Publication Date: May 27, 2012
In American Goddesses by Gary Henry, Megan and Trish, average women, are taught to release the superwoman within, they find coping with the new abilities difficult. It seems with power comes violence. Will their relationships survive their new abilities and will they be able to survive the dark new evil that can slip in at the most unexpected times?
It is truly rare to find a new favorite author, especially one whose releases I’ll pick up on the day they premiere, the new author, Gary Henry, has made that list.
To be fair, if an author was writing a book specifically tailored for me I don’t think they could have done a better job.
Superheroes — Check.
Good, meaty, storyline — Check.
Author who isn’t afraid to make readers cringe — Check.
True baddie with clear motivations and sympathetic background — Check.
Storyline surprises left and right — Check.
To top the list, the baddies who are in charge of the overriding evil plotline are all code-named after birds and a slight bird phobia helps this reader in the conviction that these former heads of state are just pure evil.
Megan and Trish are average women in extraordinary circumstances. They are painted so beautifully and clearly by Henry that they are easily identifiable with that girlfriend you like to meet up with from time to time for drinks. The dialogue, to me, was very real. This is what women talk about. That stigma regarding male authors writing female characters as less than realistic does not apply to Mr. Henry. Megan and Trish are very real.
Megan and Trish also have very real partners. At the start, we know that there are many people jealous of the power these women have. There’s a lot of “why couldn’t it have been me” floating around in the narrative. While Megan and her husband aren’t very likable at the start, I urge the reader to continue. I think, whether Henry intended it or not, we are presented with a very real idea of what happens when one’s spouse achieves success and the other feels a bit left behind.
I’d like to hear from those of you who read this novel, would you have liked to have seen rather than heard about Trish’s fight in the bar? I know I would have but, yes, I know, novels have ideal lengths and it was a spectacular novel even without my “taking the law into one’s own hands” voyeurism.
The plot line was outstanding. It’s been a very long time since a steady stream of plot points surprised this reader. Whenever I thought Henry was turning one way, he went in a completely different direction that I had never considered. The baddies and the superheroes play off of each other in a cunning way that keeps the reader locked into the narrative with the need, rather than the desire, to know what comes next.
The baddie was one for whom we could really feel sorry. She had a good life and then a hard life and was just thrown away. Can we blame her for how wonderfully brutal she has become? The baddie is written with such humanity that there were times I wanted her to succeed and I wanted it to be for herself. Does that sound twisted? Read the baddie and tell me if you don’t feel the same.
Everyone in this novel is running their own agenda in such a way that is not only believable but compelling. American Goddesses was simply too fast a read and when it was done I wanted much more. The ending of this novel is wonderful in the promise it holds for future novels. Henry tells me that there will be future novels in the series but that he does not yet have a release date for the second novel.
Halfway into 2012, this is one of the best novels I’ve read this year. I would put this author on my list of indie authors to watch. Gary Henry, if he keeps this level of quality in plotting and characterization, is going to be a very big deal someday.
If this sounds like a book for you, read an excerpt and buy American Goddesses by Gary Henry on: