ReDeus: Beyond Borders (Volume 2)
by Aaron Rosenberg
Review by Drew Bittner
Crazy 8 Press Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781892544063
Date: 09 May 2013 List Price $17.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
In 2012, at the London Olympics, the gods returned. All of them. And they made no bones about it, they expected mankind to step back a couple thousand years and worship them again. The Greek pantheon took up control of the eastern Mediterranean, the Norse gods dominated Germany and Scandinavia, and so on. What is humanity to make of this?
That's the basis of ReDeus: Beyond Borders, the second novel in this modern mythology.
Leading off with "What Remains is Light", by series co-creator Aaron Rosenberg, a brilliant technological innovator has to contend with the Japanese goddess who has banished higher technology from the Land of the Rising Sun. If Hiroto cannot find a way to handle the return of Amaterasu, with help from his remaining staff and an odd intern, his dreams will die a most unholy death.
In "The Wanderer", Robert Greenberger explores the steady alteration of life and society as the Aesir assert their control. Through a series of "slice of life" encounters, each set later and later in the return, Greenberger expertly portrays the subtle and not-so-subtle changes that occur in both men and gods as they interact. And even a god can learn something new.
Scott Pearson continues the story of Etienne Joubert, Crusader and resurrected knight, in "A Medieval Knight in Vatican City". The knight might find an answer to his doubts in the Holy City, if he can survive the onslaught of mythological beasts and arrange a very important meeting—but nothing is guaranteed and even those returned to life and existence have difficulties when it comes to faith.
All these tales and more comprise a rich tapestry that is beyond urban fantasy, it is truly modern mythology. Humanity finds itself powerless in the face of these gods, but powerless does not mean helpless, and in several instances, humans are able to exert a degree of independence that by turns delights, impresses, frustrates and infuriates their overlords.
The next volume, Native Lands, is out already--and if this volume is any indication, the series is well positioned for a long, fascinating run. Here’s hoping!