by J. Rushing.
RADIO isn’t the usual type of fantasy that I read. This one straddles the genres so I’m not entirely sure where it fits as it has touches of fantasy, science-fiction, thriller, mystery, and dystopia all wrapped in one. But this doesn’t confuse of muddy the story. If anything, I found RADIO to be a great reason why genre can sometimes be restrictive.
The plot of RADIO is of the arrogant god Marduk, a scientist and god who is part of a group of gods that use mind control to spread their influence throughout humanity whilst hopping between bodies. The gods plan to use their giant radio to broadcast horrors and make them feared once more, which Marduk vehemently disagrees with. On one fateful night, poor Marduk is forced to vacate his preferred body whilst being hunted by his former god friends and finds himself trapped in a new body. Unfortunately, his new host is a wretch and a drug addict, and his consciousness remains inside.
This leads to a lot of challenges for Marduk (Or M as he’s known) as he adjusts to his new body and the drug addiction that comes with it. He’ll need to handle the personal and professional life of his host, hide from his former allies (including his former lover), all whilst trying to sabotage their apocalyptic plans. And all this set to the backdrop of 1920 Paris.
What I’ll whine about:
Though the story went at a great pace, I was sometimes unsure of the time scale that events took place over and the urgency with the impending apocalyptic deadline.
What I’ll gush about:
I personally loved M. His arrogance and humour came across perfectly, especially the relationships he’s forced to endure with the Monos (normal humans). M’s view of the world, as well as the side characters of his host and host’s best friend, are what kept me reading more than the conflict with the gods.
The author painted a wondrous picture of 1920’s Paris without drowning in the details, which shows how much loving care and research went into RADIO. I especially appreciate that the author didn’t shy from the darker side of this world, or from the opium addiction that M and his host are forced to endure and deal with. This wasn’t just hand waved aside, but had real consequences.
RADIO revealed its secrets with a delightful writing style that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have to admit that the ending both made me laugh and also say “oh Jesus” out loud, so well done! I’d love to read more of M’s adventures and world in the future.