Written by: Matt Molgaard
Elijah’s got problems. After who knows how long he wakes, in a cage, surrounded by grotesqueries of epic proportions. He’s trapped in a building all too familiar, yet at a loss in regards to a means of escape. But that’s only the beginning of the man’s issues. His memories slowly begin returning, he’s learning of new enhanced physical capabilities, and he’s going to need those enhancements if he hopes to escape this Hell, which he soon learns is crawling with hideous, deformed monsters.
Quan Williams (now that is an awesome name!) crafts what equates to a video game on paper. Seriously, as I read this violent and bloody affair I couldn’t battle back the memories of Doom, on the PC, back in the ‘90s, when life seemed… right. As Elijah navigates the mysterious BAAL building, it’s entirely reminiscent of advancing stages of Doom… it might sound crazy, but I loved that about this book. It left an aging man who can’t locate his own smile these days fulfilled in a wondrous nostalgic fashion. Those experiences are rare, and given the turmoil I’m experiencing right now behind closed doors, I can say that Godmode was just what I needed. Somehow, for me, this display of ultraviolent hostility was almost cathartic.
Having said that, and noting that I did indeed get a thrill out of this one, it’s important to make notation of a few of its flaws. First off, while Quan is a good writer, he’s no wordsmith. His prose doesn’t truly captivate you, and the creatures of Godmode themselves can become a bit repetitive. The novel’s ultimate saving grace is the subplot, which unravels through a series of flashbacks and memories, in which we learn a lot more about Elijah, and who he was before man decided to play God.
Godmode is enjoyable, bloody and unforgiving, never wavering in its goal of shocking the reader. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But the gradual unraveling of Elijah’s personality works as a fine glue to hold these pieces together. As a fan first, who looks for true depth, I quite appreciated the juxtaposing tale.
Will I read another piece from Quan Williams? You bet your ass I will. Not just because he’s got one of the coolest names I’ve ever heard, but because he’s got a ceiling that I can’t see just yet, which is a damn good thing!