Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book Review: Lex Trent Versus the Gods by Alex Bell

I know, I know. I'm like an absentee parent. I swear, I have three finished reviews lined up after this one. I'll never abandon you, blog!

Besides, I lost two followers :(

Title: Lex Trent Versus the Gods

Author: Alex Bell

Pages: 344

Received from: author


Law student Lex Trent’s world is inhabited by fearsome magicians, ageing crones and a menagerie of Gods and Goddesses. And while Lex is seemingly dedicated to his legal studies he’s always enjoyed a challenge – which is why he leads a double life as the notorious cat burglar ‘The Shadowman’ who has been (luckily) evading capture for years.

But Lex’s luck is about to run out because the Goddess of Fortune has selected him to be her player in the highly dangerous Games. Losing is not an option for Lex (particularly as it so often involves dying) but can he really win each of the perilous rounds? Given that the reward for doing so is money, fame and glory – all things that Lex is quite keen on – he’s going to do whatever it takes to make sure he will… and he’s certainly got good experience of cheating.

I'm just gonna throw this out there: Lex Trent is douche with a side of bag. I literally contemplated finding this boy and getting his ass in time out for the majority of the entire novel. I mean, maybe that was the point, but had he not had his little redeeming moments as the story went on this would have been a very negative review.

Having said that, here's why this is not a negative review:

This kid, while douchtastic, is quite charming. Yes, that just so happens to be the definition of a sociopath, combined with the fact that he feels no attachment to any other human being, like, at all, but there it is. I cheered for him even while I was pinning his face to a dart board and that, sir, is hard to do.

Lex Trent, see, is a law student (who stole an apprenticship from a gullible young lad on his way to the big city), gallavanting around the town commiting flawless acts of thievery and mischief and whatnot until one day, while stealing from a museum he fucks up a bit and ends up int he hands of the law. Through a series of events, he finds himself on the run with his grumpy boss and some dangerous wizard materials, playing in the Games in the name of his patron god, Luck. If he wins, he earns eternal fame and glory. If he loses, as every godly-game trope would tell you, he's fish food. And such is Lex Trent v. the Gods.

Pacing is really where Alex Bell shines. Even through my roller coaster of hatred for the main character, I could not put it down. It just has one of those inidentifiable James Patterson things that makes it like, crazy addictive. It offers a fun little upgrade for epic fantasy fans, with an alt world in which the world is split in a bottom and top half, where religion isn't really a thing and belief is not an option (because the gods are all up in there). There are gypsys and gross wizards and weird animals but not once did it feel contrived or played out.

Again, in this reviewer's opinion Lex was a douche, but not quite a villain. Anti-hero is the word, for sure. I'm not sure why, but for some reason, selfish and cocky never really made someone cross into Eeeeevil territory. Kind of like a frat boy; obnoxious, yes, but hardly threatening. Maybe a little fun to poke.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Also: Don't hate me if this review sucks, I'm just getting back in the stride of talking about the books I read.


Simon said...


Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

May I just say that I'm really glad someone coined the term "douchetastic?"

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