Cover Image: Lore


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Lore is a (Greek) mythology mash-up with a sort of Percy Jackson meets Hunger Games vibe, reimagined by Alexandra Bracken. Released 5th January 2021 by Disney, it's 480 pages (print edition) and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats.

This is, admittedly, a very well written book. The author is adept at her craft and the world building and characterizations, the narrative arc and the dramatic tension are engagingly rendered and believable. It took quite a long time for me to read and review this book not because of any technical defect, lack of editing (superlative editing and continuity for what it's worth), but simply because this is a brutal book. I thought it would be fairly safe since it was marketed as a Disney YA selection, but *wow* it's violent. Trigger warning: there is graphic violence, torture, rape, graphic murder, etc. Every time I would pick it up, I would wind up putting it down again because I was distressed at the gore and violence. 

Readers who don't mind fighting and gore with a side serving of angsty angry young heroines will find a lot to like here. Readers who are well immured to hardcore ancient Greek tragedy a la Euripides, Aeschylus, and the other boys in the band, but who are looking for modern retellings will enjoy this one. 

Three and a half stars for me, likely four+ for readers who don't mind violence. (It's not egregious, it is integral to the story). 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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I wanted to love this book because I adore the author and also Greek Mythology. 

However, I was mostly confused during this book. I thought the pacing was a bit slow, and I found myself bored at times. I also found it difficult to keep up with the story, the whole "old gods/ new gods" thing was a bit messy in my opinion, and wasn't ever clearly described. Almost like there needed to be an element of mystery about it the entire time... Which, maybe at first was fine, but then it just became confusing. At some point a reader needs to know what's actually going on.

I thought the IDEA of this book was really intriguing - Hunger Games meets Greek Mythology. I'm here for it! Right? Meh, not so much apparently. I guess I didn't find the actual execution to be as great as the idea was. 

I loved that this book was set in NYC, I loved the idea of the book. Unfortunately, I did not love the book. 

2.5 stars rounding up.
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Lore's the only one left in her family after the brutal murder of her family years prior. She's been doing underground fighting to pay the bills when one day Castor, the best friend she thought was dead, shows up and throws her. Then she finds Athena (yes that Athena) bleeding in the street and makes a pact with her to get them both through the new round of god war. The world-building takes a bit of time to make sense. When I sorted it out, I appreciated that Alexandra Bracken used the characters and myths we know to create this new setup in which the gods have to fight each other every seven years, but...

I'm not sure how much of my enjoyment of Lore is my attachment to Greek mythology and how much is based on the actual book. When I read the first few chapters pre-release, I was totally hooked and requested the full thing immediately. But then I got it and eventually bought it in audio when print failed me after a few weeks. Overall I enjoyed it, even though the end kind of fell apart and some pieces didn't quite come together. Like the romance, which was unnecessary. (If you're going to have a romance, put in the work! Don't just say "hey, they have feelings for each other" every couple of chapters.)

I realize now that this sounds like a negative review and it's not! I can recommend it to fans of Greek mythology and heroines who get beaten over and over--then healed by their best friend/boyfriend/the new Apollo--and keep getting back up. This is a revenge story that works out pretty well.


Content Warnings: murder, murder of children, sexual assault of MC as a young adolescent (vaguely described in a memory, has lingering impacts), rape as a theme throughout which makes sense given Greek myths, terminal illness, lots of violence and fighting, references to girls being raised and sold off to other members of the Agon families as teen brides, lots of other messed up stuff

