Divine by Mistake: Flunked the Finish-able Book Test

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Divine by Mistake, Goddess by Mistake P.C. CastDivine by Mistake by P.C. Cast

I was not able to finish Divine by Mistake. It flunked the Finish-able Book Test, which means that if I put it down for a couple of days and find no desire to pick it back up, I don’t bother wasting my time.

Shannon, a schoolteacher from Oklahoma, gets zapped by magic into the mythical world of Partholon, where she ends up worshipped as a priestess, married to an attractive shapeshifter, and embroiled in a war with the truly nasty and evil Fomorians. I liked the premise. Unfortunately, the cover blurb was more interesting than the actual novel.

First of all, the mythology is sloppy as heck. I tried to get over this, accept that the book is a comedy loosely based on mythology, but it still bugged me that Cast can’t keep her folklore straight. Priestesses of Epona are mixed with Greek-style nymphs and centaurs. The result is that the book ends up feeling shallow rather than deep, fluffy rather than rooted in an ancient mythology. I wouldn’t have minded if she had made up her own mythology. It was the myth-in-a-blender that gave me a headache.

And speaking of shallow, the heroine seems unable to endure a single page of text without brooding about her weight or her hair. I can understand doing a little bit of this — it makes her seem more real at first. However, you’d think that after a few days in the mythical world, she would have figured out there are bigger concerns than whether her thighs are fat. I’ve already seen Bridget Jones.

I guess this book isn’t bad, per se — it just didn’t interest me all that much.

Partholon — (2004-2008) Elphame’s Choice and Brighid’s Quest take place 125 years after the events in the Divine series. Publisher: The most excitement teacher Shannon Parker expected on her summer vacation was a little shopping. But then her latest purchase — a vase with the Celtic goddess Epona on it — somehow switches her into the world of Partholon, where she’s treated like a goddess. A very temperamental goddess… It seems that Shannon has stepped into another’s role as the Goddess Incarnate of Epona. And while it has some very appealing moments — what woman doesn’t like a little pampering now and then? — it also comes with a ritual marriage to a centaur and the threat of war against the evil Fomorians. Oh, and everyone disliking her because they think she’s her double. Somehow Shannon needs to figure out how to get back to Oklahoma without being killed, married to a horse or losing her mind…

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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