When the Gods Fall

Fallen Gods
James A. Moore
Angry Robot
mass market paperback $7.99
ebook $6.99

I would like to thank Angry Robot Books for the review copy of this novel.

I was quite irritated at the end of this book.  Note I said the end of the book, not the ending.  The ending was great.  I was irritated because I was at the end and there was no more book to read.  I wanted to keep reading.  I was irritated that I couldn’t and will have to wait for probably a year before the next book in the series comes out.

I read and reviewed the first book in this series, The Last Sacrifice.  In that book Brogan McTyre took issue with his family having been selected as sacrifices to the gods, and he did something about it.  Now the gods are demanding he and his companions be sacrificed or they will destroy the world.

Needless to say, there are a number of people trying to capture them.  Brogan and his companions are trying to stay alive.  Well, most of his companions are.  Brogan is trying to find a way to fight back, and if possible, kill the gods.

There’s a lot more going on, of course.  Moore peoples his novel with a cast of characters from a number of walks of life.  There are the slavers who are trying to capture Brogan.  There are the rulers of the Five Kingdoms, who are dealing with their world being destroyed.  There are demons who are taking advantage of the situation to move against the gods.  And there are a few other people who may turn the tide of events in unexpected directions.

The whole business with the skeleton under the mountains was great, especially the thing with no face that shows up.  And Brogan’s relationship with the witch Anna added a nice complexity to his character.  I especially liked the way Moore showed Brogan grieving yet still able to respond to the presence of an attractive woman, even when he knows there are plenty of reasons he doesn’t need to be attracted to her.

Fallen Gods is epic grimdark fantasy, full of interweaving character arcs.  Moore handles his cast of characters with finesse.  You come to care what happens to them, even the despicable evil ones.  Things aren’t getting better.  The world is being destroyed, remember.  And all of the characters are affected by that.

Brogan is a flawed protagonist, but one the reader will want to root for.  At the same time, you’ll find it hard not to cheer for those who oppose Brogan.  It’s a good writer who can pull that trick off.

The novel ends on a high note, one that changes the situation completely.  I want to know what happens next.  It’s a good writer who can pull that trick off, as well.

And it’s his ability to get those types of reactions from me that is one of the main reasons James Moore has become one of my favorite writers.  I’ve not read everything he’s written, but I’ve never been disappointed by anything of his I’ve read.

Fallen Gods hits shelves, real and electronic, on Tuesday, January 2.  If for some reason you haven’t read The Last Sacrifice, you’ve got time to do that before Fallen Gods goes on sale.

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