Friday, May 15, 2015

Divine Deities Dot Com

Are we all ready for a bit of a light hearted adventure involving ALL the gods, goddesses, deities and any other thing a person could worship?  You are?  Good 'cause I have just the book for you.  It is Divine Misfortune by the always fabulous and wonderful A. Lee Martinez and it is just as good as his other ones. But first as always  SPOILERS AHEAD!
We start our story in a world very similar to ours...with one exception, all of the deities from all over the world are available to become your own personal god.  People go online to one of the various matchmaking services (think for the divine) and after perusing the various deities submit an application to one that suites them the most.  If the human applicant is accepted, they then sign a contract to give a stipulated tribute (food, dances, songs, blood, you know, the norm) at regular intervals and in return the chosen deity will do their special thing and hopefully make the humans life better.  Our story centers around a husband and wife by the name of Phil and Teri, your average suburban couple who are just a wee bit down on their luck due to all of the their coworkers, neighbors, and friends using the added benefits of their gods to enhance their lives.  Though initially against it (her dad was struck down by a vengeful god) Teri finally gets on board and she and Phil find their match in Luka (called Lucky by his friends and followers) a raccoon god of luck.  All Lucky requires is a bit of food, a little shrine, and oh yeah, to crash on their couch.  This causes no end of headaches for the pair, but the little bit of added luck seems to be worth it.  Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the pair, the horrible god Gorgoz, a slimy dude who requires a whole lot of death and destruction from his followers has a grudge against Lucky and is taking it out on his new roommates.  Add to this a jealous goddess of love turned goddess of revenge, a down on his luck Quetzalcatl and a whole lot of crazy takes place.  Eventually with the help of the Divine Affairs agents (the government agency in charge of enforcing the divine contracts) and some favors called in by Lucky in a bit of a deus ex machina  (seriously that's what Lucky calls it) every thing gets sorted out in a fairly awesome manner.
This is another awesome book by this author, and I am just so excited that these books continue to be so great.  I found much to love in this book, so lets dive in shall we.  The whole concept of this book works for me.  The deities (some familiar, some a bit more foreign) mixed with the every day modern world with all its rules and regulations and niceties leaves almost unlimited room for story telling.  The mix of the ancient worship practices, the old gods/goddesses, government oversight and contractual obligations make for a lot of fun.  It is kind of like a bit of a spoof/fun take on Neil Gaiman's American Gods...kind of like the author read it and then took it in a completely different direction (all my own personal opinion of course).  The characters are fun and well rounded. Teri and Phil are your very typical suburban working pair, but they are not cliches, they each have their own personalities and in the end really love each other very much.  The various gods/goddess featured in the book are great, a bit egotistical, a bit quirky, and a bit enamored with the mortals (not that they would admit that of course).  The book has the right mix of world building, process, story line, character development, and a whole lot of humor.  This book does something I love, which is takes a concept and explores it pretty completely, instead of giving us a bit in the beginning and then only popping it back in on occasion.  This book took the concept and adeptly applied it through out the whole book.  Obviously I very much enjoyed this book.  It was easy to read, had an engaging story, and made me want to continue reading so yeah YAY!  I give this book 8 out of 10 navigation charms and recommend it to anybody who wants a good read, some laughs and likes a bit of the divine with their morning coffee.
What deity would you choose as your patron?  What is an acceptable tribute?  Do you think their is a deity of reading and books?

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