The Neon God by Ben D’Alessio
The Neon God by Ben D’Alessio is set in New Orleans in 2019. The story is told from the alternating points of view of Zibby, a New Orleans citizen and law student, and Dionysus, the Greek God of the Earth, the vine, and wine. Dionysus decides to visit New Orleans and Hermes drops him on a street corner near the bookstore where Zibby works. We follow Dionysus during the few months he spends in New Orleans, Zibby through her first semester of law school and both when their stories intersect. Can Zibby and the rest of New Orleans handle the God of the vine? And can he handle New Orleans?
Explicit Content Warning: This story contains sexual content, gruesome violence and plenty of swearing. If you don’t like any of these in your reading then stay away from this book.
Have you ever wondered how an ancient Grecian God would react to modern day North America? Or how North Americans would react to seeing an ancient God in the streets? Well, here’s one theory. I don’t know what inspired Ben D’Alessio to write this book but I want to. This is a very creative approach to ancient Grecian theology and how it might fit into the modern world. The story also includes lots of anecdotes from Greek mythology that show just how much research the author put in to this story and its characters.
Having a chaotic God in a chaotic city certainly makes for an interesting story. There are lots of funny moments as well as some serious and dramatic moments. With plenty of unexpected events, it’s hard to put the book down because you just want to know what’s going to happen next. Dio and Zibby’s stories seem separate but are also dependant on each other and are tied together nicely. D’Alessio also does a really good job with descriptions that allow you to picture everything and capturing both a picture of New Orleans and of the residents of Mount Olympus. I would also like to point out that there is a point in the story when Hades asks the satyr Silenus to cook up a plague and release it in the orient so he might be to blame for Covid-19.
If you like Greek mythology, New Orleans, or both then give The Neon God by Ben D’Alessio a read. It’s a highly interesting, chaotic, and often funny depiction of what might happen if the two were put together.
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XOXO ~ Amber Rose