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Gods and Monsters: Unclean Spirits [Paperback]

Chuck Wendig
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

9 May 2013 Gods and Monsters
The gods and goddesses are real. A polytheistic pantheon--a tangle of gods and divine hierarchies--once kept the world at an arm's length, warring with one another, using mankind's belief and devotion to give them power. In this way, the world had balance: a grim and bloody balance, but a balance just the same. But a single god sought dominance and as Lucifer fell to Hell, the gods and goddesses fell to earth. And it's here they remain seemingly eternal, masquerading as humans and managing only a fraction of the power they once had as gods. They fall to old patterns, collecting sycophants and worshippers in order to war against one another in the battle for the hearts of men. They bring with them demi-gods, and they bring with them their monstrous races--crass abnormalities created to serve the gods, who would do anything to reclaim the seat of true power.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rebellion (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 178108095X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781080955
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 538,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter and self-described 'penmonkey.' He sold his first story when he was 18. After working in the computer and role-playing game industries he began scripting TV and film projects, including a horror film script which won him a place at the prestigious Sundance Screenwriter Lab 2010. He's written too much. He should probably stop. Give him a wide berth, as he might be drunk and untrustworthy. He currently lives in the wilds of Pennsyltucky with wife, dog, and newborn progeny. He has written two novels and a novella for Abaddon, and two novels for Angry Robot Books. www.terribleminds.com

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not for me. 26 Aug 2013
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
I love an Urban Fantasy Story that's a little different to the norm, some are cutting edge, some take the reader into a world that they never expected and some lead the way in a new direction. What this title by Chuck does is delivers a murder mystery to the reader by bringing in a whole set of characters that leaves the reader feeling uncomfortable, not purely because of the otherness about them but because of their abilities to mess with the minds of mankind.

It's hard hitting, it's straight to the point and thrusts the reader into a tangled web right from the get go. It's definitely hardcore and whilst this book wasn't for me, I think that there will be a fair few out there that will love this style (perhaps the best way to describe it is a Marmite book, you'll love or hate it.) The lead character within has flaws, he's made hard choices, sacrifices and above all else indentured himself into this dark world for pure motives.

Throw him into the darkening despair that the opening sequence gives to him alongside the wonder of whether he's mad or not all round gives the book a flair for the dramatic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Spirits 8 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Despite a slow confused start the story soon come alive and pulls the reader into an exciting interesting adventure I enjoined
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strangely, one of the best books I've ever read 26 May 2013
By mr.moose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let me put it this way, I was in a car accident, we crashed into a river. The book was on the dashboard. The car flipped upside down into the river. Four hours later I was back in the river looking for this book that I had half finished. I was so sad that I couldn't find that I got online and bought the kindle edition. I would recommend this book to anyone with warped humor, love of religions and culture, love of vulgarity, gore and violence. This is one of my favorite books and I am excited for the additions and hope they are all soon coming.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irreverent, gritty, dark, over-the-top in all the right ways ! 7 May 2013
By Mars Dorian - Published on Amazon.com
Chuck Wendig is like a fly in the eye. You may not like it, but you can't ignore it either.
And the harder you try to wipe it out, the more it sticks to your eyeballs.

Seriously, if I had to describe Chuck's style, I'd say it's a mix between Quentin Tarantino, Heavy Metal and J.K. Rowling on acid.

He's vulgar, obnoxious at times, definitely gritty and dark. More importantly, he's written one enjoyable joyride of redunkelous fun.
I want to be spoiler-free, so I just say "Unclean Spirits" is a dark, disturbing supernatural tour-de-force that leaves you at the edge of your pants.
We get introduced to over-the-top characters in a gruesome, godlike setting with dark fantasy.
Did I mention it was dark ?

Oh, and how about the language ? I think Chuck's breaking every writing rule that you can possible break, but it works, it absolutely works.
One to two word sentences switch with comic sounds like whooosh and vrrrrrrm, which then switch places with juicy metaphors and similes.
It's part poetry macabre, part tell-it-like-it is storytelling. I even think he sometimes makes words up, just for the hell of it.

Conclusion :

I read a decent amount of of books, between 50-70 a year, but few authors like Chuck Wendig chain me to every single sentence.
If you are thick-skinned and can take a good amount of F-bombs and obscenities, then you'll find a blast in this gem.
It's one r-rated supernatural ride that entertains you till you're red in the face.

Five out of five stars, suckers.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid, gripping story that delivers on many levels. 20 May 2013
By Jason Heitkamper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
A solid, gripping story that delivers on many levels. Details? Sure thing.

First I will approach the setting, as this is a shared universe in which stories by many authors will likely be told. The gods have come to Earth and strapped on human flesh. The representatives of the world's myriad pantheons are having to deal with the ultimate in 'forced relocation'. There was a good spread of deities in this book that incorporates Greek, Native American, African and even ancient Sumerian mythos. I like how this is handled, with each god retaining elements of their original sphere of influence while still having to play at being human. There is a lot of potential here and I'm excited to see what will be done with it.

