A GOD OF WAR SEEKING RESTORATION.
AN UNWILLING SACRIFICIAL BRIDE.
BETRAYAL THAT COULD DESTROY THEM BOTH.
*"Every fiber of my being is woven from the rage of mortals."*
Theodric, the young God of War, has a talent for inciting conflict and bloodshed. After being stripped of his powers by his older brother, King of Gods, he sets out to instigate a mortal war to prove himself worthy of being restored to power.
*"I loved Kisk once; it was my home... But that was before. This is now."*
Sixteen-year-old Cassia, like many in the modern era, believes gods and goddesses to be just a myth. Enemy to her country and an orphan of the war, she has no time for fairy tales. That's until religious zealots from Theo's sect offer her up as a sacrifice.
Can Cassia and Theo end the mortal war and return balance to the earth and heavens? Or, will their game of fate lead down a path of destruction, betrayal, and romance neither of them saw coming?
I'm a huge fan of mythology, so I was excited to get the chance to listen to this one! I loved the story, and the characters, plus the narrators Bradley Pittman & Jamie Lee-Lewis did an amazing job with this one!
This story started off strong, pulling me in right away. Cassia, a 16 year old orphan, is stuck in a war torn land. The gods are not listening to all the prayers calling for an end to the fighting. Cassia must make do with her own wits and abilities, scrounging clothing, food, and warmth as best she can. While the tale is set in a fictional world, it has a modern-day feel to it. There’s sneakers and highways and tank tops and such. Toss in deities walking the land, and I was hooked.
Cassia then becomes an unwilling sacrifice to Theodric, the God of War. This part was very interesting as well because I really didn’t think things would go so far. Yep, Cassia’s existence is transformed. However, since Theo has previously interacted with her, he decides not to send her to the underworld right away. So we get to know the deities better, seeing how they live, what they think of us puny humans, and their various roles in the mortal wars. Additionally, Cassia learns that her brother Orren, who she feared was dead, is alive and was also set up to look like a traitor.
Then we get some insta-love going on. Sigh… Not my thing and I almost always find that it contradicts a character’s personality. Now in this particular case, Cassia is sexy teen jailbait and not very experienced when it comes to romantic relationships. So I can almost buy into her teen angst and silly behavior in this matter. But then I look at Theo, a deity and War God and certainly quite a bit older than Cassia. So I had a hard time being OK with his silly behavior. The romance ended up not doing much for me yet it consumed most of the last 3/4 of the book.
In the beginning we learned something about the war, the various factions, and how the average citizen and soldier were affected. Then we got some glimpses into the gods motivations for their roles in the war. However, that pretty much gets set aside for the romance. I really wish the story had stuck with the war intrigue and shifting powers as that was pretty interesting.
Cassia starts off interesting and with plenty of potential. She still has some of that by the end of the book but there were a few things that made me wonder if she’s really cut out to survive in this world of war-obsessed deities. For instance, she wants to have a serious talk with Theo at one point so she wants to dress in something that makes her feel strong. She picks a pink top and jean shorts. Ugh! She has access to nearly anything she wants and she lives in a War God’s palace. I just didn’t see how that choice of outfit made her feel strong.
There’s several side characters that caught my eye. Goran, Theo’s man servant, has a level head and knows how to talk to Theo as a friend. He’s key in maintaining balance. Then there’s this other goddess, Brisa, who is basically a pirate. Yes! Give me more of her please! She’s driven by treasure and may do something evil and despicable later in the series but I still really look forward to seeing what role she plays. Ebris, ruler of all the gods, interests me too because he is the most treacherous and most powerful. The other three sibling gods (Leander, Astra, and Drea) had smaller roles and not much personality though Leander gets a touch more in the last 5th of the book. I look forward to learning more about each in subsequent books. Overall, 4/5 stars.
The Narration: Bradley Pittman & Jamie-Lee Lewis did a decent job with this story. Most of the time, they sounded like they were in the same room for the shared scenes but there were a few instances where the differences in recording quality were quite evident. Pittman’s voice for Theo was excellent for most of the book though he sounded quite a bit younger and more vulnerable during the final scenes. Perhaps that was done on purpose but I missed Theo’s more masculine voice. Lewis was good at sounding like a freaked out 16 year old. Much of the time her performance sounded like she was one a stage projecting her voice to an audience. It wasn’t quite shouting but it was a bit more than necessary for an audiobook. Both narrators mispronounced a few words throughout the story. And both narrators were great with the various emotions the characters went through. I really liked Pittman’s portrayal of Orren near the end of the book. There were several special effect sounds and mostly they worked. They never over powered the verbal narration but sometimes I didn’t find them fitting. For instance, the story describes a door being slammed, and I then hear a soft click like a bathroom cabinet door being softly closed. So, if anything, I would say the sound effects needed to be more prominent to work well. 4/5 stars.
