Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

I won this book from a contest on Jenn's Bookshelf late last year. The basic outline of this book is that the major Olympian deities are living together in a ramshackle house in present-day London. Their powers are waning, they're sick to death of each other, and some of them just don't know the meaning of the word restraint. Through a series of petty revenge-inspired incidents, two mortals Neil and Alice become entangled in the squabbles of the gods and are inadvertently responsible for the fate of the world (not to mention the continued existence of the gods). There isn't much else I can say about the story itself without creating major spoilers.

The tone of this book was very light and comedic. I found the story itself compelling and didn't want to put it down unless I had to. In some instances, though, the reader's disbelief must be suspended a great deal. I found it hard to believe that none of the mortals caught on to the coincidence of a houseful of strange people all named for Greek gods. A scene near the middling-end really bothered me. If you are familiar with the Harry Potter books, you'll probably read it and groan as well (though my husband thinks it may be more commonly used than I think).

In the end, I'm very glad I read this book. It was a fun diversion from the norm and I would recommend it in a heartbeat. People who read and enjoyed American Gods or Good Omens would probably also like this book.

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