God’s War

Published July 17, 2011 by myliteraryleanings

God’s War by Kameron Hurley

Overview from www.bn.com: Some days, Nyx was a Bel Dame – an honored, respected, and deadly government-funded assassin – other days, she was a butcher and a hunter; a woman with nothing to lose. Now the butcher has a bounty to bring in. Nyx and her rag-tag group of mercenaries is about to take up a contract that will shake the foundations of two warring governments…

My Review: Today I am going to do something that I said I would never do.  I am going to review a book that I can’t stand.  In my first post you may recall, I said that I didn’t want to say anything negative about someone else’s writing and so I would not review a book that I didn’t like.  However, this week I went back to mostly relying on my Free Friday books and this was the oldest one that I had not yet read.  I spent most of the week reading it and according to the listing in “My B&N Library,” I made it all the way to page 119 before I gave up.  I was actually going to give up soon but after seeing that I was about to go the second part of this book, I thought I’d give it one more chance.  Not a good idea.

Ok, first off, from the beginning I thought this book was a fantasy novel.  I didn’t even see anywhere that mentioned that this was actually taking place on another planet until today when I pulled up the overview from online.  I thought it was merely some type of Islamic-based fantasy story that was very hard to follow.  We start off with the main character, a girl named Nix who has a thing for female boxers.  Although the story seems to feature an Islamic type religion, I found the idea the of women running around killing people, severing heads, and doing whatever they pleased unIslamic but I thought maybe the author’s just trying something different.

What really ruined this story for me though, is that virtually nothing is explained except for the civil war between the two countries- that part I got.  But with some of the tools Nxy used it was hard to understand exactly what they looked like, what they were made up of, and how they worked.  She drives around on something called a “bakkie.”  It sounds like a make-shift car to me but I think it is powered by bugs.   (More on that later.)  In the first part, she travels around, eventually to a boxing match to find a certain female boxer who she hopes will lead her to a certain boy.   As she hopes, she finds the boy- a deserter from the war like many of her targets, kills him, and then decapitates him.  In fact, there seems to be a big deal about having a body always be decapitated and making sure that the head is brought back to some office where these people collect their pay from.  (I didn’t understand that part either.)

Although she succeeds in her goal, Nxy methods are questions and she ends up going to jail.  This is yet another thing I didn’t get about this story.  She spends a year in jail, and then starts her own team of bounty hunters, enlisting the help of a Chenjan man in exile from the country that her country is fighting against.  The Chenjan seems to rub her the wrong way, particularly with his devout ways, while Nxy herself has stopped believing for the most part.  But the story changes for the weirder when she and her time are offered a special project by the queen.  Though not a fan of her majesty, Nix nevertheless eyes the large reward enough to ignore the warnings of her Chenjan, a man called Rhys, and decides to pursure the strange case which may have serious repercussions.  And this is where I stopped reading.  Too many ideas were being thrown at me and half of them were not explained.

For example, as I mentioned, I didn’t really understand that they were on another planet; I just thought that they land was inhospitable like a desert say, where a lot of Islamic countries are located at.  Also I didn’t understand most, if not all of the tools they used, and many other things which I have already forgotten or given up on since I stopped reading a few days ago.

I also, didn’t  like the bugs.  Everywhere in this story there were bugs.  Bugs and the ability to magically manipulate them seemed to be a highly prized commodity in that society.  I guess that is fine but to me it was just gross.  I hate bugs and I can’t think of them any other way but disgusting.  Therefore, any book which features bugs too much would be uninteresting.

Finally, though I think I understand the ultimate reason I didn’t like it is the fact that it was Sci-Fi and in most cases, I can’t stand Sci-Fi.  I would not have read the book if I had known it was Sci-Fi at the time but I didn’t.  This proves to me even more why I don’t like Sci-Fi.  However I think it could have been a better book if more things had been explained to the reader.

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