Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An Ungodly Child

Oddly, this is not actually a blog about my little heathen of a son but rather a book that I received as a result of entering one of DJKirkby's competitions. The condition of ownership was that I review it on my blog and also on Amazon, so here you go.

The book is written by Rachel Green and with a promising title like 'An Ungodly Child', what's a Mum to do but love it? The first few pages were a little jumpy but the style very quickly settles in to become a pacy and humorous read with enough layers and twists and surprises to keep you going to the end.

The basic plot hinges around the premise that at some point in the mid 20th century, Lucifer decided to father a child with a human mother. This child (Harold, the reluctant protagonist of the story) grows up knowing absolutely nothing about his background, about the demon his father has left to watch over him or about the fact that some bored and scheming angels have decided to use him to bring about the apocalypse in order to re-ignite faith in God. Somewhere around the age of 40 however it all begins to kick off and his hither-to-fore unremarkable life is suddenly full of devils, imps, magic circles, vampires and ghosts.

The author has built a solid and believable pantheon of demonic and angelic creatures and imbued them all with human faults, quirks and sensibilities (not to mention the desire for cups of tea and biscuits) that move this book out of the 'fantasy' genre directly into 'satire'. The world in which the story takes place is easily recognisable and no opportunity is lost to poke gentle fun at society - the delivery doctor is a devil, the family lawyer is a vampire, the local priest has his own agenda and little old ladies go to a heaven full of giant cats. Nobody is who they seem in this story and the reader is always kept guessing.

With some parallels to writers such as Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams able to be drawn, Green has created a book which would make a promising start to a series for a larger publisher to take up. While in places there is potentially room for more editing, this is a really good read and augers well for the future of this author who deserves a bigger career on the back of this.

Thanks DJ - thanks Rachel!


cactus petunia said...

Has it actually been released yet? My library doesn't have it, but it sounds like a great read! I'll check Amazon...Thanks for the tip!

Sparx said...

Hi Cactus - Amazon.co.uk has it.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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