“Banished: The Gods Among Us Book One” is a short novelette by William and Pamela Deen. The story is a fantasy retelling of mythological Sumerian gods and their lives. Point of view switches between the principal god characters involved in a judicial hearing and judgment for a rapist.
The tale opens with Sud, a young beautiful goddess, being raped by an unknown assailant. Her father, the war god Haia, becomes reasonably angry and wants to pick a fight with a trickster god that he is just pretty sure did it… But we don’t really know.
They assume and convict Inlil, the son of the god king Anu. He is like Loki of Norse mythology. He is cruel and enjoys creating havoc so no one really puts up a fuss about banishing him to a primitive planet named Earth.
There Inlil bides his time by terrorizing humans, eating their children, and getting in touch with his new wolf body that he has been placed in. Back in the heavens of Nibiru, a war seems to be brewing between the gods who are split on the treatment of Inlil. Outraged by his actions on Earth however makes the gods send Enki as an eagle to go attack his brother and scare him off his baby human diet.
From the start there are several different storylines that branch from the initial rape scene. Characters seem to increase at an exponential rate without the reader really getting much time with anyone of them. Then there is a metric ton of exposition.
Nearly every paragraph has at least one line of exposition but more often than nought it is the entire paragraph. The story takes the idea of ‘show-don’t-tell’ and tries to make the entire story that style.
Outside of style issues, the story is fairly interesting. It is a short story that creates a large universe out of a rarely used mythology. The book is a part of a series so perhaps it will build on what they have established here. Also there are some fairly well written portions about how the gods feed on emotions that were very gripping.
Overall this isn’t a terrible read but I would only suggest it to fans of the epic mythologically based fantasy stories. I give “Banished: The Gods Among Us” two out of five stars for being original and having some potential.