****I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review****
Despite the name, this is NOT a creation myth retelling. In fact, if you go in thinking that the names are more of a coincidence then this is actually Lucifer, fallen archangel, and devil sent to plague humanity, then I think you’d be happier. Think of this as a science-fiction meets dark fantasy where fantasy creatures/aliens and world building gods clash over the right to live, rule, create, and who has access to knowledge. Think of this as the journey of one immortal prince (who is only immortal as long as he doesn’t get killed) as he goes to avenge his twin brother, only to learn that his brother’s death was perhaps not so murderous, and the being responsible has plans to destroy the prince’s world to power his own designs. Then, as the prince rushes home through light years of space after being trapped for thousands of years, he learns that another has taken his place, and he must now take back everything that was stolen from him, and also save his primal pattern (or, world really) from being destroyed. Get rid of the name Lucifer and Jehovah and apocalypse, and this book gets a bit closer to a better told story. But unfortunately, you can’t do that, either.
I always get a little sad when a book makes such interesting promises and can’t deliver on them for one reason or another. There is so much promise in “Lucifer’s Odyssey”! It’s a good effort, Jameson is a smart writer and he knows his stuff when trying to explain the science between the space travel side of the book, but there’s just So. Much. Going. On. Angels and demons that are also wizards, and wizards that are goblins and also elves, and a demonic version of a constitutional monarchy plus royal coups, not to mention the past feuds between other primals (that feel like kingdoms given their relationship with the other species), and epic love stories that never feel that epic because they never truly got much attention to begin with. It’s a lot to keep track of, and some of these points would be fabulous all on their own. But ultimately, the world building just falls apart and it feels like the author is making things up as he goes, and loses the thread of what the real conflict was supposed to be, as so many colossal threads are left for the reader to grasp, and attach an importance to.
I had a hard time deciding if this book was satirical, there are some funny moments, and Sariel (er, Loki I guess?) is a funny guy, and I enjoyed his quips. But the way he and Lucifer interact, it’s hard to get a sense of time, as (supposedly) hundreds of thousands of years are passing, but these guys and their worlds never alter. And they ALWAYS say things that are the equivalent of “you mad, bro?” While funny, it felt out of place in this kind of story, and left me confused as to what was meant to be serious, or make me feel things other than “oh, well then, was that necessary? These guys sure do like to kill people pretty casually…” Making it was hard to root for them, or feel sympathetic when characters meet untimely ends. Oh, and speaking of casual killing, this book has a lot of violence and a lot of swearing, so if you aren’t into that, be forewarned. I'd say anyone under 16 probably shouldn't read it...
Jameson does really need to be given credit for coming up with such a unique concept, but it could have used a bit more refining and world building, so the tangents stayed focused, the necessary characters received the appropriate amount of page time in relevant situations that gave the reader an idea of if they were meant to be sympathetic (or missed when they were gone), and a consistent tone could be established. This book could merely be suffering from the symptoms of being the first book in a trilogy, where the author is trying to set up everything necessary so that books 2 and 3 are where the reader will truly “get” what’s happening. Which is unfortunate, because this story did hold promise.
Again, if you can 100% ignore that this has nothing to do with the characters and creatures you know as Lucifer and Jehovah (god) then I think you’ll be better served, but Jameson clearly doesn’t want the reader to do that, so I can’t really give it a pass, either. I wanted to like this more than I did, I really did, but given well, everything, I can only give it a 2.5 stars.