This review was written for and first published by Bookmunch.
When I offered to review The Gods of Love I expected from the synopsis that it wouldn’t be the sort of book I normally read. What tempted me was the promise of the gods from Greek mythology coming to life in a contemporary setting. I was curious to see if the author could pull this off without turning them into superheroes as is done in the Marvel universe. Although the story is somewhat frothy in places, she succeeds in presenting the gods as intriguing, beguiling and suitably dispassionate given the havoc they willingly wreak on their own and the so easily manipulated mortal’s realms over millennia.
The story is told from the point of view of a young and feisty divorce lawyer, Frida McKenzie, who is smugly satisfied with her achievements and eager to further her career. Early in the story she is visited in her office by a stranger, a young man named Dan, who tells her he is an Oracle and that he has seen her in visions. Naturally Frida calls security and has him removed. Ignoring Dan’s advice she keeps an appointment with an all powerful tech company, Neostar, and thus starts her unasked-for adventure. Frida is indeed the chosen one and is required to save the world.
A big, bad tech company that can use its control over harvested data to manipulate user’s lives is an excellent cover for a vindictive god. I was less impressed by the sidekicks he used to do his dirty work. Presented as aliens it was never explained where they came from or why they were needed given there are always plenty of callous and greedy mortals readily available for such tasks.
Thus far the story is all very Matrix. Frida must call upon strengths and skills she did not know she could muster. She receives assistance from unlikely places. She must accept that mythical beings exist, that there are few she can trust, and that most are out to fulfil their own agendas by harnessing her prophesied fate.
In essence then, Frida must recover and destroy a lost arrow before the boss of Neostar can acquire it for his own nefarious ends. In order to achieve this she and Dan work together to find out where the arrow is. Frida must then face trials to retrieve the lost talisman that put her in deadly peril. Her challenging journey brought to mind the adventures Harry Potter and his chums went through, the tales of the Greek gods having inspired many such tales.
The writing style is somewhat tongue in cheek which may be why the perils didn’t come across as quite perilous enough, nor the love interest sufficiently convincing to justify its cost. Each short chapter ended with a cliff-hanger which became a tad tedious but did keep me reading. Frida’s humanity is shown to be a weakness which paves the way for a planned sequel. The plot is one of a supernatural action adventure, perhaps never intended to be taken too seriously
Any Cop?: The aspects that drew me to read the book delivered. The harnessing of the Greek myths worked well in the setting and Frida was a convincing protagonist. The story is a mostly entertaining romp with the gods providing such depth as exists. It provided a light but sufficiently engaging read.