Friday, July 20, 2012
Me on The Goddess Legacy
Author: Aimée Carter
Release Date: July 24, 2012
For millennia, we've caught only glimpses and glances of those who live high on Mount Olympus, the Greek gods and goddesses. This collection of five novellas provides insight into their past, pulling back the curtain and revealing how powerful, petty, loving, and dangerous they can be.
Writing up reviews of collections can be complicated, you have to make the decision on what to talk about, the stories as individuals or as a whole. Because the novellas were as long as they were, and because there were only five of them, I'm going to discuss all of them. In the end, all were about the same things, about love and longing, and all shaped their narrators' personalities and ambitions. There are some mild spoilers for the rest of the series.
In the first, we have Hera (Calliope), her love for Hades and her complicated relationship with Zeus. Hera is very much a feminist, she wants to stand on equal ground with Zeus, have the same power and place and purpose, but he sees her as a possession, as something to be loved and cared for and brought out for show. She wants to be loved for herself, but it's difficult when the one she wants loves her as a friend and sister and the one who loves her is egotistical and sleeps around. This story shows how bitter she becomes, how hard her heart becomes, and why she does what she does in The Goddess Test.
Second is Aphrodite (Ava). It's almost a cliché to write about how hard it is for the goddess of love to find love, but here she comes off as sympathetic (as opposed to the third novella). As much as she wants to be loved, this is also a massive personality clash between her, Ares, and Hephaestus. She wants to be loved and cared for, but it's outrageously complicated when you're the goddess of love and you can be in love with anyone. It's also complicated when your first love is the god of war, a man who isn't big on emotion and who's more at home in a battle covered in blood.
The third novella features Persephone in what is an unconventional and unromantic look at her relationship with Hades, compared to other romanticized versions. The denial she has over marrying him and living in the Underworld is massive, she fears being closed off, being closed in, and being apart from others. He may be in love with her, but it will never work. She needs to be in love with someone in a comfortable situation. Perhaps if he wasn't the god of the Underworld, it might've worked out.
Hermes (James) is featured in the fourth. I struggled to understand this story, it took me until the end and into the last to realize its point. It's about finding what was lost, finding a new way to live when the gods of ancient times are gradually replaced by newer gods and the Christian faith. It also shows the relationship between Hermes and Hades, how it became so strained, why they have their relationship they do in the series.
Last is Hades (Henry), possibly the most important story of the five, considering the first two books were both from Kate's perspective. There's so much longing in this story, so many dashed hopes and ruined dreams. In The Goddess Test it's clear that he's right at the edge, waiting for one more thing to go wrong before he steps off and falls. This is the journey towards that edge, this is everything that pushes him closer and closer.
The Goddess Legacy is glimpses of the past, explanations and understandings of why some characters are the way they are when they meet Kate in The Goddess Test. Any fan of the series will relish this collection.
(I received an e-galley of this book from Harlequin through NetGalley.)