Lore by Alexandra Bracken

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Alexandra Bracken knows how to begin a story with a bang. The first few scenes of her standalone young adult fantasy Lore feature a clash between gods, a murder and an illegal basement boxing match. Bracken begins as she means to go on and delivers a fast-moving novel with just the right amount of action, intrigue, girl power and romance.

Lore Perseous is a descendant of the Ancient Greek gods. She lives in a modern New York City where, unbeknownst to the human population, these ancient titans and their progeny live, scheme and do battle. Every seven years a hunt known as the Agon is held. Nine gods are made mortal for one week and if they are captured and killed, their murderer can claim their powers and immortality. Lore’s family was killed seven years ago in the last Agon and she has since immersed herself in the human world, refusing to do anything but survive. However, when Lore is approached by the goddess Athena and offered an alliance, she finally sees a way to exact revenge and escape from the Agon forever.

It is refreshing in young adult fantasy – where trilogies are increasingly the norm, regardless of whether a series warrants a third or even second book – to find a standalone novel. Rather than stringing her readers along or padding her writing to fill up pages, Bracken has delivered a succinct and complete product that is particularly satisfying for tying up all loose ends within one book. Lore is confident writing from a seasoned young adult writer and will particularly appeal to audiences who enjoy Ancient Greek mythology and strong female characters.

Themes: Identity, New York City, Ancient Greece, Gods, War, Warriors, Friendship, Love.

Rose Tabeni