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Great Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and Monsters

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Empowering life lessons from myths and monsters. Wonder at Medusa's potent venom, Circe's fierce sorcery and Athena rising up over Olympus, as Nikita Gill majestically explores the untold stories of the life bringers, warriors, creators, survivors and destroyers that shook the world - the great Greek Goddesses. Vividly re-imagined and beautifully illustrated, st Empowering life lessons from myths and monsters. Wonder at Medusa's potent venom, Circe's fierce sorcery and Athena rising up over Olympus, as Nikita Gill majestically explores the untold stories of the life bringers, warriors, creators, survivors and destroyers that shook the world - the great Greek Goddesses. Vividly re-imagined and beautifully illustrated, step into an ancient world transformed by modern feminist magic. 'I watch Girl become Goddess and the metamorphosis is more magnificent than anything I have ever known.'


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Empowering life lessons from myths and monsters. Wonder at Medusa's potent venom, Circe's fierce sorcery and Athena rising up over Olympus, as Nikita Gill majestically explores the untold stories of the life bringers, warriors, creators, survivors and destroyers that shook the world - the great Greek Goddesses. Vividly re-imagined and beautifully illustrated, st Empowering life lessons from myths and monsters. Wonder at Medusa's potent venom, Circe's fierce sorcery and Athena rising up over Olympus, as Nikita Gill majestically explores the untold stories of the life bringers, warriors, creators, survivors and destroyers that shook the world - the great Greek Goddesses. Vividly re-imagined and beautifully illustrated, step into an ancient world transformed by modern feminist magic. 'I watch Girl become Goddess and the metamorphosis is more magnificent than anything I have ever known.'

30 review for Great Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and Monsters

  1. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    3.5 stars I think the average reader's experience with Great Goddesses is going to depend heavily upon what you're looking for. I tried to review this fairly with a middle-of-the-road rating because, as a poetry collection, it didn't work. There's no rhythm or flow to 90% of the writing, much of the text feels a little repetitive, and more passages than not instilled about as much of an emotional response as the average textbook would. On the other hand, as a collection of tales about Greek deities, it wor 3.5 stars I think the average reader's experience with Great Goddesses is going to depend heavily upon what you're looking for. I tried to review this fairly with a middle-of-the-road rating because, as a poetry collection, it didn't work. There's no rhythm or flow to 90% of the writing, much of the text feels a little repetitive, and more passages than not instilled about as much of an emotional response as the average textbook would. On the other hand, as a collection of tales about Greek deities, it works fabulously. Gill does a splendid job of subverting old tropes and offering new perspectives into the stories of many beings, in both positive and negative ways. I'll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes: Somewhere inside my heart, I misplaced my faith, misunderstood my own origin story, became a person half tragedy, more misery, and I started to relish it. I revelled in this losing of everything that I thought I was, the lack of self-care; the drowning becomes such a needful thing when you think there is nothing left to look forward to. —————— This is the story told in hushed tones. It is the version of the tale they do not want you to know. After all, what is more powerful than women who know all about the blessed fires inside them that grow. —————— Sometimes I watch Girl become Goddess and the metamorphosis is more magnificent than anything I have ever known. —————— Sometimes I pray for the living in me, And sometimes I pray for the dead.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ˗ˏˋ aphrodite ˊˎ˗

    there will never be a time I don’t give feminist mythological-reimaginings 5 stars. they are so incredibly important to the way we think of these stories and the impact they have. gill’s interpretation is no different. I am always fascinated by how each person gives meaning and life to these immortal beings. their stories are the strength of their immortality, after all. as a poetry collection, it certainly wasn’t my favorite. but as a collection of myths and tales, it was absolutely perfect. hi there will never be a time I don’t give feminist mythological-reimaginings 5 stars. they are so incredibly important to the way we think of these stories and the impact they have. gill’s interpretation is no different. I am always fascinated by how each person gives meaning and life to these immortal beings. their stories are the strength of their immortality, after all. as a poetry collection, it certainly wasn’t my favorite. but as a collection of myths and tales, it was absolutely perfect. highly recommend for lovers of mythology and those who wish to reclaim or reshape their identity

  3. 4 out of 5

    Thea’s Reading World 💛

    I have just finished Fierce Fairytales and I can’t wait for this book to be published 💛

