Food of the Gods (Gods and Monsters: Rupert Wong #1-2)
By Cassandra Khaw | Published by Abaddon, 2017 | 240 pages | ISBN: 9781781085196
Paying off a debt to the gods is never easy.
It’s not unusual to work two jobs in this day and age, but sorcerer and former triad soldier Rupert Wong’s life is more complicated than most. By day, he makes human hors d’oeuvres for a dynasty of ghouls; by night, he pushes pencils for the Ten Chinese Hells. Of course, it never seems to be enough to buy him a new car—or his restless, flesh-eating-ghost girlfriend passage from the reincarnation cycle—until opportunity comes smashing through his window.
In Kuala Lumpur, where deities from a handful of major faiths tip-toe around each other and damned souls number in the millions, it’s important to tread carefully. Now the Dragon King of the South wants to throw Rupert right in it. The ocean god’s daughter and her once-mortal husband have been murdered, leaving a single clue: bloodied feathers from the Greek furies. It’s a clue that could start a war between pantheons, and Rupert’s stuck in the middle. Success promises wealth, power and freedom, and failure… doesn’t.
Why I Picked This Up
I honestly do not remember how I came across this book. I want to say it was via Goodreads, buuuuut I really don’t know. However, I definitely found the premise to be super interesting, the little dedication in the front made me smile and it just sounded like a good read overall.
Writing Style ★ | Character Development ✮ | Plot ✮| World Building / Setting ★ | Uniqueness ★
The Super Good
First off, this book was definitely unique and I really can’t think of anything I can personally compare it to. The whole “chief of human flesh” and “pencil pusher for the Ten Chinese Hells” was an interesting background for Rupert to have and just the whole way how his character is structured is unique. He’s not exactly a bad dude but he’s also definitely not a good dude, he’s a bit of a chaotic neutral which I loved. Also, the idea of warring pantheons (Chinese and Greek) was something that I haven’t read too often and I loved how it played out.
Khaw has an awesome writing style. This novel was super quick paced, filled with witticisms, and just had an excellent flow to it that I absolutely devoured. The world that Rupert inhabits is filled with ghouls, demons, magical folk and various gods and goddess from multiple pantheons and Khaw does an excellent job at defining what their role is within the “real” world and where they fit in their own sphere of existence. Khaw’s descriptions of settings in the real world was also beautifully done. She spent just enough time describing sounds, colors, and the overall feel of places that my desire for wordy descriptions was well satisfied.
The “I’m Not Exactly Sure” Stuff
As much as I loved the story of this book, there was just something that felt off about the plot. I wanted to love it, but there were just some plotlines that were either never addressed, flat out didn’t make any sense, or just left me hanging. However, I did enjoy the pacing and the overall resolution of the story.
The same feeling of something being off also goes towards character development. The characters definitely change in response to their situations, but sometimes it was just really confusing trying to figure out the why and how the change came about. However, as with the plot, I enjoyed the overall end result and felt that everything made sense by the time I hit the end of the novel.
Final Thoughts & Recommendations
I really, really, really enjoyed this book. It was super funny and I’m definitely going to hunt down some more of Cassandra Khaw’s work.
I would recommend this book to people who are;
- fans of horror
- interested in urban fantasy
- trying to read more diversely