This is another book suggested to me by u/ASIC_SP and once again, they know their books.
I loved The Book Of Zog and I honestly struggle to imagine that anyone wouldn’t. It has it all, a likeable main character, an interesting side cast, imaginative world building, unfathomable cosmic horrors from the deepest voids of space.
The story is about an Eldritch Horror who has a sense of humanity. Comes across an earth-like planet with humans, and accidently starts a religion. I don’t want to say too much more than that, because there’s some surprises in there.
This isn’t a funny book, it’s lightly humorous I guess. It’s an interesting premise, where things happen, some fun, some serious. I wouldn’t take the book too seriously, I don’t think it takes itself seriously.
What I Liked
A good deal of the initial book, and some more descriptions within, are written in the style of H.P Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror. Personally, I love that stuff. So that was a big plus. There was even a couple words I had to check the exact meaning, though in context it was clear enough. In any case, lovely prose in these sections.
There’s some nifty world-building as well, done through the events that unfold. A couple of sections might delve into the tell side of “show don’t tell”, but it works in the few places it was done, and for good reason: like I said, some of the book is written in the older Lovecraftian style.
Length-wise, this is a short novel, I’m guessing about 60k words. I keep coming back to this… 60k words is plenty. There’s no middle slog, everything in the plot has a point, and it happens, and we move onto the next part of the plot and you never get tired and think now’s a good spot to put the book down.
I mentioned above that there’s a cast of interesting characters. They are. Hutson is falling back onto some tropes for them, but there’s no harm in that, as characters supporting Zog, they are perfect. And for a bit of a meta-feeling, considering who and what these characters are, they kind of should be tropes, so with that in mind, they work very well.
Zog himself, the single POV throughout the book, was great to read. His perspective is curious and childlike at the beginning of the story, and it’s fun to see things from an innocent perspective. We see the world and its inhabitants through his eyes, and it never comes off as needless or cheap, his sense of childlike curiosity feels very genuine. By the end of the story, he knows who and what he is, and what he wants to be, and it really feels like he grew. The supporting characters had practically no growth, maybe a little for one of them, but honestly, it doesn’t matter, this is easily Zog’s story through and through.
What I Didn’t Like
It’s hard to really think of anything.
To be completely honest… I can’t think of anything that detracted from the book. There’s some quibbles that people would point out, like little growth for supporting characters, trope-like characters etc… but it just doesn’t matter because everything surrounding the story is done so well. Zog, the Eldritch Horror, is done so well.
I rate this book higher than Orconomics. For me, this was a perfect story, executed well. Suitable for any age, I read a lot of this book to my 8 month old for bedtime (not that babies understand anything).
The Book of Zog is criminally underrated, it should be recommended at every request for fantasy. It doesn’t have anywhere enough reviews or ratings on Amazon and it should be selling a lot more.
Buy buy buy on Amazon.