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fanna

    After reading Fierce Fairytales you bet I want to read this!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chloe (thelastcolour)

    Stumbled upon this at a bookstore in Melbourne and I fell in love with everything that Nikita has written. It was raw and real and I feel so many emotions towards all the gods and goddesses in greek mythology. they all have my heart in pieces. always. always. always.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ♀ ☾ ✧ the dragon queen ✧ ☾ ♀

    i really liked it as a set of mythology, and i enjoyed some of the poems a lot. it wasn't anything earth-shattering but still good, and well-researched. (3.75 stars) here's a list of the poems that i liked the most: Chaos to Nyx [6] The River of the Dead [33] Athena's Tale [79] Pallas and Athena [87] The Moon Writes a Love Letter to Artemis [128] Amphitrite [145] Modern-day Sea God(s) [147] Athena to Medusa [189] Scylla [192] Gorgon (A Letter to the P/>here's i really liked it as a set of mythology, and i enjoyed some of the poems a lot. it wasn't anything earth-shattering but still good, and well-researched. (3.75 stars) here's a list of the poems that i liked the most: Chaos to Nyx [6] The River of the Dead [33] Athena's Tale [79] Pallas and Athena [87] The Moon Writes a Love Letter to Artemis [128] Amphitrite [145] Modern-day Sea God(s) [147] Athena to Medusa [189] Scylla [192] Gorgon (A Letter to the Patriarchy) [195] The Erinyes: Vengeance-skinned Fury [199] Iphigenia, Daughter of Agamemnon [224] Megara Laments from the Underworld [228]

  7. 5 out of 5

    The Story Girl

    Meh. I don't see who'd really understand/enjoy this book except for people with a deep interest in obscure (and some not so obscure) Greek mythology. It wasn't really relatable. At all. Nothing like her previous work, so all in all, I was extremely disappointed and regret this purchase. [previous update] I think everyone saying they’re excited to read this after fierce fairytales is going to be massively disappointed. This is nothing like that and does not have any relatable poems in Meh. I don't see who'd really understand/enjoy this book except for people with a deep interest in obscure (and some not so obscure) Greek mythology. It wasn't really relatable. At all. Nothing like her previous work, so all in all, I was extremely disappointed and regret this purchase. [previous update] I think everyone saying they’re excited to read this after fierce fairytales is going to be massively disappointed. This is nothing like that and does not have any relatable poems in it so far. I’ve loved everything Nikita Gill has written so far, but I want to DNF this and am already regretting the $11+ I spent on this. If fierce fairytales was one of my favorite books I read this year, then this is one of my LEAST favorite. [previous update] I can't wait for this!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nadia King

    "I lost a God once. It’s easier done than people think. Forget a prayer once in a while or simply grow grief in your kitchen window along with the basil and rosemary. Somewhere inside my heart, I misplaced my faith, misunderstood my own origin story, became a person half tragedy, more misery, and I started to relish it. - FROM 1. A MORTAL INTERLUDE BY NIKITA GILL" Firstly, I have to start this review with a confession: I have a rather large lack of knowledge of Greek mythology. I wish "I lost a God once. It’s easier done than people think. Forget a prayer once in a while or simply grow grief in your kitchen window along with the basil and rosemary. Somewhere inside my heart, I misplaced my faith, misunderstood my own origin story, became a person half tragedy, more misery, and I started to relish it. - FROM 1. A MORTAL INTERLUDE BY NIKITA GILL" Firstly, I have to start this review with a confession: I have a rather large lack of knowledge of Greek mythology. I wish this wasn’t true, but it is, so there you have it. I was excited then to receive a copy of bestselling writer and poet, Nikita Gill’s "Great Goddesses: Life lessons from myths and monsters". My lack of knowledge turned out to be a great space from which to read this powerful book covering the history of Ancient Greece to tell the story of its mothers, “warriors, creators, survivors and destroyers that shook the world” — the great Greek goddesses. "Why be a half-finished poem in some forgotten poet’s story, when one can be an odyssey in and of herself, part magic, part villain, Part Goddess, part lover." - FROM ‘WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A FORGOTTEN MAGIC MAKER’ The collection of poems is a feminist retelling of Greek mythology to give the goddesses their voice, albeit a more contemporary voice for the lessons and gems of wisdom have been adapted for our times. Although, I ask myself does universal human truth change with the times? "But Ares knows the truth now, the force that drives this. War makes the very wealthy richer so they engineer thousands of them." - FROM ‘ARES, AFTER’ "Great Goddesses: Life lessons from myths and monsters" is reminiscent of epic poetry and the audio version of this book will lend itself well to the original mode of oral poetry. Intricate ink drawing are scattered throughout the book adding another layer of meaning to the poetry, and a welcome useful glossary of Greek gods and goddesses can be found at the book of the book. "Great Goddesses: Life lessons from myths and monsters" can be interpreted as a collection of hymns of praise, not only to the Greek goddesses of Ancient Greece, but as a song of love for women everywhere. Bravo, Gill on a beautiful book. Many thanks to the folks at Penguin Random House Australia for a copy of this book to review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    ⋅ʚ kit ɞ⋅

