Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Divine Misfortune: A. Lee Martinez



Divine Misfortune is a story of gods and mortals---in worship, in love, and at parties.

Teri and Phil had never needed their own personal god. But when Phil is passed up for a promotion - again-it's time to take matters into their own hands. And look online.

Choosing a god isn't as simple as you would think. There are too many choices; and they often have very hefty prices for their eternal devotion: blood, money, sacrifices, and vows of chastity. But then they found Luka, raccoon god of prosperity. All he wants is a small cut of their good fortune.

Oh -- and can he crash on their couch for a few days?

Throw in a heartbroken love goddess and an ancient deity bent on revenge and not even the gods can save Teri and Phil.


With the introduction of the internet everything from shopping to dating has been redirected to the internet. A. Lee Martinez has taken this a step further and offered divinity selection via a matching service. This is the world according to Divine Misfortune, where gods and mortal live among each other (well mostly, the gods still have the best real estate), and anyone can offer up their allegiance to a god in exchange for heavenly favors.

This is exactly what protagonists Phil and Teri think they’re getting themselves into when they sign up to worship a god. They want something easy, nothing that will completely alter their lives, just something to make things a little easier.

Enter Lucky.

Lucky is a minor god of luck. He wont smite you, he doesn’t put on airs, and he’s offering just what Phil and Teri are asking for. What they don’t know is that with Lucky comes, house parties filled with gods, a roommate (he’s fine with just crashing in the guest room), and a holy war. Now with bad luck raining down, Phil and Teri are just trying to survive, but when the gods have it in for you, things aren’t looking up.

I loved Divine Misfortune, it was hilarious! Between gods watching daytime soaps to Hades playing videogames, this book is rip-roaringly funny. Martinez has a humorous bite to his writing style that would make even the most bitter, humorless, flop of a person laugh.

From stalker gods to divinophiles (obsessive god lovers), Divine Misfortune has it all. The reader is easily able to relate to the characters yet the situations are zany enough that the reader will laugh their ass off.

But what I loved most about this book were the lovable characters. Martinez created all the characters with just the right about of personality and spunk. From Quezacotl (Quick), who is a sad but helpful god crashing of Phil and Teri’s couch. To Teri, the strong and loving wife who wont have any of that chauvinistic chivalry crap her husband keeps offering himself when they get into trouble. To Syph, the bitter and obsessive ex-girlfriend of Lucky, who will resort to anything from stalking to revenge to get what she considers hers, Lucky. These characters are put into situations that offer hint of realistic grievances with absurd solutions, creating uproarious and entertaining story lines.

All-in-all Divine Misfortune was a side-splittingly funny book. It is a perfect read for any fan of Christopher Moore or Terry Pratchett, and I personally am planning to go out and get Martinez’s other books, starting with Monster.


9 out of 10

Publisher: Orbit

Published: March 26, 2010

Price: $19.99

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