Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Review: Mercury Rises

Mercury Rises
Mercury Rises by Robert Kroese

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy, humorous
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: anyone who likes to laugh and doesn't take religion too terribly seriously
Trigger Warnings: book burning
Animal Abuse: A character feeds a stray cat liverwurst laced with gunpowder in an attempt to blow it up. It is poisoned but survives; however, it is later killed by the city pound. A goat is sacrificed by an tribe in Kenya.

My Thoughts: “Each time a Charlie Nyx book hit the shelves, the state of the world would deteriorate. Wars, earthquakes, flooding, epidemics, the Clash of the Titans remake... things were truly getting out of hand...” It's the end of the world as we know it, but it's okay, because you'll laugh your way into the Apocalypse. Mercury is back, and this time he's even more confused.

Some of the best parts of this book are the characters. For instance... Despite his attempts to blow up a cat when he was a kid, I rather liked Jacob Slater. He was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome when he was a kid, which he describes as, “...a vaguely defined condition which, in the final analysis, meant that people gave him the heebie jeebies.... No one really knew what was wrong with Jacob Slater. The doctors who had analyzed him two decades earlier hadn't actually found anything definitively wrong with him. Yes, they had offered an authoritative-sounding diagnosis, but it wasn't as if they had discovered anything concrete like an imbalance of bodily humors or a band of angry dwarves living in his small intestine.”

I also enjoyed the flashbacks with Tiamat. “Never a hands-on leader, Tiamat rarely even bothered these days to make the occasional unscheduled appearance to berate the laborers for their stupidity and laziness and throw a few over the edge [of the ziggurat] as an examples for the others.” Watching her build up Babylon was great, and her entitled attitude is a hoot. “You don't know what it's like, trying to build a great civilization while abiding by all these ridiculous regulations. Did you know they've outlawed human sacrifice? How are the people supposed to express their devotion if they can't occasionally sacrifice one of their children to me.”

Then, of course, there is Eddie. “If there was any condition that gave a man carte blanche to lie down and take it easy for a bit, it was being shot five times in the chest with a nine-millimeter automatic pistol.” I could probably find hilarious quotes for every character in the book, and I haven't even addressed the main characters (Christine, Mercury, Horace Finch). The key word for this book is “hilarious”. I really do wish I'd been able to find my copy of Mercury Falls, because I've forgotten so much of it and thus am missing some of the references, but I managed to keep up okay.

If you enjoy laughing, and if you don't take your religion too seriously (the Tawanis, for instance, make up a number of gods and goddesses just to mess with Horace Finch, such as Buwandanta—god of that thing where you are half awake and can feel yourself lying in bed but you can't move), then you'll really enjoy this series of books. I recommend them.

Series Information: Mercury Rises is the second novel in the Mercury series.
Prequel One: Mercury Begins, review linked here where formatting allowed
Prequel Two: Mercury Swings, review linked here where formatting allowed
Book 1: Mercury Falls, read in September 2010, review linked here where formatting allowed
Book 3: Mercury Rests, to be read soon.

Disclosure: I received a paperback copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis (from the back of the book): Fresh off their successful quest to thwart not one, but two diabolical plots to destroy the world, jaded reporter Christine Temetri and rogue cherub Mercury find that mysterious powers outranking even the Heavenly bureaucracy seem intent on keeping the Apocalypse on track.

Mercury is generally well-intentioned, rarely well-behaved, and always well-armed with a droll remark. While the world is plagued by natural disasters and nations prepare for war, crazed billionaire Horace Finch plots to use a secret device hidden beneath the African desert to discover the deepest secrets of the Universe—even if he has to destroy the Universe to do it. Meanwhile, unassuming FBI investigator Jacob Slate tries to find a rational explanation for the mysterious destruction of downtown Anaheim—a quest that ultimately brings him face to face with the unhinged Horace Finch. Together, Christine, Jacob, and Mercury must stop Finch from activating the device and tearing reality to pieces.

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