The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms  - N.K. Jemisin

An interesting take on Gods shaping the universe and their influence/interactions with mortals. This book has everything: a murder mystery, political struggle/drama, portals/dimensional travel, Gods, demi-gods, paranormal romance and a moral lesson about slavery. It might be that there was a little too much going on that I'm struggling with picking out anything to discuss in this review.

The main character, Yeine, was likable but there wasn't anything particularly memorable about her. She just rolled with the punches throughout the story... she quickly adapted to living around and interacting with Gods all while grieving, seeking answers and revenge, trying to figure out her part in the scheme of the ruling government and how to stay alive in the process. Even her massive transformation by the end did nothing to really get me feeling a connection with her. :(

The secondary characters, on the other hand, were three-dimensional and diverse... it could even be that they overshadowed the main character. Sieh (the god that looked like a child) was my favourite character, who doesn't love adorable and mischievous?

The writing was nice and kept me turning the pages. There was a bit of foreshadowing here and there, which usually pisses me off, but it was done in an okay way that didn't make me throw the book across the room. The world building was great and imaginative, especially if you're a mythology lover. The different plot lines came together fairly well at the end, too.

I read this book for the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club monthly pick (although it had been on my to-read shelf for ages), and as happens every now and then, this pick had very little romance or sexy time moments. In fact, I think this book would have been a thousand times better if there hadn't been any romance involved. The romance followed the age-old pattern of girl meets boy, boy is mean to girl, girl gets with boy. Sure, the boy was a god, but it still played out exactly how I expected which was a bit of a let down (not to mention the silliness of cosmic sex). Maybe it was that the romance parts of the story seemed forced or out of place... something was going on that just didn't feel right.

3 star rating because I would recommend this book... there was a lot more good than bad, regardless of what this review seems to be saying. :)


Book Notes:

Read: 2014, January 02 - 04

106k words, 3.6k words per chapter (averages)