Monday, October 13, 2014

The Younger Gods (Younger Gods #1) by Michael R. Underwood

Release Date: October 13, 2014
Publisher: Pocket Star
Series: The Younger Gods series, Book 1

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Jacob Greene was born and raised within the confines of a loving, religious family in Minnesota. Homeschooled in both formal and religious education, he did as his family needed him to do. His main job was to collect supplies for the family from a nearby store. All was well in his world until the night he brought home a friend to meet his family. The awful truth that had been his entire life lay before him.

Disgusted by his family and fleeing far from its reach, he settled into life as a college student in New York. He worked to forget and free himself from the terrors of his cultist family only to discover that not all his ties had been severed with his departure. Someone followed him to the Big Apple with intentions of fulfilling a long-held prophecy to bring about the end of the world. Only Jacob knew how strong this person was and sought out allies to help. Will they be able to stop the prophecy from unfolding? Can Jacob come to terms with his past in order to save the future?

I first found this title while browsing through the offerings at NetGalley. After having requested it for review, I received an invitation from the publisher to read and review this title. It's a wondrous thing when great minds think alike. The whole premise of the story grabbed my attention. Many books were written on the basis of the world ending due to some group wanting to have dominion. However, I can't think of very many which feature the outcast of a cult trying to prevent the end of the world for the good of humanity.

The story was told from Jacob's perspective, using his peculiar way of thinking and talking that was beaten into him as a child. Younger than nearly everyone at his college, he had trouble finding common ground with anyone who crossed his path. This included his roommate who was Jacob's polar opposite in nearly every respect. Since the story was set in New York, a variety of races, religions and dialects came into play during the journey that took the characters through each of the city's five boroughs. It can be difficult to keep the different personalities of the characters from blending as the story progresses, but I felt the author did a great job keeping each one of them distinct from the other. I also enjoyed the various reactions to Jacob as he revealed his lack of knowledge in the area of popular culture. In this day and age, not knowing about television or celebrities is nearly a sin unto itself.

For me the beginning of the book was a little slow. It took some time for me to be accustomed to Jacob's way of speaking and thinking. Once I was used to him and the events of the story began to push the action to the forefront, the pace quickened and remained steady until the next discovery or battle took place. A lot of legend, myth and lore that the cult and other practitioners of magic within the city believe were woven through the story. Included were bits of information about the gems, tools and books used in the preparations and battles between the forces of good and evil. I liked the way the author wove that information into the story so as to not overwhelm the reader with everything at once. Some of it was a little unbelievable with today's way of thinking, but worked exceptionally well within the confines of the book.

Having a really good start to the series, I can see much more happening in the books to come that will not only expand the roles of the key characters, but those of the civilians as well. There's definitely more to this prophecy than we readers know. I enjoyed this book, even coming to enjoy the awkwardness that Jacob's personality creates in social environments. His sister, well, she can get what's coming her way as far as I'm concerned. I'm curious to know more about these hidden guardians that protect us from the unseen. If you enjoy the supernatural realm with a hint of possibility or are a regular lover of books just to the left of center, then this book (and series) will be perfect for you.

The Younger Gods (Younger Gods #1) by Michael R. Underwood is currently available at many online and soon to be at your local retailers. It can be purchased in digital formats including Kindle. The click provided below will bring up the book's Amazon page.
The Younger Gods (Younger Gods #1) by Michael R. Underwood

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