My rating: ❤❤❤ of 5!
In this third and final instalment of Starcrossed, we finally have the epic showdown between the Scions and the gods. I absolutely loved the first 60% of the book but then I liked it less and less, until the last 5% where I was just waiting for the book to be over. A very anti-climactic ending to this trilogy, at least for me.
I know I’ve been going on and on about how much I despise Helen and sadly, this didn’t lessen. If anything, my dislike grew. As the book finished I realised that the reason I liked the first part so much, is because Helen hardly featured there. And when she did, it was mostly around other people, or even whilst discovering more memories of the lifetime of “the face”. Now, through all my years of reading there’s been plenty of heroines I didn’t like. But I cannot remember ever being so dead set against one, as I’ve been with Helen. Somehow, I’ve found my book nemesis and I’m so happy I’m done with her now!
So, why do I dislike this YA heroine so much? Well, I guess the short answer is that she’s everything I dislike in heroines.
- She’s a serious dumb-dumb
- She’s selfish
- She’s entitled
- She’s immature
- She’s a brat
- And worse of all, she doesn’t learn from her mistakes
She keeps acting like a baby that’s lost its pacifier and, if anyone dares to have different opinions than her, she ignores them – gods and mortals alike. Now, I’m not perfect and I don’t believe in any divine power. However, I’d like to think, that if a god stood before me and was kind enough to give me some kind of advice on life, I would listen. But not Helen. Because even though she’s new to the world of Scions and gods, she obviously knows best.
‘What do you mean, what am I doing?’ Helen asked – irked as usual when Hector made fun of her. ‘He doesn’t want to fight you, he said he only wants me.’
Hector only laughed harder at her melodramatic tone. ‘You’re not about to steal my glory, Princess.’
She really hated it when he called her that.
‘Don’t call me —’
‘He’s your champion, Helen!’ Lucas snapped, and his tone was not playful like Hector’s.
What happened is, that Helen, Orion, Hector, Lucas and Cassandra tried to create their own gang – or house, if you prefer. With Helen as the leader, Hector her champion, Lucas as a backup champion and Orion, is Cassandra’s champion. Why did Helen choose Hector? Well, because she couldn’t bear to send Lucas or Orion to fight a fight they might not win. On top of that, is the time, before Hector goes to fight for his and Helen’s lives really the best time to get annoyed that he’s making fun of you? Charming way of treating your brother-in-law, no? Any who, Helen choose this. She accepted this. She understood what a champion is and what a champion must do.
‘You took an oath, and for us those aren’t just words,’ Lucas continued. ‘You cannot walk into that arena. Only Hector can meet your challenger now.’
‘W-wait,’ Helen said stumbling, her tongue growing heavy in her mouth with fear as the first part of her plan came undone.
All that power and yet, such a small brain. While Helen is all powerful and wields almost every single element, she really isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Through three books she’s now been informed that oaths are binding and somehow, she still doesn’t understand it. It’s seriously like she’s unable to understand the whole “actions – reactions” concept which honestly, is very frustrating to read about!
In this book Helen distances herself even more, from both friends and family. I guess the angle that Ms. Angelini tries to work, is the one that makes the almighty Helen a trooper, who powers through to save all her loved ones. And for some, it might come across like that. Unfortunately, not so much for me. Because of the abovementioned lack of understanding for reactions to her actions, Helen doesn’t see that she’s actually almost solely responsible for the fight – and the death of two people from her group. See, Helen interprets this responsibility to mean, that she has to do everything by herself, and that no one has the right to question her. Apparently, it also means, that she gets to behave as she sees fit even if she is hurting other people.
‘He’s hurt,’ Orion whispered in her ear. ‘He thinks you’re choosing me over him.’
Helen knew this. She also knew that every second she hung on Orion hurt Lucas more and more. But there was nothing she could do about it right then.
If Ms. Angelini substituted “there was nothing she could do” to “there was nothing she would do” that sentence would be correct. What Helen and Cassandra has worked out is, that Orion is shielding them from the three Fates. So, Helen is hanging on Orion so she can make plans, without the Fates interfering. Brilliant as that is I can’t help but wonder, if Orion can shield both Helen and Cassandra just by being near them, why wouldn’t Lucas also be hidden, from the Fates, when near Orion? Either there’s a flaw in the plot, or Helen simply chose not to let Lucas in on her secrets, and then why not hurt him more in the process.
In this book there’s a lot more focus on the original legends from the Trojan war. It turns out, that not only do the Scions have the faces of the beings that fought in that war (mortals and immortals alike), they’re them, but reborn. Sounds complicated? Well, after Dreamless where Helen and Orion visited the River Lethe, Helen have started receiving memories from all lifetimes the face have been through, since the original Helen of Troy. While the other Scions don’t have all the memories of their face, they’re still attracted to the original loves and values. This also means that Helen, as a worldbuilder, have to stop the never-ending cycle the three Fates are putting them all through.
What’s a worldbuilder? Well, it turns out that when they called Helen the Descender, they were wrong. Or rather, the correct title got lost in translation. Basically, there’s only been three worldbuilders: Atlanta, who created Atlantis, and Morgana, who created Avalon. So, that’s what Helen can do, she can create a new world. And she does. Personally, I was very disappointed that she called it something as boring as Everyland. I would have preferred something more awe inspiring or even mundane like: Lennie’s Ville, Helen’s Ville, Casa De Helen. But personal preferences aside, that’s what she calls it.
Instead of keep up my Helen rant I will turn to more positive things. Ms. Angelini is nailing one mythological pun after the other in this book, she even brings in a bit of Arthurian legends, when she refers to Morgana as the previous worldbuilder. This part I enjoyed immensely, and I really wish she’d spent more time on this. She also makes some of the holes from previous books come together nicely, like why some people are together, why they made the choices they did etc. So, in that aspect this book was a great finish to this trilogy.
About the characters, I can’t help but love the way that Ms. Angelini took care of most of them. I feel that she did a really good job at mixing their present-day personality, with traits to match those of the warriors from the Trojan war. Except for the Queen of special snowflakes, they all grew and adapted so much, in an almost realistic kind of way – or as realistic as it can be, for paranormal deities. Personally, I really liked the fact that Ms. Angelini didn’t give the characters an easy way out, that they all had to work for their HEA. And even when they received it, it was done in a way that hints that you cannot evade your fate (or the Fates).
I’ve said it before and now that I’ve read the entire trilogy, I can say it again: I think I would have liked this so much more, if Helen had died within the first 20% of Starcrossed. Without her, I’m positive I would have been able to enjoy all the books so much more!
Have you read this book? Or any of the books in the trilogy? Does it sounds like something you’d enjoy? Comment and let me know.