RADIO is an SPFBO 2020 (Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off) Semi-Finalist.
Amid the music, lights and energy of 1928’s Paris, something sinister pulses through the æther. The Radio of the Gods manipulates minds across the continent and its creator, the arrogant god Marduk, will sacrifice everything to keep his kind from perverting his masterpiece.
Attempted treason and bitter betrayal force Marduk to escape into a new, unknown body. Worse still, the previous owner, an opium-addicted jazz guitarist, is still inside.
Desperate, drug-addled and fighting for control, Marduk is forced to rely on the few friends he has left – and one terrifying enemy — to see his mission to fruition. If Marduk and company fail, the gods’ vain machinations will destroy everything they’ve built, including civilization itself, all made possible by his RADIO.
When I asked around for indie book recommendations to review for SPFM, I specified I was looking for an unusual, underrated book aimed at an adult audience. It had to be well written, well edited and preferably a debut by an author who chose to self-publish. RADIO was the first and the only recommendation I received that fit my pre-requisites and was not based on the author’s popularity.
I had come across this book last year during SPFBO 6, but didn’t add it to my TBR, probably having lost interest when I read it was set in 1928 Paris, a location and time period I had no interest in, but I took the author’s lack of popularity as a good sign and decided to give RADIO another chance.
I could not believe my eyes when I saw the story opens with a conversation between Apollo, Artemis and Marduk. Not only that, their characterisation was great!
Marduk’s character is everything one can expect of a ‘god’ trapped inside a mortal’s body. His conversations with Del and especially with Bernard are excellent. Nothing in the narrative felt contrived or unpolished.
RADIO not only ticked every criteria on my list, its quality surpassed my expectations and remained high throughout.
This is a well thought out book with well-rounded characters, engaging dialogue and a clever plot. The setting fits the narrative perfectly and, despite my preferences, it did not affect my enjoyment of the story. My only complaint (if it can even be called a complaint) is that it dragged on a bit too much at times, especially when dealing with Del’s addiction. This was pertinent to the plot and character development but I felt that the constant meanderings into the effects of withdrawal, although respectfully and accurately portrayed, detracted from the main narrative. The ending makes up for it though. I figured a twist of some sort was coming, but failed to predict it all and was pleasantly surprised.
Genre bending and unique, RADIO is a work of heart and mind, not ego, and it deserves more attention.
About the Reviewer
Susana Imaginário lives in Ireland with her husband and their extremely spoiled dog.
Her work combines mythology with science fiction, fantasy and psychology in a strange way.
CONNECT WITH SUSANA
About Wyrd Gods (Timelessness #1)
The God of Time wants to destroy Eternity.
A mysterious immortal seeks vengeance.
And a reclusive deity does what no god should ever do: she answers a prayer.
As punishment, she is stripped of her powers and trapped in a mortal’s body. Now a Wyrd – a fated god – she is haunted by the memories and thoughts of her host and must hide her true identity in order to survive in Niflheim, the rival Norse Underworld.
There she discovers the afterlife is not quite what it used to be. Niflheim’s new ruler threatens the precarious balance of a world overrun with outcast deities and mortals alike.
To save her own sanity and find her way back to the stars, she must help the other Wyrd overcome their grievances to defeat this enemy, but those who would be her allies appear to have motives as hidden as her fragmented consciousness.
And yet it seems the greatest threat to her freedom comes from within, and the prize it seeks is her immortal soul…