Mini-Reviews

I realized the other day that I have been reading a lot, but not writing many reviews of the books. So I am going to try harder to write more reviews. Call it an early New Year’s Resolution. One way to do this is of course writing short reviews. I often do this with popular books, because there are already a gazillion reviews out there and I need to put in my two cents.

Anyways, here are two short reviews of books I read in November.

Devolution: A First Hand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks

Publication Date: July 2020

“They all want to live “in harmony with nature” before some of them realize, too late, that nature is anything but harmonious”

It is almost a guarantee that I will read a book if it is set in the Pacific Northwest, and or Seattle. Even when it is slightly out of my comfort zone. Horror is not one of my go to genres, but I can certainly get behind one when it is this well written, and to be honest not that horrifying. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some scenes that are not for any one who is squeamish about mangled, mutilated bodies and other equally nasty things. But this is such a well written book and has such an interesting cast of characters and a plot that just strings you along, you can look past the nastier bits.

I just loved the whole premise of a group of people living out in the wilderness in a self sustaining way, except for food (which was delivered every week) and some other things that they really should have thought about. And then nature takes its course and they are cut off and have to survive until help arrives. And they probably could have, but then you never expect Sasquatch to show up. Kate, the person whose journal we are reading, is a great character. She is one of those people that doesn’t think of themselves as a leader or a hero until the need arises. She was great and the perfect person to tell the story. I also liked the articles and the interviews sprinkled throughout the text. They really added to the story.

Bottom Line: If you are not to squeamish this is one that should be on your radar.

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Published: December 2007

“Apollo wanted out. Out of Aphrodite, out of this bathroom, out of this house, and out of this life.”

This was such a good read! It was really funny in parts and I can just imagine the gods behaving like this. I must warn you that there is a lot of swearing and a lot of somewhat graphic sex, so if that is not your cup of tea, then pass this one by. But if you do decide to pick this one up you are in for one hell of a ride.

The greek gods are in bad shape and are living all together in one house, or at least most of the major ones. They are all as I would imagine them to be after living for thousands of years, and watching as their powers diminish because no one worships them anymore. Although all of the gods are there, Apollo, Aphrodite and Athena are the main ones that the plot is centered around. Athena is the only one who seems to get it, and works so hard to keep the others in line and the house from falling apart. I loved her!

The two humans, Alice and Neil, are a delight. They are awkward and so out of their depth when the gods intervene in their lives. There is a bit of a retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, which was wonderful. Neil is such a reluctant hero, but he really manages to pull it off in the end. Alice, was a hoot, especially when she is fighting off Apollo’s advances. I also really appreciated how well she coped with finding herself in Hades. This modern version of Hades was great as well.

Bottom Line: If you like urban fantasies that involve the Greek gods this might be one you want to check out.

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