'Divine Rivals' Book Club Readalong Day 1!By: Jordan Fleming Photo By: @shaked_reads
Amber and I are BACK this June for a fun new readalong! We're about to start our monthly discussion for our May "Against All Odds" book, Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross!
As a reminder, from now on, our monthly discussions will be both here on the OwlCrate blog AND on The Nest!
On each day we'll read a section of Divine Rivals both on the blog and in The Nest's group, and then discuss in the comments our theories and predictions. This means there will be spoilers for each section! Beware!
Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for the prologue and chapters 1-4 of Divine Rivals, so make sure you read are finished this section before continuing.
Find your discussion questions below!
The synopsis has me absolutely hooked, let's dive in...
The Author Letter:
If you have the OwlCrate edition of Divine Rivals, and you should because our edition is amazing, signed and comes with a bonus chapter (!!) take a look at the author letter we received from the incredible Rebecca Ross. I always enjoy learning about what influences a story, and Rebecca's take on the epistolary style is woven seamlessly through this novel in a way that does not remove you from the plot. I also love to see that this novel, written at the end of 2020, carried her through the challenges and heartache from a time that history will certainly remember.
So without further adieu...
My first thought is, of course, that the iris flowers on the cover make so much more sense now. Our first foray into this story is meeting one of our main characters, Iris who is seeing her brother off to war.
Through descriptions of her send off, I'm reminded of the millions of families who waved goodbye on so many similar train platforms throughout the first world war.
Iris's brother asks her to promise she will take care of her mother and stay in school while he follows a Goddesses siren song to battle at the front. We don't learn why, or what roused him to fight, only that he's now gone.
And Iris is left with nothing but a note in her pocket, a tattered trench coat, and a handful of promises.
Chapter One :
It's five months later and Iris has already broken her promise of staying in school. Combined with a broken high heel, being late to work and having a choice assignment scooped by the office pretty boy, she's not having the best time. Left to write obituaries, she bickers with the young man caught in her ambitious cross hairs who she is most definitely not even a little bit attracted to by page 9. Not even a little bit.
She and Roman C Kitt (the C does not stand for Cheeky, Cantankerous or Churlish, btw) snipe at each other before he leaves to investigate the choice story and Iris is called into her boss's office.
Her boss is upset that she was late, and compares Iris and Roman, reminding her that they are neck in neck for a columnist position. Her boss gives her another chance to write an article he'll publish and she gets to work on an article about the ongoing war.
The war that's happening between two GODS, sounds way worse than anything human we've ever dreamt up. In this world, the gods have been defeated and they're sleeping, except two have woken up with some straight up one hundred percent terrible beef.
They're now at each other's throats and using humans as soldiers in their immortal tit for tat.
You know, the usual fantasy stuff.
Anyway, Iris gets to work on her story about the Goddess Enva (presumably the less evil one) and the God Dacre (more of a worse Stranger Things-style baddie). Her article, while brand new news to us readers is not something that folks feel will work for the newspaper so Iris stops and rips her essay from the typewriter. She notices that Roman's returned to the office and offers to go out for a sandwich but he responds no (really bro...wow) and she walks out.
Iris hits up the store on her way home. When she realizes that the shelves have been charmed to feature only the items that she can afford, she's offended. Quite frankly, dearest reader, I'm offended as well because companies would DEFINITELY do this given the opportunity. Sneaky capitalism.
Iris hits up the store on her way home and is grateful that Roman didn't say yes to getting a sandwich because she's low on funds. She manages to grab bread and eggs and heads back to her apartment where we meet her mom. Her poor mother is very unwell, is an alcoholic and struggling with the loss of her job and her son.
Iris is doing her best but is frustrated and it's understandable when she's trying desperately to hold everything together. Iris is upset and writes to her brother, Forest but rather than posting the letter she slips it under their shared wardrobe. Why? Who knows why, I've done more random things on a regular basis but she does...
And someone writes back to say "This Isn't Forest".
(this gif - IYKYK)
Chapter 3 opens with Iris daydreaming (heavy same) when she's pulled out of the way of a tram by none other than Roman C (considerate) Kitt. They make their way into work together with Roman asking Iris all sorts of intrusive questions like "Where were you last night" "Why'd you almost get hit by a tram?", you know, the usual.
Roman asks Iris about her essay that their boss wants her to write and Roman tells her it's not fair (that's life, bud). Iris gets to her desk after brewing tea to have a conversation with her coworker Sara. She mentions that she'd like to work in a museum and she and Iris talk about their plans for work and the ongoing war.
They talk about their competitor, a paper called the "Inkridden Tribune" and about how there have been sightings of monsters at the front. Sara gives Iris a tip for her story and Iris leaves the office.
She goes to the library to read about Enva and Dacre (the Goddess/Gods at war, remember) and Iris eventually leaves the library with more questions than answers about why two immortals so badly want to end one another.
(Just feel lucky I haven't used a LOT more X-Files gifs)
Can we talk a bit about these chapter names? We're on Chapter Four...DUSTBIN REVELATIONS. I am loving all the little details in this novel that are making it...just moreish.
Iris gets home to find her mother asleep on the sofa and cleans up their apartment. She tidies before responding to the mysterious letter-responder from the night before.
She asks them if they've received more of her letters and slides the inquiry under the wardrobe door.
To absolutely NO ONE's surprise, it's ROMAN receiving these letters. Roman decides to wait but then responds to Iris's letter with ABSOLUTE CHEEKINESS and of course, does not tell Iris who he is.
They talk back and forth until Iris tells him that she won't be sending any more letters, and not to worry but what does that make Roman do?
Tells her he'll read and answer anything she wants to write, of course...
Until tomorrow, folks! What a swoon-worthy couple and we are only a handful of pages in!
👸 Who is this goddess and why do only certain people hear her song?
⏰ Why do you think the god’s are waking up?
📰 If you wrote for a newspaper, what column would you hope for?
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