on August 9, 2008
I found the idea of a man who accidentally stumbles into a people willing to worship him as a god, regardless of his intentions or desires, something really interesting to explore. Flinx is a very sympathetic hero, as well. It's easy to understand the decisions he makes, even when you know it'll end in disaster. His wry observations and tendancy to self-effacement make him very human.
In the very beginning, I actually wasn't sure if I'd make it all the way through the book. I'm really not big on hardcore science fiction, simply because I have a hard time following it. I don't understand how my computer works, let alone some imaginary super machine in a book. If I have to understand the mechanics to follow the story, it's just not going to happen. The beginning of the book looks like it's going to get pretty mechanically specific, with plenty of invented and "alienese" words, but that's really all they are. That being said, a lot of the alien or technological terms were hard to pronounce, even in my head. Note to fantasy and science fiction writers: if I can't say it, I can't really remember it, either. And if you're going to be coming up with a whole load of names, whether it be for characters, places, races, or whatever, please please keep it simple. If not, I'll be forever doomed to confusing Pyrrpallinda with Pakktrine and Peryoladam.
The writing style in general was uneven. The tone was very light and modern, with big words randomly thrown in on occasion, as if for good measure. A number of the metaphors made me pause, too. Unfortunately, these were not good pauses, relishing the beauty of the phrase or the succinctness of the thought, they were generally me being confused as to what exactly the author was trying to say.
At 280 pages, this was not a long book, although I felt it should have been one chapter shorter. Chapter 16 had nothing to do with the rest of the story, and just felt like it was tacked on to sell more books in the series. This seriously annoys me. The packaging and the enclosed excerpt of the next book at the end was more than enough to tell me the story continues.
So overall, I'll have to give Running From the Deity a middle-of-the-road rating. Some really interesting ideas with a thoroughly likeable protagonist, but so many of the little mechanical things bugged me, I wasn't able to enjoy it the way I should have. Which is a shame, really, because it has some great potential.