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Unclean Spirits

(Gods & Monsters #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  632 ratings  ·  110 reviews
The force of nature that is Chuck Wendig returns with an original urban fantasy novel, creating a brand new series for Abaddon Books.

Five years ago, it all went wrong for Cason Cole. He lost his wife and son, lost everything, and was bound into service to a man who chews up human lives and spits them out, a predator who holds nothing dear and respects no law. Now, as the m
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published February 13th 2018 by Rebellion Publishing (first published May 5th 2013)
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  632 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Let's be real here. This one is bare-bones wicked, amping up the horror elements, the noir mystery elements, and then, finally, a total American Gods vibe.

Only all the gods have been cast down and the one who cast them down is gone. As in gone, gone. What's left? All the b-listers with a fragment of their original abilities, from Sumerian, Greek... everything... working to maintain their little kingdoms in the modern world.

Fifty years of this, and even the gods are jaded, annoyed, and upset abou
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What would happen if the Gods were real? Earthbound and vicious, Gods from all the ages walk among us, and they’re not really very nice. Offered a deal to save his families souls, Cason Cole has been a servant for one such God for five years. Until, one day, the God dies. Finally free, and with the knowledge that the Gods can be killed, Cason sets out to find his family and get some revenge.

This was weird, and has a definite love
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Revisiting American Gods for the first time since its publication via Starz tv show adaptation can put one in a nostalgic mood or maybe in a mood to read something in similar vein. Unclean Spirits fit the bill and I was interested in trying out a new author. Interestingly enough though, while this one is a beginning of a series (of course it is), it’s a series for Abaddon Publishing, not for Wendig. He departs this book just over two thirds of the way in (and quite abruptly actually) and the res ...more
Cupcakes & Machetes
I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Demonic, murderous unicorns. Every god of every pantheon is real and banished to Earth. Despite living among humans, they still see themselves as better and play with human lives like toys. Mostly people don't know it, but some sell their lives in order to save the ones they love from certain death. Like Cason Cole, his wife and son were stuck inside a burning vehicle after being hit by a drunk driver when tim
Johann Pollard
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-fantasy
Firstly published on my blog at

I am a huge fan of Chuck Wendig's, having devoured his Miriam Black books with relish. I'm also a faithful follower of his blog and the writing advice he dishes out on there are entertaining and quite brilliant in it's own right. I must admit my Urban Fantasy reading shelf leaves a lot to be desired, consisting mostly of Dresden running around doing what he does best. This book proves that there are some damn good ones out there that
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wendig

Took me a while get into this one which is weird for me as Wendig’s books normally grab me from the get go. I think it’s due to me going in blind it sometimes works in my favour this time reading the synopsis would have helped.

Here we have Carson a bodyguard who finds that the stories of the gods are not made up fairy tales after all and now he needs to find out what they want with him and try and get his family back.
This is not your average gods/mythology story, for a start it’s Wendig so obv
Tobin Elliott
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-copy, fiction, horror
This is the last of the Wendig novels I purchased when he made his way to Toronto. It's very much everything I've expected from a Wendig novel: interesting characters, snappy dialogue, laugh-out-loud descriptions, lots of over-the-top action, and some interesting twists that aren't entirely unexpected, but fun nonetheless.

And in this one, Wendig literally has all the gods to play with. That's kinda fun.

Not much to say, other than I really enjoyed this, devoured it in three hundred-page gulps.
DNF at 20%. Wasn’t for me at all unfortunately and recommend reading for yourself to develop your own opinion.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 3.75

Received from NetGalley
Joji Grey
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
From the very first page of Unclean Spirits I found myself constantly going back over paragraphs, genuinely wondering what the HELL I had just read. RC car bombs, walking lumps of scar tissue with a fondness for blowing things up, and unicorns that looked like they were made of every burning and angry thing that hell ever spat out.

Even halfway through, I found myself being shocked back into a state of "wait- WHAT?" in all the best ways. Every crazy thing got topped by another crazier thing.

Finn Longman
Hahahahahaha I have to write a review for this? Are you serious? I have no idea how to do that. It's like Wendig went, "Okay, so you know American Gods? Like that, but dial up the weirdness."

So, uh, review to come, I guess.

-- Full review -- Will also be posted on Miriam Joy Reads --

This is an extremely difficult book to review, mostly because this is an extremely weird book.

I've described this as American Gods but weirder, and I think that's relatively accurate. Essentially Wendig has created a
Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Finished reading: January 30th 2018

"Hope, a mirage in the desert, a curtain of vapor forming for us an image of that which we most sincerly desire. Hope is not an oasis but rather, a trap."

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Rebellion Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler)
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're a fan of mythology, be it Greek, Norse, Hindu, Native American, etc, I have a heads-up for you. All of those gods are real, and mostly they're a**holes. When the Christian God kicked them all out of Heaven, the gods were all exiled to Earth, where they use humans as their toys to manipulate as they choose.
Cason Cole is a former MMA fighter with a beautiful wife and young son he adores. In the aftermath of a car accident that burned his wife and son alive, time is stopped and a figure
Rpaul Tho
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down. It’s as if A. Lee Martinez and Tom Holt had a lovechild who grew up with cigarettes and alcohol as the main staple in the family’s diet. That’s how I would described the author’s writing style. I plan to read more from him and hope they are all as funny and fun to read.
Gritty urban fantasy where ALL the gods are down on earth and they’re not happy! Worth a read

Full review at
Ramona Lazar
Not for me, sorry
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
American Gods is one of my favorite books. This is a similar world, with pantheons of gods among the humans, but bawdy, violent, funny, without the lyrical immigration stories. There are two separate stories in this book. The second one reads like a modern telling of a trickster god fable, one of my favorite kinds of stories.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It sounded like a book that would be right up my alley, but unfortunately I just couldn’t get into it. I did not finish.
John Willson
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Great story, gripping writing.

