Author: A.J. Aaron

ISBN: 9781466231382

One of the principal aspects of A.J. Aaron's debut novel Reluctant Gods (The First of the Reluctant Gods series) is its desire to fully engage the reader which no doubt requires a bit more effort on the part of the reader, particularly if he or she is not into the fantasy genre. Nonetheless, readers will be well-rewarded with this wonderful feast of a book if they approach it with an open mind and a willingness to freely permit themselves to enter Aaron's wild imaginary world. He has done a wonderful job in utilizing supernatural phenomena as his primary theme and settings as he effectively integrates magical powers, different time frames, farcical scenes, archangels, reincarnation, god-like characters,chakras, mythology, as well as the power of love, even some philosophical musings, all of which makes for quite a tale.

Aaron populates his narrative with three main characters Sevilen Decarain, his one hundred six-year old grandmother, Ninee Aysel and his girl friend, Leyna DiAmore. Also included are a host of supporting actors to help move the plot along.

Beginning with the Prologue, readers are introduced to Sevilen, living in the fifteenth century asking four archangels to use their magical skills in order that he can once again meet his beloved Leyna, who is deceased. Next we are transported into the early part of the twenty-first century where we once again meet up with Sevilen who apparently is the re-incarnation of the fifteenth century Sevilen. While Sevilen visits his grandmother Ninee in her impressive mansion he learns from her about his previous life and is told that he must step into her shoes as the “designated one.”

Sevilen also receives from his grandmother a set of rings in a purple velvet mound with gold threads stitched around the base and spiralling to where the rings sits. In between sits a multi-colored broken stone. Ninee tells him that there exists somewhere another half of this stone that he will find, or it will find him. And readers will discover that the person holding the other half will predictably turn out to be the reincarnated Leyna. However, Leyna is quite a nasty piece of work, who is rotten, mean and cruel and who despises men. As a powerful rich woman, she uses her powers to dominate others as a form of amusement. It should be pointed out that Sevilen is forewarned by Ninee that the world is made up of good and evil and that he and Leyna must seek out balance to fulfill their destinies and ultimately become Gods.

Although there is some silly dialogue, as well as a great deal of telling rather than showing, which could have been avoided if Aaron had employed a professional content editor, these imperfections do not detract from its many moments of sheer fun with its easy wit and hilarious vignettes. Moreover, Aaron's writing is thoughtful with its combination of playful narrative twists and philosophical musings. Incidentally, every chapter is prefaced with words of wisdom from famous individuals as Bertrand Russell, Anatole France, Peter F. Drucker, Robert Frost, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein and many others, which, if you attentively read them, you will notice how in many instances they form a basis for the messages Aaron tries to convey within the chapter. Enjoy the ride!

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