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American Goddesses by Gary Henry

American Goddesses (edition 2012)

by Gary Henry

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841,583,095 (3.75)None
Title:American Goddesses
Authors:Gary Henry
Collections:Your library
Tags:superhero, action adventure

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American Goddesses by Gary R. Henry



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American Goddesses is a very well written book. Author Gary Henry knows his craft. He kept me reading to the end with an action packed story full of flawed but engaging characters. One of my criticisms would be that the ending felt premature and far too convenient. One of the things I appreciated was that the book laid the groundwork for a sequel without leaving you hanging on a cliff. I hate cliff hangers. ( )
  DianneAstle | Aug 4, 2014 |
I remember when I pitched my superhero novel to an agent and she expressed concern the book was "too far out there." I wish I'd had a copy of this to show her and say, "Now THIS is 'out there!'" I mean a central part of the plot is a Russian psychic possessing a superhero in order to rape the superhero's husband. Yuck.

Even with the rape scene I would have liked the book better if the heroes had at least the intellect of Forrest Gump. Instead they both come off like morons. And there's something misogynist about how the one is a naive fool and the other uses her powers mostly to nag her husband about his drinking. A husband, who incidentally cheats on her the first time we see him and yet the rest of the book we're supposed to believe how much in love they are.

Then the plot is resolved by introducing a bunch of new characters at around the 80% mark so it has a real deus ex machina feel. And then at the end it turns into "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

It's just a mess of a story, but at least the writing isn't littered with as much terrible grammar and typos as you might expect from a self-published book.

That is all. ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
American Goddesses by Gary Henry

I enjoyed this story, but for me there were moments when it seemed to be extremely campy.

It's well written although it is of an unusual style which is something it shares with some few other novels I've recently read. There's an excessive amount of dialogue and it's often difficult to give the reader a full depth of the characters from that and that alone. It takes some skill to keep the readers attention with only dialogue. Although this does keep my attention I think it might also account for the feeling that there is a comedy built into this.

I have an old favorite movie called His Girl Friday, which comes from a popular play. It has a lot of banter back and forth that is quick fire and almost leaves the audience breathless at times and I think that's what this reminds me of. The story is written in enough dialogue form that it looks like a screen play and reads a bit like a comedy.

The premise is fresh on the one hand yet overused on another. We have a great amount of female protagonists lately that are endowed with fantastic powers that make them indestructible and I'm not sure if that's all that helpful in trying to portray women with any measure of extra depth. It is nice to see that these women have their weaknesses even when they are powerful but the examination of those weaknesses such as when Megan finds her husband with the other woman are not so much unbelievable as swept under the rug too quickly. In fact her husbands easy conversion almost makes one wonder if her psychic powers were used to sway his mind a bit.

And then I'm not even all that sure how well someone might be reliant upon powers that might be reduced to nothing by their present state of mind.(Although the mind rape might make some argument for those circumstance.)

But this did entertain me and kept me reading all the way to the end so there is a lot to say to that.

This would have made a great young adult story because it really does read that way and it has the feel of having had adult situations and language inserted just to throw people off from making that assessment.

The prologue ( which is more distraction than helping the story along since we don't really see these people again) and the subsequent portrayal of evil organizations of men seem a bit on the excess of trying to villain - ize men in general not to mention a whole diatribe of anti-male sentiment with a contrast that if everything is run by women it will be suddenly all that much better. It's interesting, but the use of all those visuals includes specific elements in the plot that never get resolved they merely stand as 'oh these are horrible things perpetrated by horrible men' and now we have these super women who can fix everything. We do not see our hero's solve but only the tip of the iceberg; while being unaware that there is something massively dangerous underneath.

The only character with enough power to hurt them is another woman and though she makes a thoroughly good villain she's a woman and her existence stands in the way of one prevalent theme in the novel. But she's necessary otherwise there is no conflict, just the hero's squashing the bad guys.

While there were strong women abounding throughout this story I really didn't see any strong characters that really put me into this story to care about them. So though I love to give everyone high marks for their effort I think there was a story in between the dialogue that didn't make it to the paper. This novel could have been longer and much better.

This is a fairly good light read for someone who's looking for that certain something different in their SFF and doesn't take their science too serious.

J.L. Dobias ( )
  JLDobias | Nov 10, 2013 |
Indestructible women who can fly and bend metal with their minds and others to their will? Of course, I'm going to be intrigued. The execution of the story? Phenomenal!

Gary Henry delivers a well-written, power-packed, page-turner, reminiscent of the golden age of comic books. An introduction to two average Midwest small-town women, Megan and Trish, who gain extraordinary powers after volunteering to be test subjects in a medical experiment, launches this action-adventure thrill ride. Aside from walking through a wall of fire, terrifying a man attempting suicide into valuing life, and using special abilities to gain the upper hand with an egotistical spouse and expose his cheating ways -- all in the day of your average superhero-- life is rather normal for Megan and Trish, until an exiled Russian scientist decides to resurrect a dream of world domination. Soon, both women discover they are not invincible, as a deliciously wicked super villainess uses them to bring humanity to its knees.

As previously mentioned, American Goddesses is comic bookish. In fact, I visualized the vivid action scenes as comic book panels. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an entertaining, fast-pace, and quick (quick because it's hard to put down, as the bags under my eyes will attest) action-adventure or superhero read. Keep in mind, however, this novel is meant for an adult audience. The sexual content and violence isn't overly graphic, but enough to give a heads up. ( )
  Elise_Stokes | Jul 21, 2013 |
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