Let me start this post by saying I bought Marie’s other novel A Table of Less Valued Knights before I even finished this one.
The concept of this novel is highly amusing, although a little predictable at times. So if you’re looking for a good laugh that requires no brain power, give it a go! It was entertaining for entertainments sake, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It made for a couple of amusing bus rides home from work.
I will say that it was a quick read, although that might not mean much depending on the reader.
The characters were crazy for all the right reasons. Marie Phillips really knows how to make two opposing ideas work well together. In this case, it’s the idea of ancient mythological Greek gods living in a flat in modern day England. Keeping their powers and titles in mind, Marie Phillips creates hilarious professions, scenarios, and relations that work for the gods. Artemis is a dog walker, Apollo is a TV psychic, Aphrodite is a telephone sex operator, Ares has found Jesus… the list goes on, for their flat seems to be crawling with more than just cockroches. With a dozen gods living in one flat, it’s no wonder they hire a cleaning lady (poor Alice… she doesn’t know what she’s in for).
The two human characters, Alice and Neil, have amusing moments as well. Half the time I imagined them speaking like they were on a soap opera. I think it was something to do with the way they spoke, or just the sheer insanity of what was happening to them, but it all just warranted the dramatics of The Young and the Restless. It made me laugh, so why stop?
My only complaint was that the action leading to the climax was far too quick, and the finale was a little predictable. It felt like Marie just wanted things to end, like she thought the book was already too long (which it wasn’t)… a lot like another book I’ve read (*cough* Mockingjay *cough*). The journey to hell and the obstacles they faced while down there could have been elaborated on, if only to push the humour a little further. And the ending may not be predictable to others (I seem to have a talent for guessing the end to books, movies and shows), but the hints Marie dropped throughout the book certainly didn’t help if the goal was to make Artemis’ big plan a surprise. Neil even pointed out how obvious the whole thing was after Artemis had her revelation, asking the gods why they never thought of it before. Nevertheless, it was still enjoyable and I didn’t hesitate to laugh out loud (Truely. Not like when you write lol to a friend but you’re not actually laughing… you’re barely smiling. I actually laughed out loud. Ask the freaked out people on my bus.)
You don’t have to be well versed in Greek mythology to enjoy this little page turner. All relevant history of the gods is brief and easily explained. The ridiculous story is what matters most!
I don’t want to give much more away, so if you wish to discuss it further please post in the comments! We’ll leave spoilers there to spare those who still need to finish reading, and then they can join in!