    Greek mythology has always fascinated me, so reading this feminist reimagining of the classics was magical and lyrical and alluring. Themes of girlhood, sisterhood, womanhood, wifehood, motherhood, and the struggles of the human condition provided me with a completely different outlook on mythology. Argos, Dog of Odysseus was my favorite poem from this entire collection, without a doubt. I cried and then smiled so wide; I was a whirlwind of emotions within a span of only three pages.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sonali Dabade

    It's 3 AM and I stayed up to finish this book. Now I have a lot of thoughts running through my head including the one that's leaving me torn between whether I should laugh or cry, one that wants me to read it for the first time (what's wrong with you, brain?), one that wants me to go give Nikita Gill a hug but since that's not possible, I'll go sit in a corner and cry and stew. What a fantastic book this is! A retelling of the Greek myths, I went in expecting so much and got so much more than th It's 3 AM and I stayed up to finish this book. Now I have a lot of thoughts running through my head including the one that's leaving me torn between whether I should laugh or cry, one that wants me to read it for the first time (what's wrong with you, brain?), one that wants me to go give Nikita Gill a hug but since that's not possible, I'll go sit in a corner and cry and stew. What a fantastic book this is! A retelling of the Greek myths, I went in expecting so much and got so much more than that! Love, love, love this book! If I hadn't mentioned it before (I'm sure I have on Fierce Fairytales), but Nikita Gill is one of my favorite authors of all time. And if anyone wants to have a debate with me about it, I'm going to up and leave. THERE IS JUST NO ROOM FOR DOUBT!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ekene

    I feel like your enjoyment of this collection will depend on how much you love hearing about every God and Goddess there is. For me, there are few that I was interested in reading about-namely Hades and Persephone, Medusa, etc-so going through the others, I didn't really care for. But what I can say is that they were all well-done

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Everyone say hello to my favourite book of 2019 :) The poetry market has been a tough nut to crack since Rupi Kaur arrived on the scene in 2014. There’s always been this need in the book community to compare any poet to Kaur, commenting on how similar or how dissimilar it is, how they must have copied her, how there’s no inspiration behind the work, how it brings nothing new to the table. I say why make them compete? Poetry is about so much more than reposts and quotability. Poetry is Everyone say hello to my favourite book of 2019 :) The poetry market has been a tough nut to crack since Rupi Kaur arrived on the scene in 2014. There’s always been this need in the book community to compare any poet to Kaur, commenting on how similar or how dissimilar it is, how they must have copied her, how there’s no inspiration behind the work, how it brings nothing new to the table. I say why make them compete? Poetry is about so much more than reposts and quotability. Poetry is about a person’s experiences and what shapes them as a person. It’s about the places they have been to, the things they’ve seen, the people they’ve met. It’s about finding their emotions and unleashing them upon the world in a frenzy of words and illustrations. Such a beautiful frenzy can be seen throughout Nikita Gill’s upcoming work (of art, I must say) Great Goddesses. It’s a magnificent blend of Greek mythology and contemporary feminism, particularly recommended for fans of Madeleine Miller’s Circe. Gill shares the stories of the women of Greek mythology whose lives are overshadowed by the heroic men we hear about every day. She tells us of Metis, Zeus’ first wife and perhaps the primary influencer of his cunning. She weaves wonderful tales of Selene, the goddess of the Moon, of Medusa and Persephone (my personal favourite of them all!). Rarely do I recommend poetry, simply as I never find it as fulfilling as a lengthy novel. However, Great Goddesses is absolutely deserving of praise and recommendations for eternity. It’s a timeless, articulate collection with each story woven with precision. Gill is meticulous throughout, a trait that has absolutely convinced me to read more of her work.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Annie McDonnell

