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review 2015-10-04 00:14
The Age of Godpunk
Age of Godpunk: Collecting Age of Anansi, Age of Satan and Age of Gaia - James Lovegrove

Synopsis: Three novellas stories of how minor gods interact with humanity.

 

Age of Anansi: The African trickster god, Anansi, recruits a vessel to ride along on for a convention of trickster gods, all of whom are competing for trickster bragging rights.

 

Age of Satan: While attending a boarding school, Guy Lucas is bullied and abused. A fellow classmate persuades him to perform a Black Mass, after which he is hounded for years by the powers of darkness.

 

Age of Gaia: Barnaby Pollard is a super rich energy mogul...and then he meets the woman of his dreams. And nightmares.

 

I was seriously not impressed with most of this. Age of Anansi felt exactly like Lovegrove read American Gods (Neil Gaiman) and thought "I think I can do this better." No. No you didn't. The ending was a serious disappointment as well. It wasn't tricky or smart, it was just sad.

 

Age of Satan: It starts out promising, there's a point about a third of the way in that is just hella dark, but it never builds on it. In fact it completely drops off after that. By the end of the book it reads like an ad for atheistic Satanism, which I'm just not down with. I'm a softcore atheist and I've never seen the need to mix satanic bs or philosophy in with it. So bad ending, as well.

 

Age of Gaia: This was the only one of the three that I came close to liking. It wasn't particularly engaging, the protagonist is kind of arrogant, abit of an asshole, but the book also tries to paint a victim perspective on him, which I found novel. I liked the ending which turned the tables around in an interesting way.

 

I wasn't terribly impressed with The Age of Zeus, the first book of Lovegrove's that I read, I probably shouldn't have tried Age of Godpunk. I do like the premise though, I guess thats what keeps drawing me back, even if the execution is crap.

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review 2015-04-12 01:34
The Age of Zeus
The Age of Zeus - James Lovegrove

Synopsis: Greek gods (Zeus, Apollo, Hades, etc.) return to the world and take it over, claiming to be restorers of peace and order. Nations are cutting defense spending, while increasing education and science funding. Crime is at an all time low and nations no longer war with each other. But the gods are tyrannical, genocidal despots, slaughtering all opposition, peaceful or not, to their rule. A small group, aided by highpowered battlesuits and advanced weaponry, challenges these gods and their mythological monsters.

 

Age of Zeus is a pretty straight forward story. There aren't to many twists and turns and the one's that are there aren't terribly surprising. And the moralizing that occurs in a couple parts of it is just plain irritating.

 

Our protagonist is Sam Akehurst, who as a character is well developed, but she's probably the only character that gets that treatment. The rest of the cast is mostly just glossed over. Little details are given to several of them, but most of them just felt underdeveloped.

 

The other thing I'd complain about are the little details. Lovegrove probably could have spent a little more time consulting with a military specialist about some this stuff. Sam leads the group, but she never really feels like a leader for example. The character Landesman is the bankroll, the money, for the groups operations and throughout the book he gives most of the orders. There are other details that are irksome too. Like don't sleep with your teammates.

 

I would have also liked to see a little more focus on the tech. Thee battlesuits were cool, but they too felt a little glossed over.

 

To sum it up this could have been a really epic book with a great premise, but it left me feeling a little underdone.

 

General and epic rating both: ***

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