I received a free copy of this book.
This book was such a refreshing take on mythology, introducing an entire new set of gods and goddesses. And don’t even get me started on Ebris, King of the Gods. He is like Zeus but oh wow does he have an ego! It certainly fit his character but there were times (quite a few, actually) that I wanted to smack him.
I loved Cassia’s character. Even though she is sacrificed to Theodric, God of War, she isn’t a weak character. Cassia has some serious spunk. And I loved her internal monologue. That, and the clashing / sexual attraction between her and Theo. I read the synopsis when I signed up for the tour but by the time the book came to me, I had forgotten what it was really about. So imagine my surprise when the zealots sacrifice her right away at the beginning and the entire book revolves around her and Theo in his realm.
Surprised? Yes. Disappointed? Absolutely not. This book was intense. And Theodric?I can’t help it. I hear God of War and, thanks to the techy / gamer hubs, this is what I thought of. Brooding, kick-butt Kratos. Although, Theodric has a romantic side (much as he tries to deny it throughout the book).
Goran (Theo’s right hand man) and Astra (Theo’s sister / Goddess of Love) come in tied for my favorite minor character. I loved Goran’s easy acceptance of Cassia and how he treated her kindly right away. When things went all haywire, he was also the one who gave her a chance to tell her side of the story. And Astra . . . she’s a little much to handle at first but her personality definitely grew on me. And, though she gets a bad rap later on, I think her heart was definitely in the right place. She, like Goran, sees Cassia as more than just a sacrifice, but as a person. I really enjoyed both of them.
First off, I love mythology and all that comes with this subject. To combine mythology with present times is risky if not more. One has to be very skilled with writing, so that the story does not flow into ridiculous. But, with this book I felt the joy of reading about gods and their wars and passions for humans. The author did a great job describing the plot and intertwining mythological aspects with our mortal lives.
The story plunges directly into action. We don’t get a moment to spare and I felt quite attracted from the first pages. Theo’s stubbornness is what’s driving the book for now. But once Cassia enters, her stubbornness will match his. They will form a great team (and maybe more?) and together will find a way to balance their relationship.
The characters are a match to each other. The attraction between them is visible from the first moment they lay eyes on each other. However, Theo has bigger plans and worlds to fight for. He doesn’t need to worry about a mortal. Cassia didn’t ask for this, she is as bothered by the situation as he is. But she will try to adapt. They both will try to adapt and face the consequences. The dialogue brought a smile to my lips more times than one and it adds to the good time spent reading it.
Other great things are: the audio format and the world building. The narrators did a great job as well. Their voices were perfect for the characters and they complemented each other quite nicely. I would recommend this version as is more captivating, but the book can quite well do it too. As for the world building, it was amazing and truly mythical.
I had a great time, I loved the story, loved the characters, the narration, the writing. No point in giving less than 5 stars. Hope you’ll enjoy it too. Happy Reading
This is a great book for anyone who loves mythology reads in young adult fiction. It's an intricate world filled with everything you enjoy about mythology stories. You've got sacrifices; god/goddess siblings fighting and backstabbing; and battles. But what's really cool is how it's set in a modern world. It's an interesting weaving of old and new and I was captivated by it.
Everyone is playing a different game simultaneously and I found that to be super exciting as a reader. I just had to know what was going to happen next and what the reactions would be.
The audiobook production is great! Probably one of the best I've listened to lately. I think Bradley Pittman and Jamie Lee-Lewis captured the characters brilliantly. Although, I did find it slightly off-putting that some of the characters had different accents depending on the narrator. For example, Jamie gave Goran an almost Australian accent while Bradley gave him a monotone voice and I found that a little bit confusing when switching POVs.
What I really enjoyed about the audiobook though was the sound effects they used in the background. I found they immersed me into the story and brought it to life in way that a straight reading wouldn't be able to do.