    I love this book! Sharing it with friends!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessica M

    http://jessjustreads.com Great Goddesses is a collection of poems inspired by greek goddesses and deities — their hardships, their strengths, their determination and the lessons they faced that women today can learn from. This collection includes over 90 poems from Nikita Gill, all keeping the focus on women and their strengths and their value. Some of the poems touch on mythical tales that the reader will recognise, and some feel a lot more modern and unique, and unknown. Scattered throughout the book are full http://jessjustreads.com Great Goddesses is a collection of poems inspired by greek goddesses and deities — their hardships, their strengths, their determination and the lessons they faced that women today can learn from. This collection includes over 90 poems from Nikita Gill, all keeping the focus on women and their strengths and their value. Some of the poems touch on mythical tales that the reader will recognise, and some feel a lot more modern and unique, and unknown. Scattered throughout the book are full-page black and white illustrations to accompany some of the poems. The drawings are beautiful — emotive, visual and an additional element to draw in the reader and keep them engaged. I always love a book that incorporates hand-drawn elements, it makes the reading experience feel more authentic. “Centuries later, I will lose my son to Troy. In a battlefield scorched in crimson and steel, I will lift his lifeless body and hold him close, tears blurring my vision. He isn’t even a man yet, I will whisper, smoothing his hairless face with the same fingers I once used to smooth his father’s brow.” Nikita’s poems draw inspiration from ancient greek myths and legends, but present them with a new feminist twist — she focuses the lens on the strengths of women and their achievements. The women in the poems include ancient legends such as Medusa, Iphigenia and Briseis, unknown to some readers no longer. Some of my favourite poems are the ones towards the end of the book — the ones that resonate more with modern society and with my own experiences. They’re empowering and motivating, and inspiring. I feel drawn to these poems, and I find myself rereading them to savour the messages behind them. “Maybe that’s why you demonised them, turned them into monsters. because you think monsters are easier to understand than women who say no to you.” I’m no expert in poetry, but I didn’t feel like the poems in this collection worked collectively. The stories jump around a lot, jolting the reading. The syntax doesn’t quite flow, sometimes the vocabulary is a little off the intended meaning, and overall, I just didn’t find myself lost in the writing. I just like like I was reading it for the sake of reading, rather than really enjoying the experience. There were only a couple of poems that I really fell in love with, and the others? Well, I didn’t really feel like I was learning enough from them. Some of them were a bit vague, and some were very detailed but without that real theme at their core to drive home to the reader. “Remind him Remind him how you are still valid, still majestic despite his best attempts at your ruin.” Women will enjoy this read more than men, but that doesn’t mean men shouldn’t read this. The poems showcase the power and importance of women, the influence they have on the world and the impact they’ll leave on it. Mostly, I think this book is for fans of poetry. True fans of poetry will get more out of this read than people — like me — who aren’t regularly reading that medium of writing. Thank you to the publisher for mailing me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maura

    "I am the reason why Semele burned, why Phaeton fell, why a God can never break a pact to another. Some call it madness, I call it balance: one cannot exist without the other. People think Achilles lived by my waters. They are wrong. My waters are what ensured he would die. You too will meet me one day. My name is Styx and I am hatred personified." I wanted to start this review with a short excerpt from one of my favorite poems in this collecti "I am the reason why Semele burned, why Phaeton fell, why a God can never break a pact to another. Some call it madness, I call it balance: one cannot exist without the other. People think Achilles lived by my waters. They are wrong. My waters are what ensured he would die. You too will meet me one day. My name is Styx and I am hatred personified." I wanted to start this review with a short excerpt from one of my favorite poems in this collection. I can't believe I didn't know the river Styx was a goddess in her own right before reading it! I thought I knew a decent amount about Greek mythology, but that obviously didn't extend to the Titans, which is where this book begins. While saying this book is a feminist look at Greek myths is true to an extent, I also found these poems to be an emotional and motivational interpretation of the stories, rather than being focused on actions and consequences (which is the way I've always been taught them). None of the deities Gill addresses are treated as one-dimensional beings. And while she doesn't condone their actions, she interprets them as the results of upbringing, past grievances, and general immaturity. In other words, maybe gods are more human than we think! The one place this collection fell short for me were the poems where Gill places the ancient Greeks in the modern day realm. I get why these imaginings of Zeus getting his #MeToo reckoning and Hera founding a women's shelter might appeal to some people, but they struck me as cliché and distracting. If it weren't for those poems, this would be a 5 star read instead of 4.5 star one. I will add that most of this collection adheres to a loose definition of the poetic form. Many of the poems are lists, or paragraphs of prose formatted into stanzas. I don't have a problem with this type of poetic license, but I know there are readers out there who will, which is why I think it should be included in my review. Overall, I think this book would be a great addition to the shelves of any mythology fanatic!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Beck