I purchased this audiobook but received an ebook review copy prior.
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Lore is a fantastic thrill ride story full of mythology that will not appeal to everyone, but I, for one, loved it. What may not appeal to most is the level of violence for a book promoted in the Young Adult category. While this can work for teens, I think it should be geared much more towards 17 and older. Not only is there an overload of violence their also mention of rape as well. Now that we got all the trigger info out their let's get to my review.
If you love stories surrounding Gods and battles for control of the world, Lore will work out as a fantastic read. The interwoven twists and turns in this story, along with a sweet romance and battles galore, make this a very intense read.
The story centers around Lore, who has lost everything due to this insane royal battle called the Agon that happens every seven years. Lore wants it all to be over, and she may very well know the answer to how to end it all. A very entertaining read for lovers of Greek mythology; you will not be disappointed.
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Every seven years, nine gods--both old and new--walk the Earth in mortal bodies for seven days as punishment for a failed rebellion against Zeus. If they are killed by a hunter, they forfeit their immortality. During the last Agon, Lore's entire family was brutally murdered by a rival family and since then, she has turned her back on the hunt. But now as the next hunt dawns on New York City, it seems that the hunt will find her as two participants seek her help--one, a childhood friend and the other a gravely wounded goddess.

I binge-read this amazing book from Disney-Hyperion and it was packed with such amazing writing and so much action! Plus, the mythology of it is so fun and so solid. At times it was a lot to take in but every tidbit took 
 us somewhere and I ate it all up. We are eased into the world-building with classical language, which I felt was so appropriate, and the personal relationships are woven in so beautifully. I can't not mention that there is definitely a lot of blood and violence--not that I personally minded. Even this was well done, in my opinion. Lore herself is a boxer, plus the injuries that Athena shows up with and those sustained throughout the Agon. 

So if you are a mythology-lover, don't mind blood and gore, want something fast-paced, BIPOC-inclusive, and probably more, then put this one on your radar and jump in!
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I always get worried when a fantasy-based book is a standalone because world-building is so important. I didn’t need to worry about this one. Alexandra did such a phenomenal job with this urban fantasy intertwining Greek mythology into a modern day New York City. I was excited to see Lore featured in a lot of book boxes recently — well deserved!
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I will start by saying I did not finish the Darkest Minds series. I was hesitant to pick up this book - but I loved it! It's a long read, but it doesn't feel super drawn out. The characters are excellent and it comes to a thrilling finish. If you love ancient mythology fighting to the death on the streets of modern day New York, this ones for you!
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Such clever world building and expert patching! I loved Bracken’s mythology system and have already recommended this to so many people!!!
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This book is really interesting and I enjoyed the character of Lore but the rest of the story didn't do much for me. It was just a bit lackluster for me. I'm unsure if I want to continue the series because I think it could be really good but I don't know if I should..
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I love Greek mythology, and had high hopes for Lore. It didn't disappoint. The twist that this book puts on familiar characters and tropes is fresh and exciting to read. The character of Lore is intriguing and complex, easy to relate to. She just wants out, a driving passion that carries the book. I love her relationships, and the backstory that develops throughout. This is a winner.
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I came into this book with really high expectations.  I have not read any of her other work but I love me some Greek mythology.  Overall, I did like this book.  It wasn't a page turner where I COULDN'T put it down, but it did keep me intrigued enough to continue on.  The beginning was a little hard to get through just because of the info dumping and me trying to keep all the characters/families straight in my own head.  But I do think it's a solid beginning to a series.
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I was thrilled to get a chance to read novel from netgalley and to have it arrive in my Owlcrate box. As a fan of mythological stories, I was excited to read Lore and it didn't disappoint. Complicated back story and some confusing moments with the old and new God names, but overall once I was sucked into the story I couldn't put it down. This story had some Hunger Games vibes and I loved the fast pace, as well the characters and friendships.  I definitely will be recommending it to my students!
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I'm already a huge fan of Greek mythology, and this one put a whole new twist on it. Mixing old and "new gods", stealing their powers through a vicious 7 day contest; the whole time giving Hunger Games meets Game of Thrones vibes.

Rather than hashing up the story line here's what worked for me: the world and character building was extensive, but done well, there's even an index of characters in the back in case you lose track. Flashbacks are inserted to reveal family history and events that have led up to current drama, but doesn't feel like a distraction or too much. The romance is a subtle element but helps build the main characters and makes them relatable - and tears at your heartstrings at times. There's plenty of action, which is what drives the entire story almost from beginning to end.

