Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.
Paranormal Legal Fiction
The Gods Defense by Amie Gibbons is a cross between Ally McBeal and True Blood, the first of a series by an author who writes a significant amount of paranormal legal fiction. For those younger than these references, it is a cross between Law and Order and American Gods. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this book, and for what audience is it intended?
Strengths of the Book
The world-building is good, such as describing how things have changed in the two years since magic and the gods awakened. And this book is unusual for having all of the gods of every major religion system “wake up”. You get Greek gods front and center, Aztec gods, mentions of Inuit gods, etc.
The central character being psychic is established upfront, while the special abilities of her friends are hinted at. The revelations of just who and what her friends are and/or became are hinted at but not telegraphed; you don’t know exactly who they are and what they can do until the actual revelations later in the book. This is a pleasant change from the books that make it clear by the third chapter the dark mysterious stranger is a serial killer or hunts serial killers.
Just placing this book in Nashville instead of Los Angeles, New York or rural stereotypical anywhere makes this modern fantasy book stand out from the rest of the pack.
Weaknesses of the Book
The strong, independent woman loses consciousness to wake up in new places to further the plot so many times it is annoying.
Too much winking from Tyler, really.
Several men in the book are caricatures; the sexist and elitist Southern judge, the slimy lawyer who sold his soul to the devil (Hades). There isn’t a strong, decent male character in the book unless you count a god, and the female character takes him down a notch, too. This is a bad trend in literature and media today in general, women good, men bad or at best incompetent but well-meaning buffoons who need to be given moral or actual guidance by superior women.
“Oh, those Mayan gods couldn’t keep their mouths shut. No, the Mayans aren’t wrong about the end of the world, they just screwed up the calculations of the date.” So the book is about the end of the world we predicted in 2012 but is actually due a little later.
The title ends up being a twist on the precept of the book with the heroine helping save the gods and the world. The title and its various interpretations thus affect the book on multiple levels.
I don’t normally like legal drama but often enjoy fantasy books; while the main character of this novel is a legal professional in the “real” world and struggles to bring law and order to the Gods, it isn’t overly legal while providing enough action for those who want a paranormal thriller. I give The Gods Defense book, first in the Laws of Magic series, four stars.
I rate this book PG-13 for strongly sensual scenes but no overt sex. This book is more weirdly magical and features a complex plot instead of the paranormal books that sex it up in an effort to pump up the drama that way.
© 2017 Tamara Wilhite