Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Unclean Spirits by Chuck Wendig

Cason Cole was a successful MMA fighter, but grew soft and complacent as a bodyguard for E. Rose, a magnetic, hedonistic man. One fateful day, a bomb kills his boss, releasing him from E. Rose's influence and making him aware of his past for the first time in years. Cason is then drawn into a world of mythology, gods, and magic and those who oppose all of it. He has to decide how hard he will fight to get his family back.

Unclean Spirits is story that satisfies my mythology obsession, takes me on an insane adventure, and adds a healthy dash of horror. In this world, all mythological gods are real, ranging from the well known gods of Greece and Egypt to the more obscure ones of Sumeria to even local legends and fables. I was particularly happy to see Erishkagal. They have been kicked out of their realm and forced to live in the human one, most attempting to avoid general human attention. Because of their disparate natures, the gods aren't a monolithic whole, but all very opinionated and arrogant about their past accomplishments and state. E. Rose turns out to be Eros and of course Cason is blamed for his death with Aphrodite, Eros' mother, wanting vengeance. These supernatural creatures are just as they are portrayed in myth: petty, jealous, coompletely consumed with their own drama, practically immortal, and extremely powerful.

Poor Cason just wants his family back. He has been kept for them for years in what he finds out is a manufactured plot to do so. When he tries to return to his family, his wife and young son try to kill him with knives. He's lost in the real world since he's been lost in a fog, let alone in this newfound world of gods and monsters. Cason is the grounding force of the book because he's as bewildered as we are. His goal isn't to kill all the gods or anything crazy; he simply wants his family back. He meets the bomber that killed E. Rose and helps him kill other gods because he has no idea how else to fight back. Through this allyship, he sees how gods have survived all these years, either in a commune out in the country or inflitrated within the abandoned nooks and crannies of human societies.

Unclean Spirits is an amazing ride with twists and turns I didn't see coming. The ending did seem a bit abrupt pacing wise, but everything that needed to be resolved was. I would love to see this world as a series even though Cason's story is over because there are endless possibilities to stories in these gods experiences and the people they affect.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

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