Genre: Fantasy — Sword and Sorcery
Series: The Tides of War #2
Publisher: Angry Robot (January 2, 2018)
Length: 320 pages
My Rating: 3 stars
Fallen Gods continues the fast, chaotic, and horrific tale of a world close to total destruction. James A. Moore taking his modern sword and sorcery epic upward and outward, exploring this sprawling land, tightening the hopelessness around our protagonists’ hearts, deepening the gloom and doom, and stoking the flames of this devilish concoction of vengeful gods, devious demons, inescapable Undying, and a world-ending flood to a fever pitch, leaving humankind desperately casting about for salvation.
Returning to the spotlight is Brogan McTyre and his companions; these people the most wanted men and women in the world. Everyone seems to be coming for them, desperate to take them alive and sacrifice them to the enraged gods who are set on flooding the world in retribution for the defilement of their holy places. But Brogan doesn’t give a damn one way or another. His mind has been twisted into a dark place where all he dreams of is revenge on these gods who took his family as unwilling sacrifices, and he is determined to raise an army, discover a means, and then destroy the very gods themselves!
Swirling around Brogan and his band are many, many other characters. There are the people of the gods traveling across the flooding world to do the bidding of the divine. There are slavers attempting to survive another day. There are demons and their fiendish henchmen out to take the world from everyone. All of them moving onward and upward across the Five Kingdoms, as behind them the flood waters keep rising, the apocalyptic storms grow larger, and civilization crumbles under the encroaching wave of destruction. Humanity itself certain to become extinct unless someone finds a way to appease the gods, kill them, or take away their power.
As always, James A. Moore delivers a genre blending tale, mixing elements of fantasy and horror together into a tangy elixir of grimdark-esque action and adventure. The pacing is blistering fast and demanding, forcing a reader to keep up and keep track of everything which is going on, never letting up from first page to last. Every point of view character getting a chance to take their place front-and-center. Each of these morally ambiguous people developed enough for a reader to understand the diversity of the group, their differing motives and desires, and understand that they are all being affected by the coming apocalypse; each individual forced to make tough choices, which they might have misgivings about, but which, under the circumstances, they feel are their only hope to find salvation in a world gone mad. And it is in this development of the characters where the author triumphs this time around.
This does lead directly into my one criticism of the book, specifically the multitude of point of view characters. Book one had quite a few to keep track of: each group very distinct and busy with their own business. However, with Fallen Gods, James A. Moore adds even more point of view characters into the mix, turning a large cast into a huge one. And it does get literally insane at times. The multitude of individuals running around hard to keep straight in your head. Some may enjoy that sort of ongoing struggle to keep your head afloat in a rising tide of names and such, but it took a toil on my enjoy of the story as a whole, because sometimes you can get too much of a good thing.
Overall, Fallen Gods was an entertaining installment of The Tides of War series, fully capturing the gloomy, chaotic nature of a world-wide calamity and showing the personal struggles of the people caught up in an event which threatens their very way of life with extinction. And while I did have some issues with it, the novel once again demonstrates why James A. Moore’s is at the forefront of the modern masters of sword and sorcery.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.
Purchase Fallen Gods: Tides of War Book II at Amazon.