There are time when all the pieces come together. Sometimes that is because the pieces are made to be together; a dark lord chasing the orphaned farm boy and the like. But to make all the pieces come together when said pieces are a virtual grab bag of randomness takes a bit more skill. Robot uprising, pissed off demi-god, young girl with the power to naturally nuke a town, hallucinations that are real and not real and real again. All tied together in a neat little…oh who I am kidding, it was a glorious mess. But a glorious mess that all works out if one is really paying attention.
The Prey of Gods starts with a young man worrying about the state of of his private parts and mentally cussing out the man who decided circumcision should come by ritual in the teens rather than infancy. We can go ahead and call his story the sanest plot line of the book followed by a politician with a secret wannabe pop star identity. From there all the crazy elements are introduced one by one, then moved around in a wonderful whirlwind until everything important comes together in flash bang of a conclusion. Yes I just mixed metaphors like a boss, but that is only because I wanted to get in on this crazy game.
Make no mistake one would have to enjoy a health dose of weird to enjoy this book. I wish I could recommend this book with no reservations but there are still a good number of people who don’t enjoy Bas Lag so obviously some will be put off by people discovering their inner sexual crab. Assuming that is you then you have permission to skip reading this review but please know you are missing out.
Are all the boring people gone?
Beyond the weird The Prey of Gods is a book that has a whole lot to say but makes the reader work to decide what exactly that is. In a near future where things generally seem to be getting better there is a bit of optimism. Yet a pissed off ancient demi-goddess threatens to tear it all down; a decidedly fatalistic look at was an optimistic future. Another character goes from young innocent to monster before possibly making the turn back. Hell the entire pop star’s story-line had enough going for it to be its own contemporary novel (minus the mystic drug dealer, perhaps).
I suppose the real question is how many times in a year I can call different books ‘debut of the year’ and get away with it (by my count this might be the third). The Prey of Gods has the depth, excitement and action, and just enough humor to make up for its apocalyptic body count. Each character’s point of view feels unique and not one character of the diverse cast feels unneeded. It may requiring altering ones mind to accommodate the insane set up but the payoff is worth it in the end.
Another highly anticipated debut that didn’t disappoint.
Copy for review provided by publisher.