"Re: Apotheosis" ARC review
Title: Re: Apotheosis
Author: Robert B. Marks
Subgenre: Portal fantasy
2022 Bingo squares: Cool Weapon (HM) (kind of), Revolutions, Author Uses Initials, Published in 2022, Urban Fantasy, Self Published (HM), No Ifs/Ands/Buts, Family Matters
Recommended if: you want a fairly light adventure and are intrigued by the premise
Not recommended if: you’re looking for a deep examination of human emotion
LGBTQ rep: None
How to read it
Re: Apotheosis is a fun popcorn read that delivers on its premise of bringing Japanese and western media characters to life and having them meet their creators, with varied reactions - leading to an intense “us vs them” battle. The beginning is a little slow, and the characters' reactions to finding out they’re fictional often feel a bit unrealistic, but once you get past the setup the pace picks up quite quickly and the novel is engaging with excellent action scenes and lovable (or love-to-hate-them) protagonists.
Set primarily in Tokyo, Re: Apotheosis will be better understood if you have some familiarity with Japanese media - for example, terms like “light novels” are used without explanation - but if you’re unsure, you shouldn’t have any problem googling anything that’s unfamiliar. About half of the fictional characters come from Japanese media, and the others will likely be be recognizable to you as excellent parodies of their Western counterparts.
What this novel does best is its characters. While their reactions to learning they’re fictional might not be the most realistic, which honestly is understandable given length constraints and the sheer number of characters who must confront the exact same realization during the novel’s scope, each character embodies their inspiration perfectly, and it’s fantastic. My personal favorite was Jack Death, though Jenny Calhoun was a close second, and really all of them are excellent.
Overall I gave Re: Apotheosis a 3.5/5. It’s an enjoyable, quick read, nothing deep; you can read it in a couple hours if you read relatively fast, and you’ll have a good time with it. That said, I think the plot focus on having the characters meet their creators without significant emotional depth emanate from those interactions was a bit of a disconnect for me, knocking a bit off my rating. Given how quickly it reads, though, I think it’s certainly worth its time if only for the characters, which are all a joy to experience.