Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Divine Misfortune Divine Misfortune
by A. Lee Martinez

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Divine Misfortune is the latest comic horror/fantasy novel by American author A. Lee Martinez. While the list of authors who write "straight" horror or fantasy (or science fiction for that matter) is large, those who swim in the comic pool of those genres is very small. [Personally, I would be hard pressed to name even ten writers of comic horror/fantasy.]

Divine Misfortune uses the premise that all the gods that used to be worshipped (and those that still are) are real and have the powers attributed to them. In the story Phil and Teri have chosen Luka, or Lucky as he prefers, a minor prosperity deity to be their chosen god. Unfortunately for them Lucky is the focus of a failed love triangle involving Gorgoz, a god of chaos and destruction, and Syph, a former goddess of love but now a goddess of heartbreak and spurned lovers. Gorgoz wants to destroy Lucky, by eliminating all his followers, because he stole Syph off Gorgoz and Syph wants Lucky to realise she is his one true love because he dumped her first – which is not a good look for a goddess of love.

Humour is incredible personal – what for one is side-splittingly funny will fall flat for another, and is quite often culturally dependent hence my mention that Mr Martinez is American. In this instance I found the humour worked because the situations Phil and Teri faced were familiar to me from everyday life. If one had real evidence that the gods existed and were jealous of their worshippers who would you choose as your personal deity? And how would you go about choosing said god?

Divine Misfortune is a very pleasant diversion from the cares of the day and a splendid tonic for a reader jaded by evil overlords and indifferent universes – or who just wants a laugh.

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