Author: T. Satterfield
Publisher: Tamiko Press
Publish Date: September 11, 2021
Print Length: 415
Good guy Gabe Mendes is certainly passionate. He thinks love will make his life worth living. So he’s made a deal. In exchange for access to the universe of love he agrees to slay the black ram. But soon he learns, being unlucky in love isn’t his only problem. Turns out—love isn’t what he thinks it is.
By the time Gabe stumbles across the website of the alluring, though mature, Pythia—mystic and high priestess—he’s already failed miserably in love yet again. Raised by a hardworking single mom, never having known the full truth about his father, Gabe has spent his life faithful to three beliefs: follow the rules; don’t let anyone get too close; and avoid, at all costs, being honest about how you feel—especially with yourself. If it weren’t for Gabe’s steadfast companion, a cat named Cat, he might not know love at all.
But when the enchanting red-headed priestess dangles the keys that will unlock the secret answers to the long-asked questions of love, Gabe jumps at the chance. Before he knows it, things change—and fast. The entertaining Pythia takes him on a whirlwind journey traveling the portals of time and space. She’s got him questioning everything he’s ever thought about love. And if that weren’t enough, Gabe is beginning to believe this business about the black ram might cost him everything. It might just kill him.
I received a free, digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. My review is my own and reflects my honest opinion about this book.
To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to approach this review. I supposed I’ll just get right into it.
Based on the official synopsis, this book isn’t exactly what I expected. I thought I’d be reading a contemporary fiction about a man who learns what it is to love, albeit with a little mystical help. I thought it would be light- to medium-hearted in seriousness. And this book is these things. But it also turned out to be way more about what it means to love in a psychological and spiritual sense. And by that I mean the author really infuses a heavy dose of philosophy and text book analysis through out the entire story. I didn’t know this until I received a copy from NetGalley and more information was provided to me. I requested this book based only on the synopsis.
To be fair, Satterfield tries to lighten the learning load by including Pythia, a high priestess of Zeus, as Gabe’s teacher. Pythia teaches Gabe about various aspects of love including the different types of love; how one’s generational history can influence one’s interpretation of love; how one must be aware of the lens they view life/love through; and something about a Higgs Boson. Pythia assigns Gabe homework and his dutiful studies, along with his interactions with the world, serve to teach him about love.
The book is well-written and the author, who I learned is a licensed psychotherapist, clearly knows her subject matter. However, I had a difficult time getting through it. I felt like it was too dense. Sure, the book introduces some concepts about love that some might find interesting. But honestly, I wasn’t looking for or anticipating to read a philosophical book.
Satterfield uses her characters to explain and philosophize about love in an attempt to make it easier for the reader to digest. Personally, I didn’t find it that easy to read; it felt like an information overload. Yes, I know it’s a fictional book, but I found it mildly unbelievable that Gabe just so happens to more or less understand all of these lessons about love so quickly–and be able to discuss it intellectually at that.
Overall, this book was not for me. I recognize that it’s written well and that this book may clearly resonate more with someone else. Thus, I struggled to rate this book. I have to give one on NetGalley, but I won’t be assigning one on my blog. To avoid dissonance between a reader’s expectations based on the synopsis, and what’s actually in the book, perhaps the official book blurb needs to be revisited. I think the marketing needs to make it clearer that this book is more philosophical than the synopsis suggests.
Content warnings: active shooter, animal death, recalling dead parents
Reading format: Kindle e-book