    I liked it! I don't typically read poetry - seconds before I picked up this book I stated I didn't like poetry which was quite embarrassing - but I felt that this was quite nice. I liked how the myths were intertwined with an actual story. Initially, I was confused and wasn't too sure what was going on, but I soon caught on. I liked the story particularly. I found it to be quite believeable and although at times I felt it was a little preachy, I did enjoy the overall message and tone. I kind of I liked it! I don't typically read poetry - seconds before I picked up this book I stated I didn't like poetry which was quite embarrassing - but I felt that this was quite nice. I liked how the myths were intertwined with an actual story. Initially, I was confused and wasn't too sure what was going on, but I soon caught on. I liked the story particularly. I found it to be quite believeable and although at times I felt it was a little preachy, I did enjoy the overall message and tone. I kind of wish the story had been developed a bit more, I found it very interesting and wanted to know more! But I understand that there's a point to the vagueness in poetry. I assumed that this would be 100% about women in mythology and there would be no mention of males, but I wasn't disappointed when I realised I was wrong. They didn't take away from the themes of the book, and some men *cough* Zeus and Poseidon *cough* really just reinforced them. The rating isn't any higher because, as much as I enjoyed this, I'm coming to realise that I'm not really a poetry person. Some of these poems were quite enjoyable, and the book was as a whole, but not at a 4 star level. I wish I could give it 3.5! Also, for anyone who isn't head over heels in Greek mythology - a glossary was provided at the back and was quite useful. So if you aren't too familiar with the more "obscure" myths I strongly suggest looking through it. As I think this book would be more enjoyable if you have an understanding of the myths.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cara (Wilde Book Garden)

    Oh, this was beautiful. I really enjoyed Fierce Fairytales, but this was even stronger. One of my only criticisms of that work was that there were occasionally poems/prose poems that felt basically like “regular” writing and that was a little jarring among all the other poetry. But with this book, I feel like Nikita Gill has really nailed the balance of beautiful language and modern phrases. I love the way Gill incorporated modern issues and interpretations together with the old stori Oh, this was beautiful. I really enjoyed Fierce Fairytales, but this was even stronger. One of my only criticisms of that work was that there were occasionally poems/prose poems that felt basically like “regular” writing and that was a little jarring among all the other poetry. But with this book, I feel like Nikita Gill has really nailed the balance of beautiful language and modern phrases. I love the way Gill incorporated modern issues and interpretations together with the old stories. I’m so impressed at how cleverly she wove the old and new: which elements she kept, which she reinterpreted, and which she retold so brilliantly that it feels like that’s really what the original was about all along. As with many poetry books, there were a few poems that didn’t quite work for me, but honestly I loved or really liked almost every single poem. Just a few of my favorite poems/themes (descriptions, not titles of poems): -Hera’s redemption arc -Aphrodite and Hephaestus’s story -the characterization of Hades -the one on Argos, Odysseus’ dog -Iphigenia’s poem -Helen’s poem -Megara’s poem and how heartbreakingly current it feels -that ending!!! Would never have thought that poem would be the perfect way to end the collection, but somehow it was Overall, a beautiful, fierce, varied collection that covers themes of healing, love, forgiveness, sisterhood, anger, compassion, and so much more. CW: Domestic abuse, rape, trauma, grief, depression *I received a free ARC from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

