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Lagoonfire, by Francesca Forrest

Review copy provided by the publisher. Also, the author has been an internet friend for some years.

I have not read the other book in this series, The Inconvenient God–it’s been on my list for awhile and has now shot up to the top of it, because I enjoyed Lagoonfire so much. But I loved Forrest’s previous work, Pen Pal, so when I had a chance to read this one, I jumped at it, and I’m glad I did. This is a perfectly reasonable place to start reading about the Polity, though I’m eager to find out more because I enjoyed the balance of it so much.

Decommissioner Thirty-seven, also known as Sweeting to the former gods who are her friends, spends her work hours easing former gods out of lives of divinity and into human old age. The Polity is a modern government, where citizens should appeal to abstractions, not to gods, and they’re willing and able to un-deify whatever gods they need to. Thirty-seven has a fondness for the previous gods and visits them to play strategy games and drink fruit juice when she’s off the clock.

They’re her main friends, because Thirty-seven has a terrible family secret in her past. Her parents were mass-murdering terrorists, and she must constantly reeducate herself to the precepts and principles of the Polity in order to assure those in power that she won’t follow in her family’s footsteps.

All of that puts her particularly at risk when a dying former god asks her a favor that has surprising overlap with some of her assignments at work. The stranger she meets while investigating both issues only complicates matters. The result is delightful and nuanced. Highly recommended.

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