Josephine Angelini has done a terrific job in making each book in the “Starcrossed” trilogy outstanding. The first book in the series, “Starcrossed,” introduces the characters.
Helen, the protagonist, lives with her father on Nantucket Island. She is strikingly beautiful, and her best friend knows that she is different. She has amazing physical abilities. When the Delos family moves to the island, she meets others like her and finally realizes what she is.
That family, and Helen, are all “Scions,” sons and daughters of the Greek gods, who reside on earth. Each belongs to a different “house,” like the House of Rome or the House of Thebes. There is much intrigue, much suffering, and there is Lucas — the guy she falls madly in love with.
However, there is also Orion, the Scion she meets in Hades, who is equally attractive and enthralled by her. The second book, “Dreamless,” details the descent of the gods from Olympus. It also includes some reasons why the gods are causing havoc and what the Scions might try to do to stop it.
In the third book, a mysterious “Tyrant” becomes all-important. It’s the Tyrant who would destroy the world because of his or her overwhelming power. One of the Scions is the Tyrant, but which one? As with the philosophical question about Hitler (if you could kill him as an innocent baby and save all the future suffering, would you?), the question becomes: If you could kill the Tyrant before the Tyrant ruins the world, should you?
Well-told stories with strong women are wonderful, and this story features a really, really strong woman. Helen has a superb moral compass telling her to do the right thing; and the other characters are also effectively rendered. The plot is similarly well-drawn. The book’s action flows quickly as the climax approaches.
My only (tiny) problem with this last book is that many historical characters are brought into the picture, and it’s difficult to keep track of them. Paradoxically, one of the things I enjoyed was that Angelini figured out how to show that Helen descended from the famous “Helens” of history: Guinevere, Helen of Troy, and other beautiful women throughout time. It’s all the male Greek names that get a bit confusing by the end. But that’s a minor flaw. “Goddess” is a fine piece of work.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, HarperTeen, for review purposes.
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