The Left Hand of God

I am easily swayed by a) hype b) cool book titles c) cool book covers, which is why even though I attempted and failed to get into, The Left Hand of God a while ago, I tried again (because I kept on seeing later books in the series and thinking “ooh that looks cool” and then remembering I hadn’t even managed to finish the first). For those few that don’t know The Left Hand of God is a sort of bleak, sort of dystopian YA novel where there it either some sort of alternate reality or set massively in the future (I favour the massively in the future theory myself, I have no idea if that’s what the author actually thought but I personally enjoyed the story more that way than imagining it as an alternate reality, as I could imagine all the ways how we could get from now to the world of The Left Hand of God, whereas the alternate reality idea didn’t give me those kind of thoughts to ‘entertain’ myself). Anyway, The Left Hand of God tells the story of the teenage Thomas Cale, member of the monk like Redeemers, a thoroughly unpleasant, war like bunch if there ever was one. On discovering one of the head honchos doing something thoroughly unpleasant, his consequent actions leave him no choice but to escape. Cale finds himself in the city of Memphis, ruled by the aristocratic Materazzi, where he ends up, by a combination of luck and cunning, the body guard of the beautiful daughter of the chief Materazzi. However the Redeemers are stil an unpleasant and violent thorn in Cale’s side . . .

I managed to get through this book this time but accompanied by the nagging feeling, that given the hype surrounding this series, that I must really be missing something because I still didn’t really like it. It felt like something I’d have written (not bigging myself up or anything), but it was mainly tell not show and it was so linear, as in this happened and then this happened and then this happened, it made the characters feel one dimensional at best because you could never really truly understand their motives. Positives about the book: the initial idea of the war like, highly unpleasant Redeemer monks is good and the world they’re set in is interesting and at the end the final battle scene is brutally good but in between, meh.

NB: I checked Amazon after reading the book and I was surprised, considering the hype, how many people agree with me . . .


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