Flawed Gods by Angela B. Mortimer (Amazon, Goodreads)
It’s a new year and that should, of course, bring new experiences to the dining room. So that is where Flawed Gods comes in. You see, Gods is something a bit unlike any other book I’ve read in the past. Yes, it could fit into the sci-fi recipe folder and there’s certainly romance and, arguably, erotica overtones. But there’s quite a bit more to this recipe than that. Flawed Gods is more than a title, it describes the essence of the flavors infused in this meal. While this promises to make it a unique dining experience, does it make it a GOOD one?
Before we find out, let us take up the book of the Starving Reviewer and recite the rules of the review:
- I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
- I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible
What Gods captures is something that is difficult for many authors to grab a hold of. That is the innate alienness of, er, being an alien. Not just an alien, but an evolutionary order above mere humanity. And yet, the chef manages to reign in the desire to add too much of this spice, to make the characters so alien, so inhuman, to be unrelatable to us. To be truthful, I am most reminded of the Greek and the Norse gods, so powerful yet so flawed. Yes, I do see what I did there, thank you.
It’s hard to delve too deeply into this particular meal without heading deep into Spoilers ™, but what I can say is that on most levels, it tells its unique tale with skill. The plot, though strange, is well-paced and continuously moves forward. The characters are strange, yes, but our main characters are all well-thought out and developed. One point I particularly found interesting thematically is the idea of conflict resolved through love instead of through violence. It’s not a theme that’s often explored in any serious fashion, but it is center stage in Gods.
There are only two (minor) quibbles I had, once I had wrapped my head around the otherwordly perspective this meal brings to the palate. One, I wish there had been more dialogue (mental or vocal). There were times when some communications were brushed over and I simply felt some of those would have been better done in full dialogue format, just to add a bit more spice to the situation.
Secondly, the excellent pacing was thrown off at the very end, just after the climax and just as the book finishes. The events of the last page or two seemed sudden and rushed, though not wrong. It’s a minor quibble, especially after such an exotic meal, but it does deserve to be noted. Fortunately, this is just the start of a series of books, so that climax can be smoothed out in the next volume. It doesn’t detract from the core story arc of the meal itself.
So, in summation, Flawed Gods is an exotic dish of sci-fi drama and romance, with a hint of the erotic, strange but enticing. For a reader looking for something a bit different or a fan of either science-fiction or mythology, this is a must read. For others, I’d still suggest picking this one up, only holding off if any kind of erotic content puts you off.
FINAL VERDICT: ***** (An exotic dish of sci-fi drama and romance, with a hint of the erotic, strange but enticing!)