Indie Book Review – Gods and Psychopaths (Book 1) by Louis Park

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Ye gods. And, erm, psychopaths. What a trip.

What a fucking mind-melting trip.

I nearly gave up on this book only a few pages in. The prose is… strange. The descriptions, even of everyday mundane objects, are so flowery, so well-crafted, yet just so plain weird and over-the-top that it nearly did my head in. People don’t talk like this, I thought to myself. People don’t think like this.

But I persevered. And then, several chapters in, it finally clicked.

It reads like the strange ramblings of a mad person, because it’s about a mad person.

Our protagonist, who doesn’t really have a name of his own, but later gets named Cain, is an actual, full-blown nutjob. Take John Wick, lose his marbles, clad him in rags and make him live in a sewer, and you have Cain. Intelligent, empathetic towards animals and nature (woe betide you if you swat a bumblebee near him…), but completely dismissive of human lives and possessing seemingly supernatural strength, speed and resistance to pain, Cain is an out and out psychopath of the highest order, with a body count to rival Rambo in his steroids-taking 80’s finest.

So much of a psychopath is he, you can’t relate to him. You can’t root for him. You don’t even like him, not at all.

But you’re not meant to.

You see, even though he’s the main character of the tale, the story’s not about him. He’s only a pawn in a greater game.

A game played by a Little Dog.

This is where we come to the ‘Gods’ part of the title. See, it’s all coming together now, isn’t it? Little Dog is, aptly, a little dog. A black Scottie, in fact. But don’t let appearances deceive you – Little Dog is an immortal, omnipotent, universe devouring, fourth-wall breaking deity who could end the entirety of the Earth with a snap of his… a wag of his tail.

Thankfully, that would be boring. Much more entertaining to wind Cain up and watch him go. Little Dog uses Cain as his minion, pushing and prodding and pointing him in the right direction to cause maximum carnage. He doesn’t aid him – other than clearing any evidence by wiping CCTV footage and eating all the leftover bodies – instead, taking the role of some dark mentor.

Of course, this nefarious game doesn’t go unnoticed, and soon Cain finds himself caught in a tug of war between Little Dog and another malevolent super-being – the Prince of Darkness. No, not Ozzy, but Satan.

The book is hard to get in to. The writing style is strange, really grating on your nerves with its oddness. Everyone speaks as though they’re Stephen Fry on acid, which, though people would pay good money to see that, really, really freaks you out and takes a long while to get used to.

To enjoy this book – which I have to admit, I eventually did – you have to just go with the flow. Embrace the weirdness.

It’s an insane slaughterfest, gore galore, constantly making you question what the hell is going on. Violence, profanity, all coupled with flowery, verbose language, combining to make your head spin. Have you ever watched the film Hardcore Henry? If you have, imagine that, only with gods.

So yeah… Erm… Not really sure how to end this.

Did I enjoy this? Yes. After my mind got used to the weirdness.

Will you enjoy it? Dunno. Give it a try and leave a comment down below.