When I was in town on Saturday, I decided I needed something quick and light-hearted to read. I knew Who Let The Gods Out was not only Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month, but Maz Evans was also the featured debut author over at the British Books Challenge, so I’d heard quite a bit about the book and thought it was exactly what I wanted. This wasn’t quite the case, but I enjoyed it nevertheless, and there are a lot of funny moments.
Elliot’s mum is ill and his home is under threat, but a shooting star crashes to earth and changes his life forever. The star is Virgo – a young Zodiac goddess on a mission. But the pair accidentally release Thanatos, a wicked death daemon imprisoned beneath Stonehenge, and must then turn to the old Olympian gods for help. After centuries of cushy retirement on earth, are Zeus and his crew up to the task of saving the world – and solving Elliot’s problems too?
First off, the book *looks* lovely. There’s lots of shiny on the cover, and there’s a sprayed edge with a lightning bolt outlined (and I’m a sucker for a sprayed edge.). Obviously this means that the moment I put it in my bag the pages got a little damaged, but never mind. I like a book that looks like it’s actually been read!
Aesthetics aside, I really liked the story. It wasn’t the laugh-a-minute I was expecting, and actually had some quite serious themes – Elliot is essentially a young carer for his mum, with no support, and as a result is doing quite badly in school – but when it was funny, it was really funny. I liked the idea of the Greek gods retiring and ceding control to a bureaucratic council mired in rules and regulations (I’m also a sucker for anything that brings the ancient Greek/Roman Gods to present-day Britain – I’ve been reading Tom Holt books since I was 13!). I liked Elliot a lot too. He’s just a kid trying to look after his mum and cope with an incredibly surreal situation. I must admit that I found Virgo more annoying than anything, but she does improve as the book goes on, and the rest of the characters more than make up for her. I can’t decide which of the gods I love the most, but I did love them all.
Overall, I would say it’s definitely worth picking up Who Let The Gods Out. It’s a really enjoyable, middle grade book and I’m looking forward to the sequel.