Author: Laura Powell
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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.
I'm not really sure how to sum up my feelings about this book, it was a very strange reading experience for me. I read it in one sitting and found it to be a very quick read. It shows the Cult of Artemis, who are inspired by Greek mythology and the Vestal Virgins of Rome. I found the whole cult aspect completely fascinating and horrifying at the same time.
Aura has been a part of the Cult her whole life, abandoned on it's temple steps as a baby, and she has known nothing else her whole life. She wishes to become the next High Priestess who will receive oracles from Artemis herself. The Cult keeps her in a very sheltered life, she is unable to access the internet and so knows little of the real world. She starts out as this really weak, meek girl who goes along with everything she has been told, never questioning anything. It was nice to watch her grow into a stronger, more mature person who was able to think for herself and not just go along with what others told her. I enjoy seeing those kinds of transformations in characters.
The Cult of Artemis really does make for intriguing reading, it was such an interesting and surreal part to the story. I can't really sum up what this story is, what genre it should be and that did leave me a little confused. It's set in a sort of parallel Britain, with a royal family,celebrities, political trouble and then the Cult added in. It was a little strange and if it hadn't been a standalone I am sure we could have had a lot more world building. But because it's quite a short book, you're not really provided with much of background on the country and what is going on there, like why there is so much political unrest. I feel that the world building was something the book was really lacking. I am still unsure what it's supposed to be, it's not dystopian but it's not fantasy.
The mythology was fascinating to learn about and so surreal as well. The whole aspect of the cult did really fascinate me but creep me out at the same time. They took away so many of Aura's choices, to be honest they didn't really give her any. She was raised by the Cult and never given any option on what to believe, Artemis was the truth to them and that was all she was able to know. It was a horrible form of indoctrination and that's not something that I am ever comfortable with. Indoctrination can be a very powerful thing and I think Powell was able to show that in a great way with this book.
Aura meets Aiden, a boy who questions the Cult and what they stand for. As Aura is witness to events that make her question the people with the Cult, she has to turn to Aiden for help. I liked their blossoming friendship and I think that aspect worked really well. If anything, I really wish we had been able to get to know Aiden better because I feel like he could have done with more scenes. I wanted to get to know him a bit better as a character.
In my opinion, Goddess makes for really interesting reading. The mythology was fascinating and the whole Cult of Artemis aspect of it completely creeped me out. I was practically screaming at Aura to see sense and get away from them all. I couldn't even begin to try to figure out what genre this is or is meant to be, that did leave me a little confused. I thought it was an enjoyable and really quick read, the story moved along very quickly and there was always something happening. It was also refreshing to have a standalone story for once, series are great but it's nice to finally have a story be told within one book.
*I received a copy of this novel free from Bloomsbury in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.