Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Thorin's Review - Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez
Title: Divine Misfortune
Author: A. Lee Martinez
Release Date: April 2011
What it's About:
In a world where deities are numerous and bestow gifts on their attentive followers (and curses on their less attentive ones) it's tough to get by without a little divine help. But the main characters, Teri and Phil, have been trying. The risks of pissing off your patron, not to mention costs of sacrifices and other observations, is totally unappealing to them. They don't want a personal god. But after the keep seeing neighbors and rivals make out better with a little divine help, they give in and get their own god. Nothing too serious, just an easy going, raccoon-headed god of luck name Lucky.
Then he shows up himself on their doorstep like a character Norm MacDonald should be playing, and moves in. He brings in another divine freeloader too, and hilarity ensues. Or, at least it should...
Really, this is just a soap opera where some of the characters, instead of being pretty white people, are pretty dieties. Any good fantasy book uses the supernatural as metaphores to explore the human condition. This book doesn't use it's gods as metaphores for humans, it just treats them as humans. They have some powers, but those are entirely tangential to the story. The gods are just people too. In fact, you could have substituted the gods with rich benfactors, and it wouldn't change the story at all. It's a cheap gimmick used by a hack to rip out a piece of schlock..
This book wasn't unenjoyable, it's good for an easy beach read I guess, but it totally wastes its central premiss and genre. I wish a better, more creative writer would take this concept and do it justice.
A. Lee Martinez Official Site