Modern day gods take center in Mythbreakers by Stephen Blackmore. Though the second installment in the Gods and Monsters series, this is the first by Blackmore and serves as a standalone novel. The adventure of a teller of the tale of gods is at the center of this fast-paced read.
Growing up an orphan, Louie had conversations with “invisible friends,” could see patterns in the world that no one else could see. In other times he would have been a prophet – someone to make people believe in the gods. But he grew out of the visions, and then into crime as a drug runner.
Now thirty-five and burnt out, he’s had enough. With access to the mob’s money, he plans to go out in a big way. Only he can’t. A broken down car, a missed flight; it’s bad enough being hunted by the mob, but the gods – kicked out of the Heavens, stuck on Earth without worshippers – need someone who can tell their stories, and they aren’t letting him go.
And there are new gods on the scene, gods of finance and technology, who want him too. Caught between the mob and two sets of rival gods, Louie hatches a plan that will probably get him killed if it doesn’t get him out.
I really wanted to like Mythbreakers, but at every turn I felt that Blackmore didn’t push far enough. Instead of gritty antics, the reader is met with a pale imitation, like a terrible child actor trying to play at being bad. There’s simply a disingenuine aspect to Blackmore’s universe and approach of it. This playacting made me dislike the entire vibe of Mythbreakers. Simply put, Blackmore tried and didn’t succeed in giving a raw, tongue in cheek yet entertaining story.
The characters are entirely underwhelming and unrelatable. The protagonist Fitz is a self-centered prophet-like character who simply is too involved in his own misery to have an adventure. I honestly didn’t like anything he did until the very last page. That being said, he’s not realistic enough to be a portrait of a broken man nor does his final interesting action seem like something his character would do. I can’t say that I hate the character because he doesn’t have enough substance for me to have an active thought about. He’s like that tertiary coward in an action movie that you just assumes dies sometime before the end because he’s so forgettable. The other characters are too muddled together to hold much weight and once again, I was left feeling that Blackmore didn’t go far enough to actually succeed.
The one and only redeeming plot point in Mythbreakers is the novel concept of the authority and the connection of technology both being gods. These characters hold the most potential but still leave a lot to be desired. The tech god, or goddess of the internet as she is later dubbed, is hands down the only one which I had any interest in. I wouldn’t credit this to good writing, merely the novelty of having a goddess whose powers include overloading someone with cat gifs or trolls.
I can honestly say that Mythbreakers felt like a waste of my time. I wanted it to be action packed and witty but it was neither one of these. It didn’t even fulfill the most basic obligation of telling a tale as the main plot oftentimes gets lost in the protagonist’s self pity and undeveloped notions of minor characters. My biggest suggestion is to look elsewhere for your entertainment. You will find plenty of other stories that play on the gods in modern society theme which actually live up to your expectations.