Every seven years, the Agon begins and nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals. They are hunted by the descendants of ancient heroic bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their power and immortality. Seven years ago, Lore fled that brutal world, but as the Agon descends upon New York City she finds herself drawn into the hunt once again.
Believe the hype! I have seen this book all over Bookstagram for months as people read their ARCs, and it absolutely lived up to my expectations. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, emotional, and filled with incredible, well-developed characters.
This book has a large cast of characters, but each one was beautifully developed and multifaceted. Lore is incredibly strong and fiercely loyal, but haunted by trauma and hungry for revenge. Miles, her completely human roommate, is funny, likeable, and devoted to his friend. I loved their friendship and support for each other, even in the midst of fear. Lore’s childhood best friend, Castor, provides a great foil for her. He’s idealistic and gentle, believing the best in people and refusing to play the game on anyone’s terms but his own. And Van, Castor’s best friend, is quick-witted and reserved, but such a compelling character. Those four characters drive most of the story, but other members of the Agon are brought into the action and fully realized. I truly am amazed that Bracken was able to build so many three-dimensional characters into this action-driven story.
The concept of the Agon is so compelling. The idea that an ancient, brutally violent game could be playing out in front of us without our knowledge is fresh and mesmerizing. And, the action is truly nonstop. This is one of those books where you say, “I’m just going to read to the end of the chapter” and then the chapter ends on a cliffhanger and you just have to keep going. Twists happen frequently and the hidden motivations of every character keeps you on your toes. On top that thrilling action, Bracken manages to weave in some really important conversations. Patriarchal power structures are dismantled, sexual assault is addressed, and the pain and lasting impact of grief is shown in an authentic and moving way.
I cannot say enough good things about this book. It’s one of the best YA fantasies I have read in some time and definitely one I’ll read again. Recommended for fans of Greek mythology, strong but flawed characters, and thrilling fight sequences.
Have you read Lore? Let me know what you thought in the comments!