Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
Alice is a regular cleaning girl, sneaking her crush named Neil into an empty theater to see a show by a psychic, or a supposed psychic. The whole thing goes great, besides the plotting that Aphrodite is up to. She wants to stick it to Apollo, just because he’s full of himself and also because she’s not very nice. She gets her son to shoot Apollo with an arrow during his fake psychic performance. The first woman he sees is the woman he will fall in love with. The first woman he sees happens to be mousey Alice.
Soon, Alice finds herself out of a job since she snuck someone into the theater. Neil suggests that she start her own cleaning company. One of the first houses she goes to happens to be the house Apollo lives in with all the other Greek gods, who have for some reason all moved to London. There they live, working day jobs, trying to make ends meet. No one believes in the gods anymore. Aphrodite is a phone sex worker, Apollo is an actor of sorts, Artemis walks dogs, and Zeus stays up in the attic.
Alice starts cleaning house, but Apollo soon finds out that she works in his very house. To him, Alice is the woman of his dreams, but the friendship between Neil and Alice has developed into something more than friends. When Apollo makes his move, Alice rejects him and things turn bad. Generally people don’t reject Apollo. Soon a quest of heroic proportions must take place in order for Alice and Neil to be together, but also to save the world.
What I liked
This book was humorous in bringing Greek mythology into modern-day. How would the gods of yesteryear cope with our modern-day lives? It’s difficult to imagine such a thing, but Marie imagined one way that it might happen.
I like the fact that they all had to get jobs to make a living. You would think they would have a bunch of gold stock-piled somewhere or something.
Each of these gods has very human-like traits, which is something that personalizes the idea of religion. If your god can get angry or horny, are you two really that different?
The traditional hero story is in this book, although not as traditional as usual.
What I didn’t like
I’m not particularly fond of any of the characters. None of the gods are that exciting. They’re all stuck on themselves in different ways. Neil and Alice have a “meh” relationship. The story is still interesting though.
Maybe the guy who washes the windows is really an out-of-work Greek God?
Do you imagine that you could ever accept that a god lived around you, if it actually happened?
Would you go to the underworld to rescue someone who you loved?