There's a lot to unpack in Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach and I would be lying if I said that I figured out everything with my first read through. Robson doesn't tell you everything, and I appreciate that. Instead, Robson gives you the bones of the story, and you're left to flesh out the rest of it on your own. And you can't just accept everything at face value, either. There's some information you'll only clue into if you google it (or you're good at grams to pounds conversation in your head).
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach has an interesting twist to it regarding fixing the environment. This is about the reclamation of the world taking a long-term view. Not a 'fix it, fix it now' approach that tends to screw so much up because you can't slap a band-aid on a gaping wound and call it done. That, in itself, makes the book stand out from its peers. It felt realistic, especially in the battle to actually get anything accomplished with things like funding being an issue.
I also liked that though this was a story involving time travel, the time travel wasn't the primary ingredient in the mix. I mean, yeah, they do end up in Ancient Mesopotamia, but it's still the characters that keep your attention throughout. The fact that the main character (Minh) was a stubborn old lady who was very intelligent, but not even close to perfect was awesome. Kiki felt realistic as well, with the foolhardy decision she makes and the mistakes that balance out her own intelligence. The relationship between the two of them was a great one, and I found myself wanting to step in and referee and make them understand each other.
I have to say, it felt like for so much of the novel I was wondering where the Lucky Peach part of the name came into play that when it finally did happen, I ended up blinking dumbly at the page. Like "That's it? THAT'S the Lucky Peach?" I was almost offended that I didn't see it coming. I think like a lot of others, I had been expecting something vaguely Dahl-ish from the name. Still, once I got over that, I was fine.
Overall, Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach was such an interesting, well-written story. So much story packed into a mere 176 pages. I need more, though! All those details the author works in begs for a bit more explanation. I'm not much one for wanting world building, but I need another dive into the future that this book is set in. (Actually, maybe just a few years before this book is set. Creches, fat babies, etc. How does it all work!?)
You'll be missing out if you don't read this.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.