Review: Lore By Alexandra Bracken [Sunday Book Club]

Hiya! It has been an exceptionally long time – years, in fact – since I published an article on my website but I am back and it’s all about to get better!

Once upon a time, my website was for things related to Books, Beauty and Movies and I mostly used this as a way to improve on my writing and procrastinate from University work. I have long since graduated, moved home and moved back out again – right before the pandemic (I know, crappy luck). Life has been busy and full of changes, as I am sure is the same for all of us; EmilySaidHello will reflect these lifestyle changes as I will be ‘re-branding’ for want of a better word. If you are interested in reviews, recommendations and updates on TV shows and Movies, you can visit my Movie Monday page for articles from the archive however, all of my more recent work you can now find on LIFEISDIGI, where I am a regular content writer.

In the meantime, archive articles will be updated and re-posted alongside new content.

Alright, let’s get into it. There will be no spoilers in this article, I tend to avoid spoilers where possible. In the event that any spoilers will be present, I will make it obvious for you all. However, that being said, I believe that as a book reviewer that I have a responsibility to list trigger warnings when needed.

Please keep in mind that when you read this book there are several references to sexual assault and this can be triggering and unpleasant for some readers. It is not graphic detailing but it is a prominent theme throughout.

Lore by Alex Bracken, published January 2021 is a standalone novel with, at the time of writing, an average rating of 3.91 on Goodreads.

Alex Bracken is an American, #1 New York Times bestselling author who is, mostly, known for The Darkest Minds series and Passenger series. The premise of Lore focuses on Greek mythology within a modern day setting.

The summary reads:

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.

When reviewing books I look at World-Building, Romance and Pace. For these aspects, Lore scored:

  • World-Building: 4/5
  • Pace: 3/5
  • Romance: 2/5

As a standalone novel, Lore crammed a lot – and I mean a lot – of world-building into an impressively short amount of pages. World-building, for the most part, can be justified through setting scenes, building back stories and painting enemy dynamics but early on into reading this the world building felt more like info dumping and became slightly dull and overwhelming. With such a strong focus on world-building the pace of the book suffered, it took a few attempts before I settled into the story and stopped putting the book down.

Romance is not usually what I look for in the fantasy and action genre and thankfully, Lore keeps this to a minimum with only two romance dynamics. The first being the main character’s and a budding romance for the supporting characters. With Lore the central romance, for me, didn’t seem necessary and I found that the side character romance had sweeter moments and an adorable friends to lovers romance trope which bumped up my romance rating. Truly, it’s the side characters that make or break a story. For Lore the side characters definitely saved the day for me as a reader. Lore didn’t fall into the YA trope of a love triangle and for that I am deeply thankful.

Pain is the essence of life and…if you are to honour your ancestors you will die in it

Lore, pg 100

I really wanted to adore Lore and for the most part it was an enjoyable read but – and there is always a but, it left me feeling underwhelmed. Getting to the last few chapters I felt uneasy with the amount of pages left to go and how many questions I had remaining. The ending left a lot to be desired – Did the Agon end? Why/how did it end? Who covers for all the distraction to the city? What is next for the characters? The vast open ended way that the book finished left me frustrated after I had finally gotten into the momentum of reading.

That being said…

Lore, titled after the main character, tells the story through the main character’s narration and she is the BAMF (Bad Ass MotherF*****) protagonist type that you might recognise from other YA novels – Divergent and The Hunger Games. If you are a fan of both of those as well as the Percy Jackson series then I can promise you will enjoy Lore as a light weekend read.

Alex Bracken does an incredible job of reintroducing the incredible stories of Zeus and his children to a YA audience and for that I rate Lore: 3/5 overall.

There is potential for Lore to be enjoyable but, sadly, it falls just short of the mark for me.

Is Lore on your to-be-read list? Have you DNF’d (Did Not Finish)? Or have you recently finished it?

I’d love to hear other opinions on the ending. Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.


Em x

If you follow me on instagram, you will know that the next Sunday Book Club will be Shadow and Bone from the hit Grishaverse fantasy series. I hope it is as enjoyable as the Netflix series!

2 thoughts on “Review: Lore By Alexandra Bracken [Sunday Book Club]

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