    I really enjoyed the past collections Nikita Gill has released and, as a long-time lover of Greek mythology, I was excited to read this one upon release! I think this uses more of a story-telling style or can be viewed as an experience rather than a simple collection of poems. Nikita Gill reimagines countless Gods, Goddesses, monsters, and all sorts of well-known (and lesser-known!) beings from Greek mythology. I think some poems were more well done or interesting than others and this wasn’t my I really enjoyed the past collections Nikita Gill has released and, as a long-time lover of Greek mythology, I was excited to read this one upon release! I think this uses more of a story-telling style or can be viewed as an experience rather than a simple collection of poems. Nikita Gill reimagines countless Gods, Goddesses, monsters, and all sorts of well-known (and lesser-known!) beings from Greek mythology. I think some poems were more well done or interesting than others and this wasn’t my favorite poetry collection, but I still enjoyed her feminist take on these classic stories! I think I would market this as more of a collection of reimagined myths rather than poetry, although it is written with a beautiful tone and style. “Sometimes I watch Girl become Goddess and the metamorphosis is more magnificent than anything I have ever known.” *3.5 stars rounded up to 4*

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    "even the dread king and queen of the underworld make gentle attempts at compassion in a world that is slowly forgetting how to burn the flames of kindness forever." and again nikita gill manages to take an already fascinating subject and turn in into a powerful feminist anthem. mythology is always had something i've had a light interest in but she's managed to turn into poetic magic. as usual i am awestruck by how talented she is and by how magnificent the writing in this book is.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Raz

    This was so amazing! I love Greek mythology and I love poetry and I love Nikita Gill's writing so this was everything I needed in life

  21. 4 out of 5

    The Earls List

    The Greek mythology has never been so beautifully and fiercely told. I adored every page of this title and even the least favorite gods had a moment to shine. Well done.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Paulina Bordihn

    PAGANS GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS BOOK

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    This was alright, but I preferred Fierce Fairytales.

  24. 5 out of 5

    meghann

    I just can't get enough of Nikita Gill. Every book she releases is just amazing. This one was a new take on the Greek myths, and it was everything. Parts of it take place in the past, while others portray what it would be like for the gods today trying to fit in the modern world and being held accountable. The women are given a voice and power and recognition for their roles in the story. My favorite was definitely Persephone. I would read a whole book devoted to this retelling.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rosie Collinson

    In this book Nikita has skilfully tapped into the female oriented Greek Mythology rebirth that exists at this moment and crafted something a little different to perfection. Also it has a classic feel to me in style and structure, which I should think was an intended nod to the older stories, therefore acting as a great bridge between the old and new modern retellings. And I instantly wanted to read it all again even from the halfway point where I hadn’t even finished it the In this book Nikita has skilfully tapped into the female oriented Greek Mythology rebirth that exists at this moment and crafted something a little different to perfection. Also it has a classic feel to me in style and structure, which I should think was an intended nod to the older stories, therefore acting as a great bridge between the old and new modern retellings. And I instantly wanted to read it all again even from the halfway point where I hadn’t even finished it the once, I just wanted to make sure there wasn’t any sweet detail I missed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kourtney Zacharias

    Speechless. Truly speechless. A feminist take on Greek mythology, I promise you’ll find at least ten poems that will make you proud to be who you are. Gill’s most mature collection of poetry yet

