Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Lord of the Lightning by David Butler

One of my blog readers and fellow CPer, Becky, sent me an email asking if I'd like to review her Dad's new book. And not being one to turn down free books (and because it sounded good) I said yes. The book is Lord of the Lightning by David Butler

Here is the synopsis
The poet Homer says the Greek gods made androids, replica humans able to speak and move and think. Consider that…

The ancient Greek gods, Zeus and the rest, weren't gods at all. They were aliens, travellers in space and time, who chanced upon planet Earth when their vehicle broke down. We were a handy emergency stop. Their technology was taken for divine magic so they were taken for gods.

Earth was a disappointment. The science the Olympians needed to mend their vehicle was unknown to the ancient Greeks. And the Olympians were falling sick. So they entered suspended animation.

In 1996 they awoke. Now they've done a deal with a global tycoon. Fix the ship, cure the illnesses and the Olympians will depart, leaving the tycoon equipped with the same technology the Greeks mistook for divine power.

Planet Earth may fall under the dictatorship of a single business leader, Malvol. If some of the Olympians have their way, worse fates may await humanity, including the theft of the planet. An alien shape-shifter named Demogorgon has equally menacing plans.

Leadership in the battle to save the human race falls by chance to an unemployed journalist, an American professor, a female aboriginal Australian diplomat, a quartet of first year university students led by a young woman in a wheelchair - oh yes, and a hyper-intelligent Siamese cat whose interests include geometry and Latin poetry. Can Earth be saved?

There was something about this that just kept me reading. It had hints of sci fi enough to keep me happy but not so much to put off someone who wasn't a fan. There was quite a lot of Greek mythology in it an area I know little or nothing about. However it wasn't overwhelming and for the most part was explained without making it boring or you feel like the author was talking down to you.

I especially loved the plot with Leo the cat, which not being a cat fan (they freak me out) I hadn't expected.

Another aspect that was very good was the way disability is handled. It's not hidden away or brushed aside. Nor is the point that Penelope is disabled shoved down your throat. It's just a part of who she is along with many other things. Once or twice her disability was used to describe her when I didn't think it needed to be though. I have a feeling there are a lot of autobiographical elements to the characters of Penelope and her parents and would be interested to know how much that is so.

I'm glad I read this book and if there's a sequel I'd want to read it.

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