Bookish Things · Reviews

Review: Lore – Alexandra Bracken

Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds comes a sweepingly ambitious, high-octane tale of power, destiny, love and redemption.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

Review:

When I said I was reading Lore on one of my latest WWWWednesday posts, many of you expressed curiosity about hearing my thoughts on this book. 

As you know I have lots of unpopular opinions, probably the more I read the more critical I become when reading a new story. At the end of the day, I hope that if you follow my blog and my reviews, you will at least appreciate my honesty (and consistency). I promise I will soften the tones of this review.

Lore didn’t work. I’ll tell you why. 

After finishing this massive book I was completely underwhelmed. I didn’t think about this story anymore and after almost one week, when I decided to sit down and write my thoughts about it, I realised that this book didn’t give me anything and I don’t really remember the full story. When checking my “to-do” list for my blog I saw “Lore” and I thought “Ah, right, I read that book”

I will not bring these characters with me, nor the story. I will also tell you that, unfortunately, I didn’t understand a great part of it. Maybe I’m stupid, I don’t know. I mean, I knew my Greek mythology back in high school when my grades depended on it. When reading Lore, a story full of mythology references and Ancient Greek gods, I was completely lost because there is an assumption you are kind of a geek in the field, so you should get what they are talking about. Instead, I didn’t. It even took me ages to understand what was going on with this Agon thing, because the only explanation of how it works was concentrated on the first page of the book. So, yeah, the Agon is a punishment from Zeus, every 7 years Gods become mortal, and hunters around the world will have their chance to kill them to claim their powers. And that’s it. That’s all I got to offer. Sure, things got more complex later, when Lore understands she is part of the race and she can’t avoid it but it is such a blur. 

I think the main issue with this story is that it is told solely from Lore’s POV, which the writer uses as a way to keep you on your toes with the plot, giving important information only when she feels like it, almost teasing them and dragging the story to the end. It should provide suspense and gasp moments, but it just confused me more about the whole story and sometimes annoyed with the main character. In general, Lore was a “meh” character, I didn’t feel for her, she often didn’t make any sense in her action or thoughts. Can I describe her further? Nope. That’s all I got.

You have another major character in this story, Castor, who doesn’t get any POV and it is difficult to make a full picture of his purpose or fully understand what he is going through. And again, poor Castor, the mysteries around his power and past which tormented the reader (and Castor) for the whole 450+ pages were solved at the very end with just a few lines in such a poor way… AAARGH. That was really frustrating. Thanks for that. 

Then, in the mix of all these people invested in this race against gods and descendant of gods, you have this random Korean character, Miles, and I felt he was the only diversity representation in this book. What bothered me the most is that the writer made Miles Korean by giving him “hangul tattoos”. Now, I am not an expert, but after living in Korea for 3 years, I can safely say, I don’t think Korean people are likely to have “hangul tattoos” (I think only K-pop fans get “hangul tattoos”). It’s like saying Italians wear only Valentino or Dolce & Gabbana, no we don’t. Let’s make Miles queer so he fulfils his purpose of “diversity card” of this story. He didn’t play any specific role in the plot and his whole presence made me laugh and cringe at the same time. Miles also helped to create moments of light banter between the characters in those moments when the plot was really slow and I was super bored. At the end of the day, even if he wasn’t there, the plot wouldn’t have changed. 

The only good points about this story were the fighting scenes or the moments where a god would show the might of their immortal powers, and I could vividly picture them in my mind. I would imagine this story perfectly working for a movie on the big screen, like the Avengers, and probably it would make more sense. I applaud the originality of the idea, however, as a book, it didn’t make much sense to me

Like my Ancient Greek teacher used to say “I’ll give you a C just to be generous”, I will give Lore 3 stars, just to be generous.

22 thoughts on “Review: Lore – Alexandra Bracken

  1. Bracken should have made it easy for someone to read even if they never heard of the gods within the story! I haven’t really seen anyone say anything good about Lore. I am glad so many people have kept me from buying something I might not like. I think I will get it from the library if I ever do read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your honestly! I’ve seen so many mixed reviews for Lore but I think if I pick it up it’ll just infuriate me. I’ve heard from Greek Mythology nerds that the mythology in Lore isn’t explain very well so even they struggled with what was going on and it’s used as a shorthand for the author to be lazy and not do any actual worldbuilding.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh no! 🙈 I’ve been watching for this review and I’m so disappointed for you! I get so worried about reading books that are hyped up like this one because I tend to have unpopular opinions too. I’m not a Greek mythology buff although I do find it interesting. I have a feeling if and when I get to this one ill have similar feelings!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Book club was mostly neutral about it. We have one person who did Greek studies and they loved the book because of all the references. But the rest of us don’t have all that knowledge so it was sad that Bracken didn’t elaborate on a few of those references. A lot of us still have quite a few questions about the book aftewards. It got a mediocre overall rating.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh no! Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one. I see your point though, I’m a complete Greek mythology geek so I was more excited at how this book was interpreting it and didn’t really notice that it didn’t bother giving the reader much background. Thanks for the honest review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The book shouldn’t assume that you’re familiar with the mythology–that’s just sloppy writing. Sorry this one didn’t work for you. I hope to have better results but I’ll be looking at it with a critical eye now.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This one was a 2.5 stars for me. I agree that the main issue here was that we only got Lore’s POV. I have some knowledge of Mythology, not much, and I was confused by some of it too.
    I think what I enjoyed most were the fight scenes. The premise was good and intriguing, the execution not so much unfortunately. Great review, Marta!

    Liked by 1 person

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