Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips


 This is a beach read if I’ve ever encountered one. It’s also good for reading in the bath and while nursing, if it happens to be winter still and you’re not on the beach.

Here’s the basic premise: despite all of the other religions that have come and gone, the real one is that of the Ancient Greeks and a handful of their gods have been displaced from Olympus to a grimy old house in London, where they spend their days being bored, bickering, meddling in each other’s lives, and trying to keep the planet going. The problem is, they can’t have every Tom, Dick, and Mortal knowing about them so they’re relegated to crap jobs like walking dogs (Artemis) and hosting x-rated phone calls (Aphrodite.) They also have lots of sex. Consider yourself warned.

Of course, that would get boring quickly, so Phillips has thrown into some mortals to move the plot along. Alice and Neil find themselves inexplicably intertwined with a love-stuck Apollo (I told you the gods were bored and meddling with each other) and his entire family.

Like I said -this is a beach read so there aren’t any great epiphanies, although Phillips appears to have done her homework and what little there is to fact check is accurate. It’s a fun little romp through what might have been had the Greeks gotten it all right. (And really - who’s to say they didn’t?) I did get little kicks here and there from the lows the gods went to over each other, but Alice’s demureness started to grate after a while. The other little beef I had was that there was a lot of set up and then the thick of the plot felt rushed at the end. I could have used more epilogue, too.

There doesn’t feel like there’s room for a sequel here, but that’s ok. I’ll pick up whatever Phillips publishes next and make sure I have a nice little cocktail to drink while I read it.

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