I received this book from the publisher, Bloomsbury Children's, so thank you to them for sending it to me fore review!
Author: Laura Powell
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Published: April 10th 2014
No. of Pages: 304
Strikes. Starvation. Riots. Britain is at breaking-point and Aura is blind to it all. The Cult of Artemis is the only home she’s ever known. Enclosed in its luxury lifestyle, the unrest gripping the country seems to belong to a distant world. Her dream is to serve the Goddess and taking a vow of chastity and obedience seems a small price to pay. But days before Aura is due to be initiated as a Priestess, she meets Aiden, the rebellious son of a cult insider, whose radical ideas and unsettling charm force Aura to question everything – and everyone – she knows. (-Goodreads)
3 stars: Page tweets once, he didn't have strong
feelings for this book. It was just ok.
Goddess was definitely a different book to those that I had read before. It focused a lot on the themes of cults and the influence of Greek mythology, and I felt that the end result was a fairly interesting novel. It definitely had a lot of plotting-to-overthrow-power-hungry-leaders which I always like.
The themes of cults and Greek mythology were definitely interesting to read. The cult in this book was centred around the goddess Artemis, but was quite stereotypical in the sense that it has all the vows of purity and spiritually dressed members- it is that which you would expect from a fictional evil cult that hides itself in luxuries. Along with Aura who had made it her dream to serve Artemis, I found myself reading quite a normal book. What I felt made it different, however, was that it was still set in a version of the United Kingdom that was filled with all the attributes of a nation that's falling apart
At first, I did find this a bit confusing to process. The idea of a cult that people rely on whilst there is a government is certainly original, but I found it a bit hard to feel as though it was working. To me, it felt slight chaotic- which I guess is the feeling of the setting -but at the same time, something felt off. I did get used to this though, and I did like the story.
As you read the book, it definitely begins to show some traits of darkness, especially as more about the cult is revealed. To be honest, from the beginning I was screaming at Aura to get out of there. I knew no good was going to come from it! These darker sides did allow the book to then explore the idea of propaganda, and the contrast between truth and what is show to the public- you definitely saw the difference.
My issue is that though Goddess obviously had many messages and themes I could tell it wanted to explore, the storyline made it quite difficult and hard to understand. It was something that doesn't just come naturally to the reader, and it's only now as I write this that I've truly started to think about what it was trying to get at.
In terms of characters, Aura was interesting as a main character. You could see her faith in the Goddess was really cemented into her, and even as the story built up, she never let go of that belief. Interestingly, Aura's character brought in the idea that the cult itself wasn;t at fault, but instead it was how the people representing it interpreted and used it.
There were a few more interesting characters throughout, and there was definitely a wide variety of personalities, which I thought showed how different people interpret everything differently.
The story could have been a little less confusing, but I did find Goddess a likeable book.