Book review: “Lore”
Calasandra Spray (TheLorian)
“Lore” is set in a world where nine of the original Olympians angered Zeus by clamoring for power. He devises a cruel yet intriguing punishment where the God’s have to endure the same treatment they gave Zeus. Subsequently, they are banished to be hunted every seven years by people who are clamoring for power. During a seven day span every seven years, if a mortal kills a God then they gain their powers and immortality. Different bloodlines act as champions for each banished God and fight each other in order to kill a God not of their line and gain their power. The bloodlines die off due to centuries of this cruel game. In the novel, Lore is able to end the gamel. In theory, it is a mixture of Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games, which thoroughly intrigued me at first. After the first couple of chapters though I wasn’t that invested and the more I read the farther my hopes fell.
My biggest gripe with the story is the characters. Lore, as indicated by reviews, sneak peaks, and the cover is meant to be a champion of Medusa. However, I had a hard time seeing it. The author gave us a character who is filled with rage and revenge but also wants to leave that life behind. These desires are incredibly conflicting. It could have made an amazing story to watch Lore develop and pick one of her two desires. In the end she gets both though and I was disappointed by it. Events leading up to the end of the novel didn’t seem believable and relied heavily on the reader’s willing suspension of disbelief. In tandem with Lore being a champion of Medusa she was supposed to experience this repression by males that is not overcomable. Lore clearly overcomes it, killing all the men who tried to rape her. These experiences are supposed to make her an emotion filled teenager. Sadly, there is a lot of telling and not showing when it comes to Lore’s emotions. As readers were told she’s angry and full of rage but I just couldn’t connect and feel it.
Moving on to other characters: I want to know more about all of them. Tidebringer, Miles, Castor, Athena, Artemis, Iro, Van, Olympia, Damara, even Wrath. The novel simply has too many characters in play to achieve development in any of them. Iro was supposed to be Lore’s best friend after her family was murdered but she’s only in a few scenes. Olympia and Damara were Lore’s sisters and yet we don’t know anything about them so it’s hard to care who they were. Van doesn’t want to fight and it is rumored his own father cuts off his hand for it but why doesn’t he want to fight? Wrath is out for ultimate power but doesn’t seem to have any other motives. Castor was Lore’s childhood best friend and now lover but why are they lovers? She thought he was dead for seven years and then he came back and she just accepted it. I really wanted to see some grief or pain or anything of how she felt in the time he was gone that would make me care that he was back. Artemis is allied with Athena but we only actually see her in one scene and then she’s dead. Tidebringer is an exiled god who is then captured and tortured but we don’t know much about her so it’s difficult to care when she dies as well.
On the death note: there are too many deaths. Even when characters were introduced who you might like, you didn’t want to get attached even if you were given a reason to because so many of them die. Lore herself dies. She’s the main character so of course Castor magicly heals her with his godly powers and she lives. Which again relies very heavily on the reader’s willing suspension of disbelief. Not to mention the civilian casualties that all of the main character’s are just ignoring. In the span of the novel and entire city is devastated and we don’t get to see any of it because the characters are more worried about becoming Gods and leaving their friends than they are the fact that the Agon has destroyed the city. It’s cool that Lore ascended and prevented the city from burning, after the flooding, earthquakes, and general murders that had already devastated the city but I wanted the characters to do more, to care more.
In summary: An amazing concept poorly executed.