Every so often I go back and forth on whether I should ever be posting book reviews here. I follow a lot of Real Author blogs, and most of them don’t do book reviews– or, if they do, they mostly let the authors talk themselves. This is actually how I encountered The Prey of Gods, a book I first found in a Big Idea post over at John Scalzi’s blog.
Honestly, I’d have ordered the thing based on the cover alone. Look at that. It’s awesome.
The book’s completely goddamned out of control, though. Completely. Out. Of. Control. There are at least two more main POV characters than there need to be, probably half-a-dozen unnecessary subplots, and the story itself has so many things mashed together– a runaway dik-dik invasion (and if you’re thinking “will there be jokes about dik-diks?” right now? Yes there will.), a species-jumping gene-altered virus that turns people into gods, actual gods, AIs gaining sentience, adult circumcision, 37,000 people being murdered by the main character in a fit of rage that we’re all supposed to forget about because she’s supposed to be sympathetic, a number of other brutal murders, a character with mind-control powers who has sex (? Maybe?) with his best friend then wipes his memory of the event, which is more than a little rapey, a pop musician who also has healing powers, a politician tasked with eliminating the dik-dik invasion who is also a cross-dressing singer who wants to open for the previous singer, his mother who is some sort of tree goddess, and jesus christ it never stops.
Here’s the thing, y’all: I stopped reading this with like 20 pages left because I just couldn’t take the crazy any longer– right around the time when mind-control dude swapped his boy/friend’s brain into his, then downloaded his own brain into his pet robot, then had several pages of stressing out about available hard drive space while he was trying to find room in the robot’s hard drive for his entire brain and the robot’s personality, but only after preventing his boy/friend, who may or may not have been dead at the time, from becoming a tree.
That’s not an exaggeration.
I couldn’t do it any longer. But if you read the GoodReads reviews, there are a lot of people who really like this book, and I wouldn’t even really argue with someone who did? Nicky Drayden is an impressive writer, and I want to see more from her. But I couldn’t take this book. So… check it out, maybe? But caveat emptor, or something?