About the Book:
They have finally done it.
They have finally killed a god.
In August’s world, everything was created by a single, secular god. HE—the creator of everything. However, HE left the world to be ruled with a subtle, iron fist by less powerful gods.
It had been two years since August stepped foot into his hometown, Sotira. It had also been that long since he’d last visited his father, seen his crooked smile, and felt those familial ties.
He wished he didn’t have to return. However, at the request of his girlfriend and his family, he was heading back home. To a place where the foundations themselves were built with false truths, hidden behind the ‘utopia’ the gods supposedly created. He knew fear lay under all that outward, deceitful happiness—a terror that Sotira would be next to come under the wrath of the gods.
When August arrived home, he wasn’t prepared for what he found. His best friend had been hung and turned into a monument in the middle of town by the order of his father and the gods. The world he thought he knew had been turned upside down. To turn it right again, August would do anything… even start down the path that would allow him to gain the power to kill God.
Available Here: Amazon
Charlie Hart's Fiction Review:
I got this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, it won't be a particularly positive review.
I should say that I really wanted to like this book. Honestly, I really did. And not just because I like the premise of the book. The premise is pretty fantastic, actually: the gods run everything through a corporation, Ifor, and treat humans pretty horribly. But one guy, August, has had enough, and he's going to kill the chief god, He.
It's a pretty nifty concept to build a book around. Unfortunately, all of the parts that are used to examine that concept and tell the story built around it are sorely lacking. The characters are flat and unlikeable, the dialogue is stiff and wooden, and the descriptions of action and characters' inner thoughts is stilted and amateurish. No one seems to have clear motivation: the main character (I hesitate to call him the protagonist, as he's not exactly the heroic type or at all likable) hates his father, but we're never given a clear reason why beyond the fact that he works for the gods. We don't get a solid reason for August's hatred of the gods. We also don't get clear motives for other characters: during the climax of the book, one of the gods betrays their brethren and joins the titular men who want to kill the gods, which makes no sense. It simply provides a dramatic twist at the appropriate time and gives the fight scene that follows more tension, but there didn't seem to be any benefit to the characters behind it.
"Amateurish" is an accurate word to describe the entire proceeding. The book feels more like a first draft than a finished product, with a variety of typos and grammatical errors throughout. A perfect example would be the repetitive "Stood to his feet," a phrase that is used frequently throughout the book. And that's only one example of the awkward, amateur style of writing. Flipping to any random page in the book would reveal a similarly-confusing or awkward turn of phrase, and it pulled me right out of the story each time. I feel pretty bad about pointing it out, given that McCarthy is a fellow self-publisher, but you really have to bring your A-game when you're self-publishing if you want anyone to give you a chance.
All that being said, McCarthy shows some promise. The book's plot was solid, and he throws enough ideas at the wall that stick to make me want to know what would happen next. In the foreword, McCarthy indicates that The Men Who Killed God is the first of a planned series called Sinner of the Infinite. I'm curious as to where he plans to take it, given the bizarre situation he leaves August in at the end of this first book.
Overall, I'm afraid I can't really recommend The Men Who Killed God. While it has a fun high concept, the book is sunk by its amateur writing quality and easily-fixed errors.