So I was debating with myself whether I should write a review and/or recommendation of a series that I haven’t even gotten halfway through yet, but some books are just so good I have to say something, and it’s not my fault if everyone from Barnes and Noble to the local library is telling me I’ll have to wait a week until I can get the next volume in this adventure. What this series needs is some exposure, so people will start stocking this series on their shelves more, and I don’t have to put up with this waiting a week for a book business like it’s the 1800s or whatever. Maybe if a pony express pony delivered the book to me in its little pony mailbag, I’d be okay with it, maybe, but other than that I need instant 21st century gratification
In this particular case, I’m talking about graphic novel series The Wicked and the Divine, written by Kieron Gillen and art by Jamie McKelvie. I can’t recall for the life of me who recommended this series to me, because I’m sure I heard the name somewhere before deciding to pick up the first book when I saw it laying on the library shelf and anything sounded better than actually studying for finals, but I can’t recall. Sometimes finals season leads to large chunks of memory being pushed out of my head to make room for “This will be on the test” stuff, but I digress, I think. What were we talking about?
Ah yes, The Wicked and the Divine. It was an excellent breath of fresh air for me during a stressful time, academically speaking. The whole concept was incredibly imaginative in and of itself, and the way it was executed, as far as I read anyway, was perfect.
The setup for this states that every 90 years or so, a different group of gods possess the bodies of young adults and/or teenagers. The deal is that they only have two years on Earth before they and their host bodies die. They use what time they have on earth to cultivate celebrity and create crazy mystique and stories surrounding themselves so that these gods will be remembered. The roster of gods in this series include Amaterasu, Baal, Lucifer (aka Satan, aka Luci) Odin, the Morrigan, Sekhmet, and even more obscure figures from long gone pantheons. I linked to most of those guy’s Wikipedia pages because that’s where I found myself going more than a few times while reading this book.
Don’t let the light research work deceive you though, this book feels far more like an exercise in enlightenment than a bunch of mythology references going over your head. There’s a rich exploration of character, especially the sort of character that divine, all-powerful beings develop and express in a modern world, and the only true modern divinities people seem willing to worship anymore; celebrities. Then of course, there’s the murder mysteries and the god groupies, etc. I’m not sure I want to spoil this blast of a read for you guys.
Instead, let me talk about books this reminds me of, so you can get a better idea if this free sample wasn’t enough of a taste for you. Frankly, it reminds me of some of my favorite graphic novel series, so that might be why I took such a shining to it. Mainly, I see elements of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series in the appearance of gods in modern ages and Bill Willingham’s Fables series and it’s various offshoots in the way these godly figures must blend in with modern urban life. If those series were your jam, as they were mine, then the Wicked and the Divine is nothing but good news for you.
I’m hoping to be receiving some good news about the next book in this series coming in for me very soon, oh and maybe something about passing my finals and graduating too, but more importantly getting the next volume in this series. Hmm, it took me a while to write this. Is it in yet? I better go check again!
It wasn’t. Drat. Okay then, time to study. Again. Til next time folks!