Number of pages: 308
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 1
Release Date: April 7th, 2017
*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.
So this is the ARC I’ve had the longest. I got accepted for it while I was in South Africa, and I kept pushing it back in favour of ARCs that had to be read sooner. Well, I ran out of ARCs during exams, so I finally read this one.
For some reason, when I read the kind of vague synopsis on Netgalley I figured the author was using already existing gods in their book. I’m not sure why on earth I thought that, having just read the synopsis again, but it’s fine. To what slowly became my horror, the author made up their own Pantheon of gods. Why horror? Well, the gods aren’t particularly well explained, and their names all blended together into one for me. Also, there is an epilogue featuring all the gods together, which has what I’m pretty sure are some gods that haven’t even previously been mentioned having a conversation that makes absolutely no sense, even after having read the rest of the book. The epilogue reads like the author is setting up for a sequel, but there isn’t a sequel listed on Goodreads at the time of writing this, and I’m not sure what the plot for it would even be. Everything feels pretty resolved at the end before the random epilogue.
There is never really any conflict. The “villain” is introduced as the villain closer to the end, and everything is resolved in a few chapters. Before that, this book is mainly Lars wandering his way through a land he’s never seen before. It is super exciting because nothing of consequence actually happens other than Lars adding some dude who happens to know everything Lars needs to know to his band of misfits comprised of the first 2 people Lars spoke to.
Every time someone suggests a course of action to Lars he immediately does as suggested 98% of the time. Because of it, he really doesn’t feel as if he could be a real person. Practically the only decision he makes is to go on this ridiculous and boring journey, and it wasn’t even his idea in the first place. It was his mother’s dying wish. There’s no substance to him.
That isn’t to say the other characters are any better. Lars’ mother is from this super rich family, and they immediately announce him as one of their own after he shows them a ring that could have easily been forged. There is only one family member out of a whole lot of family members that is even mildly sceptical of this. One family member! And I’m pretty sure said family member married into the family, so she isn’t even related to Lars.
Lars’ companions are also under-developed. Like I can tell you that the guy flirts a lot, and I can’t even really describe the girl. They aren’t even particularly useful companions, as they also don’t know where they are going and they explain the world to Lars after he does nearly irreversible damage.
On top of that, the romance comes completely out of left field. Just like with the rest of this book, it’s not well developed. The girl just suddenly wants to kiss Lars and will be incredibly hurt if he rejects her, despite them only having known each other for a very short period of time and there having been no indication whatsoever before this that they were at all interested in each other.
The writing also feels really choppy. There just isn’t any flow to it. I can’t tell you if it was a showing vs. telling issue, because I don’t remember enough about it to really comment on it. All I can say is that the writing could definitely use some improvement.
Overall, Pantheon is poorly written and under-developed, earning it 1 star out of 5.