Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini: review

Goodreads rating: 4.43
Published May 28th 2013 by HarperTeen
ARC, 432 pages
Source: Back room at Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Book Shop

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.

WARNING: SPOILERS FROM BOOKS 1 & 2

I hate to start off this review saying that this series has never been one of my favorites, but it's true. When I read Starcrossed, I could not for the life of me understand why everyone loved it so much. The writing was choppy and completely unrefined, and the pacing wasn't right either. The author even made the love interests believe they were related (which reminded me too much of Jace and Clary from the Mortal Instruments books), and then decided to show us a part that they didn't see where it was revealed that they were in fact not related (which, I think, took away a lot of the tension that could have been there for the second and third books). But I decided to give the sequel a shot because it really was a good story at the core and I wanted to find out what happened to Helen and Lucas, now literally being starcrossed lovers. Angelini really stepped it up in Dreamless. Not only was her writing better, but I liked Helen a lot more and fell in love with Lucas all over again. She really fleshed out nearly all the secondary characters, which mostly made up for the sometimes-awkward writing. I didn't enjoy the idea of the love triangle that sprouted up in the second one, but I could definitely see how Orion the character had to be there. He has the best chance of being the Tyrant, but we find out that it might be someone else...

I never thought that Orion had a chance with Helen. Whenever she thought of him in that way, I always felt like it was forced and that she was really lying to herself because loving Orion made more sense than loving her cousin. But whenever she thought of Lucas or was near Lucas, her love for him always felt genuine. You could tell how much it was killing both of them that they couldn't be together. Angelini is very good at expressing the emotions of her characters, and not just Helen and Lucas. But these two have a lot more to deal with than a love triangle and the possibility of being in love with their cousin. Now that Helen's unwittingly unleashed the gods into the world, bodies are starting to pile up, and some of their friends may not survive. And one of them will betray her too. This book was also non-stop action, so we're not given as much time to dwell on the perilous situation Helen's love life is in. History is in serious trouble of repeating itself, especially with all the key players showing up. The other wild card is Helen's mother, and the fact that, after the end of Dreamless, her father hasn't been able to wake up. Helen has a lot on her plate, and screwing up means that everyone she loves and probably a good chunk of the world will die. Good thing she has some power on her side.

The great thing about these books is that it's about Lucas's family as well and how their relationships effect everything that happens. My heart broke for so many of these characters. Like I said, Angelini really fleshes out her characters. I honestly think this would have been a near-perfect series if her dialogue wasn't so awkward. I felt myself cringing a lot, especially since I had expected her writing to improve even more compared to Dreamless. But I'm sure she'll grow into her writing the more she writes. While this series didn't start out as my favorite, I grew to love these characters and they managed to crawl under my skin, especially in this third and final installment. I'll miss Lucas and Helen and all the others, but I'm excited to see what Angelini will write next!

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According to FTC guidelines, I'm obligated to share with you that all of the books that I review on my blog are either purchased by me or given to me by an author/publisher. All of the opinions expressed in my reviews are mine and I do not receive any sort of monetary goods for writing either good or bad reviews.