Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recent Reads Reviewed: Gods of Manhattan

Rory Hennessey has started seeing things, and it has him worried.  He's always been able to see the secret behind any magicians' trick, but meeting the magician Hex, he's suddenly seeing even more.  There's a cockroach riding a rat, an Indian (Native American) on the corner, and the gargoyles on the building next door are moving.  When he finds out all these things are part of the spirit world Mannahatta, home of the spirits of famous people who lived and died in Manhattan and came becomes Gods because they were remembered.  What is more, these Gods believe that Rory, being the only living person who can see their world, is also destined to save Mannahatta, and along with it Manhattan.  The problem is, Rory's world revolves around his mother and his sister, and they are all that he cares about.

Rory Hennessey: Rory's is basically a good kid.  He doesn't get into fights and he takes care of his younger sister while their mother works.  All he wants to do is make sure that his family is safe.  In reality, this dedication to his family makes Rory a rather sad character, at first.  He has no friends and doesn't think he needs them.  When he is told the path he's chosen isn't necessarily the right one, he's not sure he cares as long as it saves his family.  The rest of the world doesn't matter.  Of course, Rory is a hero though, so you see him grow and look beyond himself and his family to see that maybe there's a way to do both.
Bridget Hennessey:  Rory's younger sister doesn't want to be seen as a normal little girl.  She doesn't play with dolls, and the only barbie she owns is called "Malibu Death Barbie."  She's a kid who wants to take action and kick butt, and definitely doesn't want Rory to go on an adventure without her.  She doesn't want to just tag along though, she wants to help; to fight and maybe even safe the day. 

I think I bought this book because I had finished Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and wanted to enter another world of magic and the like, that took place in a variation of our world.  Honestly, when I thought about it being about famous people who became gods after death, I kind of expected it to be a bit of fluff; a lot of comedy about who they had been in life.  That's not what I got.  In fact, this book was far deeper and darker than I expected.  It was so much better than I expected.  They didn't spend a lot of time with a bunch of gods based on people that we knew a lot about (they show up and its interesting to see them rather than amusing), instead focusing on lesser spirits who'd never been human, Rory and Bridget, and other individuals who made up the inhabitants of Mannahatta.  This is a wise choice since it prevents huge restrictions on the plot (no saying there's no way that guy/girl would do that). 

I would have immediatly moved on to book two of this series if I hadn't just received my copy of The Dark and Hollow Places in the mail, and that took precedent.  I will be finishing this series soon though.  I can't wait to see what happens next. Its well worth the read.

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