This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021. I’m a huge science fiction fan and really enjoy urban fantasy in particular, so based on the synopsis I figured this would be right up my alley. Honestly, after getting an advanced copy of No Gods, No Monsters, I have been left completely conflicted on how I feel about this story.
To start this is a series, and I could not find any indication of how many books will be in this saga. No Gods, No Monsters is essentially just setting up the rest of the series for future installments.
There are a ton of characters in this book and the narration switches between characters almost too much in my opinion. I had a significant time trying to keep track of who was who, and how they tied to others. The first half of the book for the most part is character background and I had a hard time staying interested or even understanding where the ‘fantasy’ came into the story. I’m still not sure I understand everyone’s role in the story so far. There is also a first person voice character, that we don’t even realize is there until closer to the end of the story. While I liked the character depicts individually and felt they were all fairly complex, the jumping between them and their timelines left me confused.
The world building itself I enjoyed. The way Turnbull was able to depict social injustices by depicting them with the Monsters in this world, was fantastic. Nobody can say that Turnbull isn’t an imaginative author, realistically his writing is what saved this from being a two star read, but the lack of direction and answers really hindered my ability to grasp and enjoy this story.
Ultimately, this book is a lot. There are tons of moving pieces and while the writing itself is done well this story is written for a very specific audience. The interwoven storylines, lack of a clear understanding of what is going on, and is less a blend of horror/fantasy than I thought it would be. I’m currently undecided if I will want to read the second book in the series, but I also have so many questions that I need answers to.
If you enjoy speculative fiction, or well developed characters with a hidden plot line, than this might be the right story for you. Otherwise you’ll find it hard to wait 200 to get to ‘the action’.
No Gods, No Monsters comes out September 7, 2021. Huge thank you to Blackstone Publishing for my advanced copy for my honest review. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof_books.
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