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lore by alexandra bracken
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
- Genre: Fantasy, Greek Mythology
- Audience: Young Adult
- Pages: 480 (hardcover)
- Trigger Warnings: rape, pedophilia, abuse, death, gore, violence
If there is one opinion widely circulated about Lore (regardless of rating), it’s that the supposed premise and advertised synopsis is epically misleading.
So a warning for all future readers: completely disregard anything you think you knew, or that you were blatantly told from Lore’s joke of a synopsis. because what you find within the pages is an entirely different story.
That being said, I spent the first 40% of Lore undergoing constant “WTF” moments in which all my hype from the absolutely thrilling premise I read prior to turning to page one… was being utterly demolished chapter by chapter. I can honestly say, for the first 40% of the book, I had no clue what to think other than shock at how much the synopsis had lied to me in a way no other synopsis has to this date.
But somewhere between 40% to 50%, I had come to terms with the fact that though I had been horribly lied to by whomever wrote that synopsis, I was starting to relatively enjoy the story that Bracken had given me.
In other words, it was somewhat entertaining which made it somewhat enjoyable. Somewhat.
And even then, I’m not sure if it was my love and obsession for Greek Mythology (which has nothing to do with the craft of the story or Bracken’s original elements at all) that was responsible for the overall okay rating I decided to give the book (2.5 out of 5 stars). Because it certainly wasn’t the writing, or the romance. Or the characters. Or even the plot, really.
Having just wrote that, I’m really starting to think the generous rating was just the fact that it contained elements of Greek Mythology.
Even with the book not matching up with the premise, I believe both had so much potential to be something great. Though I didn’t hate it, I really do feel as though Bracken missed out on a lot of chances to make these concepts into a really great story.
Because I switched between audiobook and print book editions of Lore throughout my reading of it, I feel as though I was better able to spot aspects of world building through the audiobook that I wouldn’t have been able to if I had just been reading the print version.
The audiobook really highlighted the problem the novel had with info-dumping important world building information in large pages-long segments of writing. This led to confusion and a lack of authenticity in Lore’s world. Because most of the information was told verbatim and all at once rather than given through Lore’s thoughts and experience, the world seemed bland, boring, and 2-dimensional. It didn’t feel as exciting or visually plausible to me.
In my opinion, this was a less than stellar plot line. The premise was promising but the implementation methods were not great. The events throughout the plot progression were indistinguishable from one another. They all just jumbled together for me because there was no clear or significant events taking place.
I finished the book just hours ago, and even so, the plot points are all just a jumble in my mind. I promise I paid attention, but there were just so many scenes with an “eh” feel to them when they’d be much more memorable if they contributed to feelings of “wow!”
The love interest, Castor, is introduced fairly early on in the novel. He is an old childhood best friend of Lore’s who’s returned after about eight years of separation from her. While his character, and their romance, held a lot of exciting potential at first, the culmination of their romance was the most disappointing aspect of Lore by far.
While I love fantasy, romantic subplots are the number one aspect of fantasy novels that I look forward to most. Because Castor majorly lacked characterization, and Lore (while slightly developed) lacked more than a protagonist should, their romance faltered extremely. They had absolutely no chemistry. Not to mention they went from new enemies to lovers in the span of about a week (major insta-love yikes).
As I said previously, Lore was underdeveloped for a protagonist. Even her love interest and best-friend Castor was extremely underdeveloped as well. So obviously, that doesn’t bode well for the fate of the rest of the cast of characters. Miles, Athena, Van? Honestly, I couldn’t tell you much about their personalities, their ages, nor the way they look. In my mind, I see three identical cardboard cut outs with their names written in black sharpie over the chest with a hugely drawn question mark on their large cut out heads.
Bracken’s writing isn’t bad, per say. I really, truly don’t think that. But I would say that I found it quite bland. The sentences in the midst of action didn’t really convey the emotion, the angst, the hurry. and in contrast, the sentences about grief or full of emotion felt flat and monotonous. The writing didn’t seem to have fervor or passion. and in the end, it didn’t make me feel much or think much at all.
Alas, I didn’t necessarily hate it. However, I can’t help but mourn the deeply riveting and exciting premise promised to me in the form of Lore’s synopsis… Hopefully there comes a day in which I might get that promised storyline in a different and perhaps better executed Greek mythology-based YA fantasy novel.
Extra tid-bits worth mentioning
- Greek Mythology characters and references
- Childhood friends to lovers trope
- Adult enemies to lovers trope
- Gods/goddesses included as well obviously
Lore by Alexandra BrackenLore by Alexandra Bracken
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Let’s Chat in the Comments!
What sorts of mythology retellings do you want to read? What sort of mythological characters or beings do you want to see in young adult fantasy novels in the future? Was there a recent read in which its plot didn’t match its synopsis at all?