Book Review: The Reluctant Goddess by A.F. Firebird

ebook-template-trg3v3Title: The Reluctant Goddess
Author: A.F. Firebird
Genre: Metaphysical Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Ellena Ripley is a bookshop owner from a rural town in the south of England – or so she thinks. But lately, she has a growing sense that life is not as it seems. At night, she dreams of a serene man who appears to be trying to tell her something; In the day, she can’t shake a feeling of expectation. But of what?

Meanwhile Hector, servant of LIFE and the man from Ellena’s dreams, has a dilemma. How do you tell someone they are a goddess? His previous attempts have met with disaster so he must be cautious, particularly when his new trainee, Boudica, formerly Queen of the Iceni tries to help. The question is can they succeed before it is too late?

If you like your metaphysics spiced with humor and drama this book could be for you.

It’s hard to review The Reluctant Goddess because, quite frankly, this was a strange book to read. The main character, Hector, is a servant of LIFE along with several other (sometimes familiar-sounding) characters like Boudica (Hector’s trainee), Michael, Genghis, Attila, and a whole lot of others. Even the judge at the trial toward the end sounded familiar although I have no idea where I heard his name before. Either way, the servants of LIFE are on a very delicate mission to make people remember who they truly are. One of those people they’re trying to make regain her memory is Ellana. Ellana is a forty-eight year old book shop owner who once married, never had children, and in every aspect is an ordinary human being. Except that her dog, Hector, and her cat, Fluffy (real name Boudica) are servants of LIFE trying to make her remember who she truly is. A lot of these quests failed so far, but the servants of LIFE never give up and always keep on trying.

I liked the book’s take on religion and reincarnation. It’s an interesting and unique view that pretty much defined the entire novel. Storywise, there’s not so much here. The Reluctant Goddess is about self-discovery, about not being afraid to embrace one’s true nature. But it also shows that the universe in itself is far from perfect. It makes mistakes, it has flaws, and is always striving to be more than it is. The book is also written with a humorous undertone which I enjoyed. Even if the matter is serious, doesn’t always mean the execution has to be.

Reading this book however is hard work. You have to stay on top of things all the time or you risk missing out on a lot. I had a bit of trouble with that, and sometimes had to reread entire paragraphs. The writing however is strong, and the characters have a unique, interesting voice. I particulalry liked Hector and Boudica. They have the sense of humor you’d expect from someone who’s lived a long time and has seen a lot. I also liked when the author used Time as a character cursing back at Ellana or something like that.

Overall, I enjoyed this read but I’m not sure if I’ll start another metaphysical novel any time soon. It was a hard  cookie for me to bite through, especially at the start. That’s not to say it wasn’t interesting, because I really enjoyed this book, but it’s not the kind of material you’d read every week or just for leisure.


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