ARC Review: Unclean Spirits

Hello everyone! How are you? I’m a little bit disappointed because I was hoping to have more time to read, in this period, but I am not so lucky… I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to reading and that’s sad, but, at least, I am doing great reading, so I think I can’t really complain, can I?
Anyway, today I am writing an overdue review, at last! I put some effort into reading this book before the publication date and I managed it, too, but I couldn’t write a review sooner… oh well, I am here now!

Thanks to NetGalley and to the editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Title: Unclean Spirits
Author: Chuck Wendig 
Publication Date: February 13th, 2018
Page Count: 320

The force of nature that is Chuck Wendig returns with an original urban fantasy novel, creating a brand new series for Abaddon Books.

Five years ago, it all went wrong for Cason Cole. He lost his wife and son, lost everything, and was bound into service to a man who chews up human lives and spits them out, a predator who holds nothing dear and respects no law. Now, as the man he both loves and hates lies dying at his feet, the sounds of the explosion still ringing in his ears, Cason is finally free. The gods and goddesses are real. A polytheistic pantheon—a tangle of divine hierarchies—once kept the world at an arm’s length, warring with one another for mankind’s belief and devotion. It was a grim and bloody balance, but a balance just the same. When one god triumphed, driving all other gods out of Heaven, it was back to the bad old days: cults and sycophants, and the terrible retribution the gods visit on those who spite them. None of which is going to stop Cason from getting back what’s his…

 

So… I don’t know where to start with this book. I requested it because it’s an urban fantasy and I am a sucker for UF, they’re the kind of books that I read when I want to read something good, or something not too demanding, they are the books that I read when I am sad, or when I need something good, like a treat, so… usually they’re my to go books. But I discovered after requesting it that this was the “wrong” kind of UF. It’s not a bad thing, even if I used the adjective “wrong”, but let me explain: I, in my head, it’s not an official distinction, mind you, separate the urban fantasy in two kinds: 1) the fun ones, the ones with the vampires, or/and wereanimals, or/and witches and wizards, or/and angels and demons and so on… and I am thinking about almost all the urban fantasy: the ones by Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton, Seanan McGuire, Karen Chance, Faith Hunter and Jim Butcher, just to nominate some of my favourites ones 2)the more “dark” ones, in which we may have magical beings, but usually we have gods and the city is often alive, in a way or another. These ones are usually more realistic, even if we have gods who prowl the street or magic beings who fight each other. And I think about books by Kate Griffin (I think she’s the queen of this sub-genre) and Neil Gaiman.
Hmm… Am I making sense to you? In my head this difference is clear but now that I’m trying to explain it, well… it’s really confusing! So, I hope you can get the gist of it, but if you cannot… well, that’s ok, too! My explanation sucks!

Anyway… I was expecting something from the first group and I found something from the second one. It’s not the book fault, obviously, but this wasn’t a good surprise, because I am a fan of the first group, while for the second… I think Griffin is a queen, that’s true, but for example, I didn’t like Gaiman’s American GodsI know that almost everyone loved this book, just not me… sorry, not sorry. And this book, Unclean Spirits, it really reminded me of the Gaiman’s book. I wasn’t so happy for this, as you can image, but in the end, the reading wasn’t so bad as I was fearing.

We have a lot of different Gods and Pantheon in this book, and the author present to us a good selection fo them. I liked to see some greek deities interact with eastern ones, for example, but we really have a lot to choose from: Irish deities, Egyptian ones, African, Native American and so on, so on… I liked this thing a lot! Also, we have unicorns! 
Ok… we can see just one of them, and it’s a murderous one, to be precise, but hey! We have unicorns!!!! 
It’s a grim tale, not a happy one, and we have violence and some crude scenes in there, too. And that’s quite foreseeable, and I am not saying this in a bad way, it’s just that we have our MC, Cason, who is involved in a… war, if we can say so, between different Gods. And it’s not that there is a war, as a conspiracy against him, and he really doesn’t know why! So… here we are, with Cason, who fight to discover the truth while he’s fighting to take back his family (some Gods cursed his wife and son, so if they see him they didn’t remind who he is and just try to kill him on sight, or better yet, to butcher him! Hmm.. not a happy reunion that would be, right?) and he’s fighting to kill some random gods because, well, why not?! So yeah, a lot of fighting, and we’re talking about a man against Gods, you can see that this would be a violent and not so happy reading, right?

Anyway… the starting was really slow, and I thought about DNF it at some points because slow beginning and so many similarities with American Gods aren’t a good mix for me, but I enjoyed the reading, and once we get the backstory all goes more smoothly and I found myself enjoying the reading.

My favorite character was Psyche, even if I wasn’t so enamored from the start. Usually when I dislike a character I go on disliking it, but with her, it wasn’t so and I am really happy about it.
All in all, it was an interesting reading, and I enjoyed it, even if it starts slow and I wasn’t so convinced in the beginning. Also, my ARC has an additional novella: Drag Hunt by Pat Kelleher, about Coyote and another poor human being who found himself among the Gods, and this is not a good thing as always. This story was more fun, even if it’s not a happy one, and I enjoyed this one, too.

So, if you liked American Gods and you are in for something similar but… weirder, well, that’s the right book for you!

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So… that’s all. Did I make sense with my rambling on the different kinds of UF? Did you read this book? Or are you planning to read it? Let me know!
Happy reading!
S.

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