Flawed Gods by Angela B. Mortimer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Flawed Gods by Angela B. Mortimer (Flawed Gods Series Book One)
I'm not even certain in what genre I should put this book. It has elements of Science Fiction and Fantasy with a healthy dose of fantasy. Then it has elements of Romance, but more on the end of explicit sex though I have seen worse. Finally I came to the conclusion that the main character Doella is a female version of a Lothario. It's similar to taking The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt and inserting a female in his place.
This is a good read with some interesting ideas and occasionally touching the boundaries of the comfort zone.
One problem I had with it is that just as with Casanova I had a great difficulty feeling anything helpful or hopeful for Doella. Well it's not quite true because I did feel for her at the beginning; since she seemed to be mourning the death of Paul. Of course as the story unfolds that compassion is lost quite quickly.
Doella is masquerading as a human named Louise Baker. We find that she is really an anthropologist for a race of beings living on Varos. They have been tweaking and accelerating mans development not just on Earth but on Earth of several parallel dimensions. She and her people have bracelets that enhance the power they have to travel through these dimensions. Doella is a hands on anthropologist in the worst sense and she has been going native more than she probably should.
To lighten things up we discover that the world of Varos is conducive to promiscuity in the early years of development. Conversely when they marry they marry for life, but they seem to be encouraged to play the field. To this end Doella has been experimenting with love with some of her co-workers and apparently a large number of the subjects of her study. Enough that one character seemed to rightly suggest she couldn't give an accurate number. And it seems that even though she a number of times marvels at the possibility that she might be so beautiful that men would fight over she also somehow seems to have the same attitude as Casanova in that she seems to think she is gods gift to man.
She is engaged to Takos but despite efforts, Simune has rebuked her efforts; while she has engaged in a relationship with Carnos. Carnos has been imprisoned by the Varos in the interlamina, which seems to be the area they travel through between worlds and dimensions. Carnos may have been guilty of causing the humans to become more aggressive, possibly causing most of the current strife on the Earth planets. We later find that his confinement is not being handled quite as everyone thinks.
When they discover that Carnos might have slipped from his cage Doella begins to wonder if he might be responsible for the deaths of many of her lovers on Earth. I mention all of this because there are some questionable things that occur that made me feel uncomfortable with the character of Doella.
Carnos escapes into the dimensions or parallel worlds and lures Doella, because he loves her, and he traps her with him. He takes away her bracelet, which is something that is very important to her as it protects her and gives her the power to go where she wants to go. Somehow she seems alright with this for way too long even though she constantly moans about the loss of the bracelet to herself she doesn't confront Carnos. She does still love him, but this is like kidnapping and with her powers taken away it makes it that much more heinous. Eventually she seems happy to go along with him rather than question his tactics.
When they meet Sark a member of a race of Hyclos she has already attempted relationships with several other men and decides to include Sark. In many cases as this progresses she regains and loses her power bracelet. Since it protects her when she has it, the only feelings and concerns I've had for her is that somewhere along the line she's bound to get a nasty venereal disease.
There finally comes a time with one character where things push Doella too far and she realizes, for at least a while, the error of her ways. Almost coming to a point of redeeming herself. But truly as with Casanova there is no help for her.
Despite the dalliances and promiscuity the story has a plot and it's a fairly good one. I'm not all that sure about the resolution of the main plot, but it does fit the character and the story, so there is that. Though Doella does not come off very likable she is a unique character and a very interesting female protagonist.
Now for the caveats; for those a bit particular about Grammar issues. There are some style issues and grammar problems with long sentences and punctuation and lack of or wrong punctuation. Those are also my own week spot, so if I notice them it usually means something. There are several missing words or in some cases extra words that don't seem to belong (enough of these to go beyond my usual threshold).
This could have used another edit and I would give it a five star.
This is an okay romance for mature adults and a good Fantasy for SFF fans who can tolerate the style choices. It is definitely not hard science fiction.
View all my reviews