Release Date: 11/25
Genre: Urban Fantasy
It was bad enough that gods gambled with human souls, but Catherine Sharp’s soul just had to be won by the Greek goddess of Discord, Eris. As if working a dead-end tech support job didn’t suck the life out of her as it was. Now, Cat finds herself performing random tasks for the goddess in her free time.
But when Coyote, the Native American trickster himself, claims to have won her own soul in Mayhem’s weekly poker game, Cat wants in on the action. With five sneaky gods upping the ante, Cat needs to find a way to collect the winning chips that could save her soul.
Marius, a handsome yet irritating satyr with his own debt to Eris, might finally come in handy for something. If they play their cards right and work together, Cat and Marius may just get their freedom back. If they don’t kill each other or fall in love first.
Wow–I absolutely loved this book! Originally I wanted to read it because of the mythology angle–as a junior high social studies and English teacher, I get to teach all kinds of mythology, and I love to read modern takes on the ancient legends. What originally sold me, though, was the fact that Eris, the goddess of discord was in it–how many novels can make that claim? There just isn’t enough fiction out there with any kind of role in it for the deity who started the Trojan War, in my opinion. 😉 After a somewhat slow start, I soon found myself absolutely hooked, and then the ending had me anxious for more…
The blurb is a little misleading, because this novel is a lot more straight up urban fantasy than urban fantasy romance as it sounds from the description. There are definite romantic aspects to it, but much of the potential Cat/Marius romance remains just that–potential. I’ve got great hopes for later in the series, but this one is really more about Cat’s journey–which just so happens to be with Marius–than their relationship together.
Vegas is the perfect backdrop for a story involving immortals, and I thought it was interesting that apparently in this universe (unlike, for example, in Rick Riordan’s) the supernatural and immortal world isn’t completely shielded from the mortal one. When Cat and Marius are being chased down the Strip by a monstrous giant bird, the “regular” people can see it–and wisely, they flee. At one point, Pele, the volcano goddess, bursts out of the Mirage’s waterfall–seriously, this couldn’t happen anywhere but Vegas.
I loved the blend of mythologies here–the poker game that is being played for Cat’s soul includes the gods Eris (Greek), Maui (Hawaiian), Coyote (Native American), Puck (fae), and Loki (Norse). Originally Africa’s Anasazi was a part as well, but he left the table before the story began. Jamie Wyman does a great job of bringing all the different traditions together throughout, making it a really fun read.
Once the story gets going, it’s pretty much non-stop–I totally felt for Cat in this passage, because that’s how the reader feels too:
My head spun trying to sort it all out. The levels of intrigue, the games stacked one on top of the other. I couldn’t fathom the amount of backstabbing and paranoia Eris and her kith lived with. This is why I never played RISK as a kid.
I hear you, Cat.
At times I was a bit lost–I’m not really sure why the players were so casual about handing their chips over to Cat, for one thing, and Cat’s backstory drama left me a bit ‘meh’–but in the greater scheme of things most of the plot threads were skillfully pulled together at the end, making for a satisfying read overall.
Loved. Loki. Even if he looks nothing like Tom Hiddleston’s version, he’s just awesome in this book.
The ending brings Cat a new–and hopefully exciting–beginning. I cannot wait to see where the author is going with this series!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
After a misspent adulthood pursuing a Music Education degree, JAMIE WYMAN fostered several interests before discovering that being an author means never having to get out of pajamas. (However, she can eat/spin fire, tell you a lot about auditioning to be a Blue Man, and read/write in Circular Gallifreyan.) As an author, Jamie’s favorite playgrounds are urban fantasy, horror and creepy carnival settings. When she’s not traipsing about with her imaginary friends, she lives in Phoenix with two hobbits and two cats. She is proud to say she has a deeply disturbed following at her blog.
Jamie’s debut novel, WILD CARD, will be coming to an e-reader near you November 2013 thanks to Entangled Publishing. You can also find her short story “The Clever One” in the anthology WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME 2 (Dragon Moon Press, August ’13).
Giveaway Info: ThinkGeek Gift Card
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