  27. 4 out of 5

    Motherbooker

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this collection of poems. I've not read anything by Nikita Gill and, if I'm honest, I'm slightly suspicious of contemporary poetry. I read Rupi Kaur and Amanda Lovelace and was just left cold. It was shallow and hollow. And they are poets that are so often praised and celebrated for their life-changing works. Call me cynical but it feels like some people just get an automatic pass when they put a feminist label on something. Which is what worried me about Gill. I wasn't sure what to expect from this collection of poems. I've not read anything by Nikita Gill and, if I'm honest, I'm slightly suspicious of contemporary poetry. I read Rupi Kaur and Amanda Lovelace and was just left cold. It was shallow and hollow. And they are poets that are so often praised and celebrated for their life-changing works. Call me cynical but it feels like some people just get an automatic pass when they put a feminist label on something. Which is what worried me about Gill. Was she actually as good as everyone said she was or was it just a consequence of her changing the narrative? Note, I'm not criticising feminist poetry but I don't think it should overshadow quality. A shit poem is still a shit poem whether it's embracing women's rights or not. But I was intrigued by this collection because I love mythology. The poems in Great Goddesses are based on the stories of the Greek Gods and Goddesses. The main focus is on women and their displays of strength. So often, the women in Greek myths are overlooked and underestimated. Nikita Gill has given them a voice and is retelling their stories. I enjoyed the feminist twist of these poems and loved the way that Gill connected the stories to the modern world. There are references to #MeToo, environmental issues, and politics within here which gives a refreshing modern twist to these tales. The book promises to life lessons based on these stories and there are quite a few crossovers.  However, I have to be honest, I wasn't completely in love with the poems themselves. Of course, there were several poems that were absolutely breathtaking and beautiful. But the rest of the poems were just a bit pedestrian. As a collection of poetry, it felt quite disjointed and I struggled to engage. The first few poems were great as informative pieces about Greek mythology but they just didn't spark a lot of inspiration for me. The best poems were evocative and original. The rest just felt like things I'd read before.  And there were times when her word choices seemed really odd. I know its poetry and it isn't for me to criticise but I just kept being taken out of the moment. I stopped quite a few times because of a specific word or phrase that felt out-of-place It made it difficult to engage. What was more impressive, were the illustrations scattered throughout the collection. These black and white sketches are absolutely beautiful and provoked a much more emotive response than many of the poems did. Had this been a non-poetic retelling of the stories alongside these illustrations then I would have no issues with Great Goddesses. As it stands, it's mediocre poetry that is hiding behind its important message. I loved the idea behind the collection but I wished it hadn't been presented as poetry. Nikita Gill is clearly knowledgable and passionate about the subject and I would have loved to see what she did using a different format.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Lorentz

    “You are not made of paper. Paper is easy to use and crush, and you were not made for that. You were made flame first. And fire is born knowing its elemental nature. It knows the mystic force in shining alone.” I really loved this one! And maybe it’s just because I just went though about six books that were just meh, but this set of poetry really spoke to me. I’ve said it before, but poetry written in prose and more lyrically is the type that I find beaut “You are not made of paper. Paper is easy to use and crush, and you were not made for that. You were made flame first. And fire is born knowing its elemental nature. It knows the mystic force in shining alone.” I really loved this one! And maybe it’s just because I just went though about six books that were just meh, but this set of poetry really spoke to me. I’ve said it before, but poetry written in prose and more lyrically is the type that I find beautiful and can actually understand (without researching and looking up the meaning). This is my first Nikita Gill book, but I would definitely read more. Greek Goddesses: Life Lessons From Myths and Monsters told the stories of the women within greek mythology. She gave them a voice and dimensions that are rarely seen in the original works. Gill also brought these themes to the modern world and what is going on today. I have always been a fan of Greek mythology and have a pretty good knowledge of the subject. Definitely still more I could learn, but after my own research and multiple classes on the subject, I was familiar with the majority of the gods and goddesses mentioned within the book. Even without the knowledge I do think I would have still found it enjoyable. ”Even the dread King and Queen of the Underworld make gentle attempts at compassion in a world that slowly forgetting how to burn the flames of kindness forever.” I found it interesting how Gill related these stories to our world today. The way it is written, she walks us through the beginning of their lives, giving a more detailed retelling, and then it moves to modern day. Within the current time, the gods and goddesses are still with us, they have lost popularity as many do not worship and pray to them anymore, giving them less power and recognition. They must find there place in this new world. Some thrive and some do not. The layout of each story is unique and gives some thought on how we as humans have changed what we believe in and what we find important. “His fists clenched when he involuntarily remembered what his wife had once threatened, half warned him. ‘There will be a day when you will be powerless and will be held accountable. You are too reckless to be loved but you crave love all the same.’” Like mentioned above, Gill gave a voice to the Greek Goddesses. Yes, some have their own stories and are the heroes of their own tales, but many times, within Greek mythology, the man is the hero. The stories are about the Gods and their ability to overcome trials and danger. The poems within this book give more background on the women behind the men. She tells tales of the strength of the Goddesses and their influence over the men. I also really enjoyed the artwork that was included. This helped with the imagery and gave another artistic look at the poems that are written.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    Wow. Just wow. This is everything I would want in a book. Nikita Gil takes the Greek myths we know and love and transforms them into beautiful poems and short stories that encapsulate our past, present, and not to distant future. The anthology is split into four parts: The Titans, The Gods, The Monsters, and The Mortals. If I am going to be honest, the section that focuses on the monsters could have used more content. Although, the basic premise of it is incredible. Nikita Gil argues Wow. Just wow. This is everything I would want in a book. Nikita Gil takes the Greek myths we know and love and transforms them into beautiful poems and short stories that encapsulate our past, present, and not to distant future. The anthology is split into four parts: The Titans, The Gods, The Monsters, and The Mortals. If I am going to be honest, the section that focuses on the monsters could have used more content. Although, the basic premise of it is incredible. Nikita Gil argues that the gods and goddesses need monsters to exist so they can seem powerful and otherworldly. Without monsters, the gods are nothing. They are two sides of the same coin. The monsters are just chaotic while the gods and goddesses are calculated and controlled in how they torment humanity. It is a really beautiful section and my only complain is that I need more of it. This book takes you on a wonderful journey of the ancient mythology and you feel like you are watching a world unfold as you read the book as each entry is placed to build up a world that we already know. It feels like the holes of your knowledge of Greek mythology is being filled as you read the book - the same way it gets filled when you would read any work by Madeline Miller or Rick Riordan. My favorite poem in this book is the one that goes into detail of the friendship between Hestia and Demeter. It talks of how they grew together inside the darkness of Kronos. How they grew up in darkness but dreamt of fire, warmth and fertility. It goes on to show how Hestia comforts Demeter as Persephone leaves her and how their loved is reaffirmed amidst this maternal tragedy. It is a really beautiful poem on how love can take many shapes and does not have to be deeply rooted into desire. This was my favorite poem but there are loads of others that definitely take my heart. Another honorable mention is how she tells Ares' story of how the god of war slowly becomes a victim of his own domain and is haunted by the screams of the damned and the tortured. He finds hope in one of his loves within mythology. A love I never knew about but also one that makes so much sense. Thank you Nikita Gil for extending this beautiful world of Greek Mythology with your anthology of poems. Favorite Quote: "Every love does not have to be made of desire. Some loved are kept for the people who stand by you through everything. Some soulmates are sister snot lovers. Some loves are for those who give you hope. And some for the strength, for wisdom, for dreams." What I got out of it: A deeper understanding of the lore and figures within Greek Mythology. And also some self care.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bex

