Lore by Alexandra Bracken

The best way I can describe Lore is as a deadly Olympics in New York City. From races through The Frick Collection to hunts around the village, Lore is a recreation of Greek Mythology. Alexandra Bracken brings the old Gods into a new world while renewing the morals of their legends. Not only are the characters visceral and varied, but the story is truly unique.

That being said, it wasn’t perfect. Although no story really is, there were more problems than I would’ve expected for such a popular work. There were also a few conceptual issues that had me wondering about the editor and proofreader for this text. To start, on a simpler note, there were approximately six or seven blatant grammatical errors I found while reading. Take in mind, however, that when I’m reading for enjoyment I’m not searching for an inconsistent apostrophe. The simple fact that my eyes found this many errors is a little concerning. They were all obvious. Occasionally missing a word, a capitalization, even making up their own rules when it came to possessive apostrophes, all of these errors would have been found in any simple word processing system. So I don’t know why I found them.

Another issue I had with this text is about the production of this work. I don’t believe paperbacks are available yet, so I can’t speak to how that version will be produced, but the hardcover has a ridiculous environmental footprint. The stock the text was printed on is so thick. There was no reason for it to be that heavy. It makes a meager 400 pages look like 800. Apart from the large deforestation this one text has, and I’m not against the use of paper or normal stock, the heavy stock paper also results in a lot of sticking between the pages. Having to constantly struggle to turn the page means that each and every time you’re reading, you’re brought out of the story.

But my biggest problem overall was the ending. It felt as though the author reached their deadline sooner than they expected and they needed to end story as soon as possible. Which is not always necessarily a bad thing, but in this case it meant we weren’t given the climax. The story just drifted off to a swift end. Where was the huge fight we had all been waiting for, something to live up to the Greek Mythology it was inspired by? The last fight read more like sparring monopoly.

That also brings me to the most persistent problem with the book. Every single fight scene or hunt of sorts is not clear. I reread them over and over again trying to make sense of what the characters are doing, how the environment is changing, and how the combat is playing out. At one moment someone is rushing around a waterfall racing to the top and in another they’re racing from the flood on the bottom level. It wasn’t clear. The writer got caught up in personifying New York City and I don’t know what the editor got stuck on. But it kept happening. In museums, in subways, wherever there was a complex interaction, things would be moving without the third party voice acknowledging it. This is a book, not a movie. We can’t just see into the writer’s head, she needs to describe it for us.

As much as I enjoyed this book, I think it would’ve been better as a two book set. Leave us on a cliffhanger and then write out the full ending the story deserves. With that being said though, I don’t regret reading it. Lore was an enjoyable text.

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