The main character in this tale is Cason Cole in the role of 'man struggling to reclaim his past'. He was well developed and I found that I was given just enough information about his past to keep me interested without getting bogged down in the details. The sections where dialogue fills in the exposition or backstory feel pretty organic and Cason's own thoughts are quite revealing in the more action-focused moments. That balance can be difficult to strike and I give Chuck kudos for it. Cason's family remain on the periphery of the story but they introduce us to two of my favorite characters so I can forgive their initial inaction. The primary villain's mannerisms were chilling and I think they'd be that way even without cosmic power at their fingertips. Well crafted characters all around, even in the smaller parts.

Anyone who has read a Chuck Wendig novel before will find a familiar voice waiting for them here. The story jumps from a brisk run to a breakneck sprint several times, sometimes giving you warning and sometimes jumping on your back and hammering you in the head without notice. The violence is well balanced, revealing a clear tableau of pain without dwelling unnecessarily on gore (though I am a fan of splatter horror films so YMMV on this). As I write this I am still able to bring up the images my mind created when I read about dying gods and creepy just doesn't cut it.

So, complaints? Well, I do have a couple. Cason's wife, while a significant part of the development of the story, just doesn't seem to do a whole lot. After an early moment of badassery I had high hopes anytime a chapter about her appeared. I admit, we do get to meet some awesome deities through her sections but she really feels like a passenger through most of the book. That is actually quite appropriate given her circumstances but it made it difficult to invest myself in her character. Kind of like Barbara from the original Night of the Living Dead, she just seems to sit on the couch and cry through most of the story.

Then there is the ending. No, this is not a "the ending was crap" situation. I actually really liked the ending and how things came together. I just felt like there was a little more story to tell before THE END popped up on the screen. Another chapter of follow up would have done wonders for my sense of completion, though as far as hooking us for another installment I suppose the route Chuck went is the better option. Any good book will leave you wanting more but in this case things just felt a bit incomplete. This could relate back to my desire to see more from the family but for some reason I just wanted a bit more.

So what am I saying? Gods and Monsters Unclean Spirits is a solid introduction into what I hope will be an extensive line of books. Well paced with good characterization and a healthy dose of the old ultraviolence, exactly what I expect when I pick up a Wendig novel. It doesn't exactly touch the bar he's set for me with his Miriam Black series but it was a damn fine read that kept me turning pages until there were none left to turn. If you like power mad gods, explosions, betrayal and internal strife I think you'll dig what this book has to offer.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of Urban Fantasy 12 Jun 2013
By Shane Dodd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Cason's life has gone from bad to worse.

The Bad: Employed by a sex crazed god who keeps him around as a body guard and a wife and son who hate him.

The Worse: When his employer is killed and he is blamed for it and his own wife and son beat the crap out of him.

So is the life of one, Cason Cole...

In a world where the gods of many cultures are very real and walking Earth, Cason learns hard and fast what it takes to survive. A man with a family that he can't be part of, he begins piecing together the strange events of that night five years earlier that led him to being employed by a god and now on the run from several others. Along the way, he meets Tundu, cabbie and friend; Frank, esoteric bomb maker and burn victim; a few goddesses, gods, and a real frickin' unicorn.

All of this pieces together to form a story that is both light hearted and serious all at the same time, which is something I love about this book. Despite the gravity of Cason's situation, there is almost always something that can be chuckled at. Whether it is the irony of the situation, the dialogue exchanged, or just flat out comedy this book is a fun romp through the world of "Gods and Monsters."

Another enjoyment was seeing all the different gods mixing about. I really liked that he didn't just go for the big names, either. He pulled from all around the world, some I had to go look up. I do have to say that Coyote was probably my favorite despite is lack of screen time.

One part I was a bit disappointed in was the role of Alison, Cason's wife. She was a strong female character, but after the initial action concerning her, she seemed to fall off the map a bit only to resurface just before I forgot she was there.

The style is definitely Chuck Wendig. If you are familiar with him, this book won't disappoint. If you aren't familiar with him, imagine the authorial chimera made from comic styling's of Denis Leary, a writing style reminiscent of Hunter Thompson, and the literary knowledge of Joseph Campbell.

All in all, I highly recommend this book. Go get it and read it, now!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for American Gods fans 4 July 2014
By SciFiMagpie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Wendig and I love urban fantasy about mythology and the people and creatures from it, so this was perfect. It was similar to American Gods by Gaiman and Gods Behaving Badly, or Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore. However, this turned up the @$$kicking levels to 10.

I liked the tone and style and fast pace, and the fact that the monsters and dieties were properly researched was great. The human story was a little blander than usual for Wendig but the characters were still good and active, intelligent agents.

It was over a little too quickly, but I think that speaks to how much I liked it. Admittedly it was less deep and melancholy than some other "god" books on my list, but that was not really a bad thing--there is a lot of action and the gods feel powerful for a change, which was really fun and cool.

All in all, it was a great read and perfect for a hot summer blockbuster type book, especially because I didn't have to turn my brain off. I recommend this one.
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