Review: Age of Anansi

by James Lovegrove

Rebellion ebook, out now

Anansi – the spider trickster god. He knows exactly how to enfold you within his web…

Although connected to James Lovegrove’s Pantheon series of urban retellings of the mythological gods’ presence among us, this novella of necessity deviates in its format from the main range. It most reminds me of some of the best of Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected – there’s a very definite sting in the tail, but all the clues are provided for the reader as you go along.

Dion Yeboah doesn’t really believe in gods – certainly not ancient ones that look like a giant spider, can sit on his chest, and can affect his fate. But when he’s presented with undeniable proof of Anansi’s existence, he sees it as a win/win situation when the god wants Dion to be his avatar at a contest between the trickster gods of different religions.

Apart from the obvious “be careful what you wish for” theme, there’s also a deeper examination of how we delude ourselves when opportunity comes our way. There’s a very telling conversation at the end of the book that doesn’t quite make you go back to the start in a Sixth Sense way, and look at the whole story in a new fashion, but which is certainly food for thought.

If you only know the harder edged side of Lovegrove’s writing, this makes a pleasant change, and is well worth picking up.  7/10

Paul Simpson

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