Gods and Monsters: Unclean Spirits - Chuck Wendig

I picked this one up by chance in the local library (along with a couple of other books which looked good on the cover blurb but which I couldn't be bothered to finish) and while it wasn't the best thing I've ever read, or even recently, it was strong enough that I wanted to see how it would all work out and that's saying something...

 

This is urban fantasy, but not the first-person-feisty-female-in-a-world-whose-rules-apply-to-everyone-except-her kind, of which I've more than had my fill. The world our protagonist (Case) lives in is peopled by gods and monsters, all of whom ended up living alongside human beings and interfering with their lives to their hearts' content. Five years earlier Case made a deal with one of them, promising his service as a bodyguard in exchange for the life of his wife and son - the kicker on the deal was that they hate him now and both want to kill him on sight.

 

When Case's 'employer' gets killed, one of the other gods blames him and essentially tells him to find out who was responsible or face the consequences. The result, and the associates Case picks up along the way - we can't really call them friends, all things considered - is pretty gory if you have a low tolerance for that kind of thing. Likewise the pseudo-explanation towards the end of the book about the current situation leaves much to be desired, as it doesn't really answer any of the questions I had on reading it (and was probably not meant to, I guess?).

 

I liked the fact that it wasn't first person, that it was set in a world that wasn't just filled with white people, with the gods and monsters being from all over - I'm always happy when Coyote makes an appearance, for some reason - but it definitely had the feel of a book in a shared universe not the first in a series. That could be good or bad, depending on your perspective. Either way, I didn't really care enough about the overall set-up that I'm going to go looking for more set in this universe, though I already had another of Chuck Wendig's books on my TBR.