What didn't hit the nail on the head - how the characters were referenced; sometimes new names were used, then old names, or nick names - all depending on who was speaking at the moment; which can get a little confusing. And I want to say the length, but looking back for the complexity of the story it probably needed to be as long as it was, to ensure everything gets explained and folded up somewhat neatly by the end. 

There's definite hidden meanings laced throughout the book, which is always a delightful element. By 70% way through I wanted the story to be over, but because I was screaming to know how everything was going to pan out - so it was a good driver to make me finish.
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This was a book that I Really enjoyed this read and I would recommend to others easily, i have enjoyed other titles by this author and will I will be looking out for other titles.
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As another reviewer put it, this story is "Greek Mythology meets <i>The Hunger Games</i>." Its bloody and brutal as hunters and gods must fight to survive the Agon, which occurs every seven years for one week. Lore is the last of her bloodline, her family horrifically murdered at the end of the last Agon. But when Athena shows up on her doorstep, she knows the past she's been fleeing from has finally caught up with her. 

Lore suffers and struggles as she tries to find a way to end the Agon forever. There are many surprises she will discover that will shake her to the core. Trust will shift as secrets are revealed. Arrows will fly and friends will fall. An old friend from the past will return with god-like powers he can't remember how he obtained. Gods will walk as mortals. And I was glued to it all!

Bracken has created a rich storyline with a diverse cast of characters while bringing to life stories of Greek myth in surprising ways. The many threads Bracken wove helped drive the novel forward. It seemed like there were huge surprises followed by even bigger surprises. And just when I thought I couldn't be surprised anymore, here comes another bomb drop. The setting of Greek lavish lifestyles nestled within the confines of New York City was well-explored. There's lots of action, suspense, and drama all culminating to a satisfying ending. Recommended!
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It starts off slow and kind of dense, but once the action begins, it's hard to resist the story as it drives forward. It reads as a true epic, one that makes you feel the world really has been reshaped as you read it. Would recommend.
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A nice mix of Percy Jackson and Divergent in my mind. I enjoyed the story and the gods had believable personas as well.
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First line: Her mother had once told her the only way to truly know someone was to fight them.

Summary: Every seven years the gods of Olympus are made mortal and hunted by the descendants of legendary heroes. It’s called the Agon. During the last Agon, Lore Perseous walked away from the hunt and its world. But when the new Agon begins she is drawn back in by an old friend and the goddess Athena. As she binds herself to the goddess she is pulled back into this world she abandoned with the hopes of avenging the deaths of her family or die trying.

My Thoughts: I’d describe this as Percy Jackson meets The Purge. The gods of Olympus are fighting for their lives for one week every seven years. And if a god is killed by a mortal hunter then the hunter will gain the powers and immortality of that god.

I first started listening to this and had a hard time following everything. There was a lot of information dumped at the beginning describing the event and participants. So I switched to the text format and was completely engrossed after that. Lots of action, mythology and twists.

I enjoyed the characters even though most of them fell into the typical young adult tropes. Lore is the angry, tough girl hero. There is a love interest. Villains. Double crossings. It has it all. But I did not feel like it was a book set into a pattern. The idea was inventive and story was exciting. I did find the middle to be a little stretched long and drawn out but it did give information that helped bring about the ending.

FYI: Lots of death and violence.
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I went into this with high hopes. I rode the struggle bus pretty much until half way. It picked up and then with 10% left I just wanted the book to end. I love the little "relationships" in the book and I love the way Lore stands up for herself and how deeply she cares for her friends. I did not like how long it took me to get to that point however. I felt like she was a stubborn child most of it and wished she had grown a bit more.
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When events unfold that drag Lore back into the life she's sworn to escape, an adventure of epic proportions ensues. For fans that grew up loving Rick Riordan, this is the perfect next step in the world of modernly blended Greek mythology.
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