Release Date: October 13, 2014
Publisher: Pocket Star
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy
The first in a new series from the author of Geekomancy (pop culture urban fantasy) and Shield and Crocus (New Weird superhero fantasy).
Jacob Greene was a sweet boy raised by a loving, tight-knit family…of cultists. He always obeyed, and was so trusted by them that he was the one they sent out on their monthly supply run (food, medicine, pig fetuses, etc.).
Finding himself betrayed by them, he flees the family’s sequestered compound and enters the true unknown: college in New York City. It’s a very foreign place, the normal world and St. Mark’s University. But Jacob’s looking for a purpose in life, a way to understand people, and a future that breaks from his less-than-perfect past. However, when his estranged sister arrives in town to kick off the apocalypse, Jacob realizes that if he doesn’t gather allies and stop the family’s prophecy of destruction from coming true, nobody else will.
Hey y'all! There's a new superhero in town and his name is Jacob Greene, he wields dark magic but uses it for good. His family is one of the most powerful and loyal servants of darkness, bent on ending the Age of Man to usher a new age where The Younger Gods will rule with the Greenes of North Dakota some sort of regents. But something happened and Jacob no longer wants to be part of his family's legacy after his family killed his bestfriend on prom night. He then ran away to New York, assumed a new name, went to college and pretended to be normal until his sister came to visit, leaving devastation and dead bodies in her wake, all because she wanted to wake the Younger Gods. Now it's up to Jacob to stop her but is he strong enough to do so?
Michael R. Underwood always writes these quirky fantasies with dorky endearing characters for heroes. THE YOUNGER GODS is another example of it with a few enhancements to make it a kick-ass urban fantasy. The myth isn't your typical angels and demons trope, Mr. Underwood tweaked things, gave it his own stamp, creating a whole new breed of Underworld magic and monsters. The action was very fast paced like a video game and the events spanning a matter of days, death toll to the ceiling, destruction in the billions, Jacob & Co. barely have a breath to spare. The imagery was vivid, the cosmology brilliant, and the conflict-resolution was shocking in a way where it didn't go the way I thought it would.
As for Jacob Greene, he reminded me a lot of David Stutler in The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Lanky, socially awkward, nerdy, he's the last person you'd expect to save the world yet it's this normalcy that made him such a delightful hero to follow. The secondary cast was very diverse and also gave off the same vibe as Jacob meaning they're not exactly the Alpha-Beta crew you usually see in UF novels. As a group they're pretty competent in stopping Jacob's sister, Esther, however they took a lot of hits on their team because Esther is a big, bad, powerful BITCH! I mean the girl can make Satan fall in love with her and propose! On a personal note, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Underwood. In case you're reading this, THANK YOU for making Tessane a beautiful and interesting possible love interest for Jacob and for getting the manananggal monster myth accurate. I'm Filipino and I'm happy that you made my kind of minority a good thing.
THE YOUNGER GODS is another winning novel by Michael R. Underwood, it's a synthesis of fantasy, demonology, and RPG-like missions matched with a very unique cosmology, very entertaining, very engaging. I also liked the sort of open-ended conclusion, very speculative and encourages the readers to know more about the Younger Gods and Jacob Greene & his family's role in the big picture. Lastly, you probably noticed that I used the word "very" a lot and that's because THE YOUNGER GODS is very good. I highly recommend it to fan boys and girls, fantasy readers, and gamers.
Michael R. Underwood is the author of Geekomancy, Celebromancy, Attack the Geek, Shield and Crocus, and The Younger Gods. By day, he’s the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books. Mike grew up devouring stories in all forms, from comics to video games, tabletop RPGs, movies, and books. He has a BA in Creative Mythology and East Asian Studies, and an MA in Folklore Studies. Mike has been a bookseller, a barista, a game store cashwrap monkey, and an independent publishers’ representative. Mike lives in Baltimore with his fiancée, an ever-growing library, and a super-team of dinosaur figurines and stuffed animals. He is also a co-host on the Hugo-nominated Skiffy and Fanty Show. In his rapidly vanishing free time, Mike studies historical martial arts and makes homemade pizza.
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