Mad Gods is actually teased in the short story I Am Eternal, as a book that Simon is reading, and it is the first of the “Predatory Ethics” series. It is the story of the growing up of the anti-Christ, and all the forces (Catholic church, Templars, Satanists) that want to control and use him when he comes of age.
When this book opened, it did not seem like it was the story of the anti-Christ: rather, it was the story of a man struggling with his calling. The way the story was setup was different, with it jumping around from place to place, and as the book progressed, from time to time. After the man accepted his calling, he took the anti-Christ under his wing and began teaching him, and the world continued on around them, with both of them “oblivious” to what was going on, but at the same time, the caregiver was prepared for anything, which does happen at the end.
The story was deeply detailed, and well-researched, with flashbacks to ancient times showing previous incarnations of the anti-Christ, all of which ended with his dying. It also introduced us to Simeon Magus (yes, the same one from I Am Eternal), only much younger, and much hungrier for something to believe in. I was intrigued with the discussions between Magus and the Byzantine-time anti-Christ and their depth of understanding of what they were discussing.
The subplots concerning the Catholics, the Templars, and the Satanists all trying to locate the anti-Christ was intriguing, and kept me guessing as to whether or not I was going to turn the page and find one of them in the anti-Christ’s house, leading him away for their bidding.
The book was definitely a deep book and you can easily find yourself getting lost in it, but be warned that it is not for someone who is not grounded in their faith, as it could sway your beliefs. There are deep rituals described in the book, and a lot of swearing and violence, especially toward the end.
If blood, gore, swearing, and violence is not your cup of tea, then steer clear. You have been warned.
(reviewed the day of purchase)