What would the ancient gods be like if cast down to Earth in the modern age? I imagine they'd be just like this.

So, the other books in this series were written by other authors? What an interesting idea. Can't wait to read them.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cason Cole was a successful MMA fighter, but grew soft and complacent as a bodyguard for E. Rose, a magnetic, hedonistic man. One fateful day, a bomb kills his boss, releasing him from E. Rose's influence and making him aware of his past for the first time in years. Cason is then drawn into a world of mythology, gods, and magic and those who oppose all of it. He has to decide how hard he will fight to get his family back.

Unclean Spirits is story that satisfies my mythology obsession, takes me on
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-urban
I have to admit it took me a few chapters to actually warm up to this novel, the writing style was 'different' to say the least, but that is why I like Chuck Wendig he pushes the envelope of Urban Fantasy. I first became introduced to him via his Mockingbird novel and since then I am on the look out for his work.

Gods and Monsters was a good time, action, adventure, friendship and love. Goddesses and Gods playing a long game and Cason Cole is a human caught in the middle. Cason placed himself in
Christine Leja
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A meaner, dirtier American Gods. Wendig's past writing for the gaming industry shows: lots of fight scenes and snappy dialog. I have not read a lot of urban fantasy, so it's hard to judge it against its own genre. I also tend not to read books written in the present tense, so that was jarring as well.

The beginning was a bit of a slog, but once the story picked up the novel really grew on me. I would have gladly read more, and the ending does leave things a bit unresolved. An ad in the last page
|| actual rating - 3.5 ||

i Love Chuck Wendig and the way he writes. and he got me into urban fantasy ((like the other chuck did. Palahniuk))

[ a little bit of a spoilery review]

i quite liked Cason and !!!!!! can't believe I guessed what he is(kinda?).

of course Francis is a rat; all i could think of whenever he was mentioned was Francis dolarhyde from Red Dragon hahaha

i gotta say tho, near the end it got a bit too messy for me (which is why i didnt give a 4).
i mean, the lead up to it ; with the
harlequin {Stephanie}
Despite my palsy three star rating this book is a refreshing kick in the teeth.

In short, Chuck brings it to the mat. He perfectly captures the moody atmosphere. It hangs in the air. You can feel it. Smell it.

Character wise, the gods prrfect. Cason, I could care less about. I just can't forgive or forget the tragic turn Frank's character took. So much wasted. Frank was an ugly bastard that I was growing a great fondness for.
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wendig is a fantastic author with a fine imagination. Great take on gods and man. Looking for more books by Wendig.
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book. I was late to work for this book. I had to make very difficult decisions between reading and eating/sleeping for this book. I need more!!
Nick Hedges
Dark, gritty American Gods(ish)

For five years, ex MMA fighter Cason Cole has been the bodyguard for the God Eros. Forced into his service after Eros saved his family from death, Cason now serves not just without question but also without contact with his family. For this is the price he paid. With the murder of Eros, Cason finds that by escaping one god he has stumbled into the murky world and schemes of the many gods that also inhabit the earth. Can Cason Cole regain the life he had before? Wil
Unclean Spirits follows the story of Cason Cole and his interactions with the divine. Before I read this book, I was told that this was very similar to American Gods and it is. Too much initially to the point that I was starting to think that this might just be a copycat of the book. But, just as I thought it was too similar it then took the story down a different path which led itself more towards Supernatural meets American Gods, in a weird but brilliant crossover spec
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: readtoreview
3 or maybe 3.5 stars
Thanks to NetGalley and to the editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
So… I don’t know where to start with this book. I requested it because it’s an urban fantasy and I am a sucker for UF, they’re the kind of books that I read when I want to read something good, or something not too demanding, they are the books that I read when I am sad, or when I need something good, like a treat, so… usually they’re my to go books. But I discovered after re
Dominic De Souza
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Godpunk is a fascinating story form. With gods and demons mashed together into a maelstrom of conflict, I was pulled into each chapter with a pool of septic adrenaline in my stomach.

Described as 'American Gods' on steroids, this delivered a riveting vision of the world where the gods walk among us as ordinary folk, their powers muted or hidden. Definitely for the discerning reader, but what I appreciated was the broadening of my sense of awareness about the world.

I think this kind of fiction is
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Chuck Wendig is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a freelance penmonkey.
He has contributed over two million words to the roleplaying game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP).

He, along with writing partner Lance Weiler, is a fellow of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter's Lab (2010). Their short film, Pandemic, will show at th

Other books in the series

Gods & Monsters (3 books)
  • Mythbreaker (Gods & Monsters, #2)
  • Snake Eyes (Gods & Monsters, #3)
“Fine. Whatever. She’s so unpleasant. Beautiful, sure, but it’s like putting a dress on a badger. Pretty dress. Nice face. Still a badger.” 1 likes
“THE HOT WATER’S a scorcher and the cold water’s like a winter puddle, and the shower offers nothing in between.” 0 likes
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