this review as spoiler free as possible for the series. But if you are adamant about avoiding spoilers, I caution you to read ahead at your own risk. This review is safe if you've at least read the first book.  

After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

In Josephine Angelini’s compelling conclusion to the masterfully woven Starcrossed trilogy, a goddess must rise above it all to change a destiny that’s been written in the stars. With worlds built just as fast as they crumble, love and war collide in an all-out battle that will leave no question unanswered and no heart untouched. (From Goodreads)

Starcrossed was probably the first paranormal romance I read after Twilight and realized that there were others out there. I devoured it quickly and was enamored by the whole story. Plus it takes place on Nantucket, which is an island that's part of my state (though I've never been there). The only element in the story that threw me off a bit was the Greek-inspired world building, since it is structured differently from most stories based on classic myths. Unfortunately, after really liking book one, I was very disappointed by book two DreamlessThis was partially because of the pseudo-triangle that develops, but also because I didn't think the characters accomplished all that much for most of the book. After feeling very muddled about the first two books, I was hopeful that the finale would bring it back around for me. 

Although I felt like the mythology was the strongest in Goddess, I was never able to work up to the momentum and wonder I felt when reading Starcrossed. I also had a lot of trouble engaging back into this story and its characters. I think spreading my reading of the books out over 3 years affected my reaction to them. But I have started to wonder if I'd love the first book as much if I went back to it again. 

Goddess is a big story. The past and the present converge, gods show up, secrets are finally revealed, lines are drawn, not everyone is who we though they were, and neither will they all survive. After having trouble grasping the mythology in the first two books, I felt like it ended up being the best part of the third. I really liked the role of the fates and the way the modern characters' story plays off historical Greek events. We have always known that Helen is a descendent of Helen of Troy. In this book, Helen Hamilton has dreams of her historical character, which worked really well in this plot.

One of the elements that I struggled with in Goddess was also what made it feel like such a big story, namely the fact that so much information is held back from being revealed until this book. Because there were lots of different characters and details converging, Goddess features several switching perspectives. We even get a few new characters popping up. Although I do like third person rotating perspective, I think all the different POVs slowed down the story in places, and it took a long time for the various pieces to converge. I always get impatient when the reader knows certain information but has to wait for the characters to figure it out. There is a big secret that's been hanging around since the first book, and waiting this long to see it revealed became tedious. Also, several characters in this book make decisions that they think are the best for everyone, but without telling anyone else what they are doing, and it causes major drama that could have been avoided with a bit more communication. 

This series features one of those love triangles that isn't really one. You know the annoying kind that is like a fly buzzing around your head? It isn't actually going to do any damage but you just want it to go away. From book one it has always been clear whom Helen loves best (and he loves her too), so it was frustrating to have this other guy in the picture. I actually did like guy #2 and he was important to this story. But it just felt like we were all wasting our time investing in him as a potential love interest. This is a personal preference, but I enjoy seeing a couple actually be able to function together throughout a series, instead of road block after road block until the end for the sake of tension. Thankfully, the triangle at least didn't drag out too much in this installment.

I am actually really bummed that I could not muster more enthusiasm for Goddess. I even tried to convince myself that I liked it better. But the more I've stepped away from the story, the more I realize that I just didn't feel connected to it. However, I think that if you have been invested in this series all along, enjoyed Dreamless (and don't have the same love triangle quirks that I do), you will probably end up loving Goddess. I think many will find it be an epic and satisfying conclusion to the series. 

Moments to watch for: 
A classic love triangle move: I love you! But I love him more!
A scene on a beach in Cape Ann, Massachusetts - only for the fact that it's where I live.
A scene right out of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Daphne finally cracks and reveals her master plan.

Love Triangle Factor: Mild
Cliffhanger Scale: Series finale


  1. I agree completely with you on the love triangle thing. I just finished Starcrossed, but um.. I read spoilers for the love triangle since I heard #2 was introduced in Dreamless. I do know who she'll end up with, it's a no brainer - come on! This series isn't named Starcrossed for no reason. I don't have to read Goddess to get my proof. Anyhow, I didn't know there'd be so many different POVs. Being inside Helen's head was sometimes frustrating and I do agree that when a reader knows before the characters do, it's really frustrating to sit back and just watch them try to figure it all out when I know what is going on. Hmhhh.. I hope I'll have better luck with the ending of this series though.

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination

  2. Another series that's finishing up that I haven't yet started. Good thing there is a Summer Series Challenge for situations like these!! ;)

  3. Review twins!

    I liked Goddess -- but I agree that there's a whole lot of plot crammed in there...
    And I did love the conclusion -- it was both surprising and clever.

    Heather -- I can lend you books one and two if you have time this summer :)

  4. I love the covers for these books but haven't heard too many good things about them. Also, an annoying love triangle? Gah, I'm so done with those. I doubt I'll read this, but thanks for the honest review, Lauren!(:

  5. I gave up on this series after starting Dreamless. I was completely underwhelmed by Starcrossed, but I figured it was debutitis. I was sure it would get better in the second book. Nope. Not for me, at least. I DNFed Dreamless and have no intention of ever reading Goddess. Sad, because I had such high hopes.

  6. I'm still stuck on Dreamless, and I've been meaning to go back and finish it, but I sort of got bored with it last year. Also I knew love triangle drama was imminent and I had been LT'd out at the time. What you said about the fly buzzing around your head is spot on. Those second love interests that are never really in contention just annoy me most of the time. I think I probably will get around to finishing this series someday, but I'm not expecting anything epic. Wonderful review! :-)

  7. Aw, I'm sorry you had more lukewarm reactions to this one--it's such a bummer when a series ends with a disappointing book. I still haven't read the first book yet, partly because I've heard such mixed things about it.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  8. the only thing i hate about book 3 was that guy #2 ends up with someone TOTALLY... prepubescent LOLOOOL

  9. Oh my gosh! This was a fantastic series! The only issue I have is that I wished it talked more about all of them in the future and what happened with all the characters after the epic battle!
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