    Nikita Gill once again seamlessly blends well known stories, this time of Greek mythology, with contemporary poetry and feminism. She creates a dialogue between the reader and the various goddesses she recreates, often with a compelling argument for how they should be viewed rather than as the side characters they so often played. I loved that she challenges the reader, asking of them why the God is always remembered as the hero of the story rather than the women holding the pieces in place – an Nikita Gill once again seamlessly blends well known stories, this time of Greek mythology, with contemporary poetry and feminism. She creates a dialogue between the reader and the various goddesses she recreates, often with a compelling argument for how they should be viewed rather than as the side characters they so often played. I loved that she challenges the reader, asking of them why the God is always remembered as the hero of the story rather than the women holding the pieces in place – and it’s true isn’t it? How many people speak of Achilles and fail to even mention Briseis’ strength as Achilles ruthlessly burned her city, her people, and her family to the ground? How many speak of the sacrifice of Iphigenia – how many even know who she is – but recall Agamemnon’s name? Or Metis, Zeus’s wife and conniver of his most influential tricks? I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me before, but it certainly does now. In contrast to her other work, this book feels less like a collection of poetry and more like a retelling of Greek myth. It contains Nikita Gill’s own thoughts on the subject in the form of “Mortal Interludes”, something she hasn’t done before to my knowledge, forming a connection between the reader and herself in an entirely different way to the raw shared moments from her life in her poetry. This somehow felt more authentic and personal than reading about painful memories, more of a shared mockery or, conversely, shared pride in various historical events. It also removed the potential for repetitive or similarly themed poems to her other work, which was a positive for me. The collection progresses through the various Gods and Goddesses, divided into loose sections about each in a reasonably tangible timeline of events. Interestingly, she also considers what might happen if the Gods left Olympus and had to adjust to the mortal world – this was strange, almost nonsensical really to imagine such regal yet chaotic characters in a relatively normal setting, but certainly different. The book ends with a glossary of the characters mentioned, sharing a brief comment on their original stories so as not to misrepresent the classic; this was a nice touch because this book made me want to brush up on my Greek Gods and Goddesses more than I care to admit. A different approach from her usual work but just as addictive as its predecessors.

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