Title: The Origins of Constantine
Author: D.C. Gomez
Publication Date: February 27, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: 87 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 4 Stars
When the god Anubis needed a friend, the universe sent him the most unlikely companion: a feisty little cat.
Discover how the infamous five-thousand-year-old talking cat, Constantine of the Intern Diaries, became a permanent fixture in the life of Death.
This fast-paced, action-packed Novella will have you turning the page and falling in love with the most unlikely of duos.
Content Warning: Tuberculosis and the death of a pet. I will not be discussing these things in my review.
Even Death himself can get lonely sometimes.
The character development was handled nicely for everyone from the protagonist to the kind friends he relied on as he adjusted to being the right hand cat of Death himself. I enjoyed peeling back all of the layers of the characters I met. My first impressions of many of them were quickly adjusted as I learned new things about them that I wouldn’t have necessarily guessed in advance. Other characters were more forthcoming with their personalities, but I still had a wonderful time finding additional examples of their kindness, courage, and other positive traits as time went on.
I would have liked to see a little more time spent on the world building. The author provided tantalizing hints about this version of ancient Egypt that I kept hoping would be explored in greater depth than they were. It did make me wonder if the full-length novels in this series had the space to dive further into this time and place, though, and it was a minor criticism of a novella I otherwise really liked. Based on my first taste of this world, I’m definitely curious to learn more about it!
Ms. Gomez had a playful sense of humour that worked perfectly for this setting and these characters. There were multiple times when the dialogue made me chuckle out loud, especially when Constantine made another one of his wry comments. Her characters knew exactly how to gently goad each other into doing the right thing even if it wasn’t always necessarily for the right reason. The juxtaposition of their occasionally mixed motivations and their often surprisingly wholesome life choices was delightful. I love meeting nuanced characters like these who can find the funny side of even the most serious topics.
This is part of a series, but you don’t have to be familiar with the previous works to enjoy it. I had no trouble jumping straight into this world as a brand new reader.
I’d recommend The Origins of Constantine to any teen or adult who likes alternate history.
What a great sense of humour this book has.
Constantine – the cat. Five-thousand-years old and right hand man of Death (Anubis or Anpu, although he hates the latter name). Also the guardian/trainer of all the Interns that worked for Death.
Bob – his human in present day
Isis Black – Bob’s friend who saved him from being sacrificed by volatile witches. Can see the dead.
Camaro – aka the bumblebee.
Constantine grew up in Memphis, the first capital of the United Kingdom of Egypt in 3100BC. It was the pride of Menes, the king who united Upper and Lower Egypt.
3140 B.C. Is exactly when this tale is set.
Cats were worshipped in the Hiku-Ptah or the Inbu-Hedj (city where Constantine lived).
Ammon – head of the house. Took in kitten Constantine saved.
Saqqara – the necropolis of the Inbu-Hedj.Where Constantine went to escape the roaming gangs of cats looking for him.
Bastet – another god.
Moses – kitten Ammon took in and saved.
Pilis – Ammon‘s best friend. An orphan. Spends most of his days with Ammon and his sister and mom.
Taweret – god of healing.
”You are too obsessed with this god of death thing. We need to work on your identity.”