February 12, 2021

C.W. Snyder: "Goddess of Nod" (ARC Review)

Title: Goddess of Nod  [on Amazon | on Goodreads
Series: The Balance (3rd of 3 books)
Author: C.W. Snyder [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Afterlife, Fantasy, Mythology
Year: 2021
Age: 16+ (this series started as YA - albeit dark - transitioned to NA, and now it takes a definite turn toward Adult)
Stars: 3.5/5
Pros: An imaginative, pull-no-punches ending to a series rich in mythology and adventure.
Cons: Complex, weaving in an out of worlds, often taking disorienting detours.
WARNING! Horror and gore.
Will appeal to: Those seeking a dark, yet poetic (and sometimes funny) example of revisited and enhanced tropes with a queer main character.

Blurb: An easy peace has descended on the land of Nod, but when an old ally turned enemy returns, loyalty and the fabric of the afterlife are stretched to their limits. To save the land she loves, Alice must choose to sacrifice everything she knows for the greater good, or be swallowed by the vast black of the encroaching Nothing. (Amazon)

Review: First off...DISCLAIMER: I received this book from Parliament House in exchange for an honest review. To be more precise, I specifically requested a review copy. That didn't affect my opinion and rating in any way.


Like all the books in The Balance trilogy, this last installment is both surprising and multifaceted, full of characters and twists...and twisted characters (as in, characters who turn from friends to enemies and the opposite). Snyder's afterlife is always ebullient and in need of a saver, and the Balance has to be restored once and for all (or, until the next enemy rears their head, I suppose 😉). So, Alice and her friends Maggie (more than a friend, really - a wife in name if not in deed) and Zee embark on a journey that, alas, sees them separated early on. From here, some of the action moves onto the real world (with the characters virtually resurrected), though with a foot firmly planted in the afterlife and its multiple universes. We get to revisit some places (and more than anything, faces) we're already familiar with, and at the same time to cover some new, exciting territory, and to meet new characters who surprise us with their demeanor (Lucifer). Also, Alice's magic is still strong, but different from what it was before, and it's interesting to see how she copes and find new ways to tap into it. [...]


The problem (or well, my problem) with Goddess of Nod is...the things that make it compelling and blow us (me) away are the same ones that make the narrative too fragmented and hard to follow sometimes. The concept of multiverse is fascinating, but being yanked in and out of worlds gets old quickly when they're totally disconnected from the main setting/adventure and you only get to spend a few pages in them. Also, there are SO many characters (one of them returning from Book 1, which I was happy to meet again, but I'm not sure their comeback was clearly explained); and even some stories-within-the-story that, on one hand, have me amazed at the author's creativity and would probably deserve their own book, but that - again - are not connected enough to the main narrative, and ultimately feel like disorienting and unnecessary detours. The fact is, every time I read one of these books (with the possible exception of the first installment, which was more cohesive overall), I struggle to get my bearings here and there. Still, kudos to Snyder for weaving the most imaginative Alice retelling out there, and peppering it with well-known and often mythology-derived characters who take a life (or unlife) of their own in his hands. A patient reader (and especially a rereader) will get their reward if they decide to tackle this series 🙂.

For my "Child of Nod" review (first installment in the series) click here.
For my "Queen of Nod" review (second installment in the series) click here.
For my interview with C.W. Snyder click here.
For more Afterlife books click here.


  1. Ah interesting to read this review! I have had the same thing happen to me before - where the book is wonderful but there is so much going on or it changes so swiftly that it becomes too fragmented. In fact, I felt the same with the last book I finished called girl woman other by Bernardine Evaristo.

    1. I looked up your book on GR, and it's said to have 12 POVs...I'm not surprised it's fragmented! My book here was a different matter - too many worlds and tangents.

      Thanks for reading as usual!

  2. It sounds like you enjoyed it alright. And a Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours.

    1. Thanks Mary! I hope you managed to have a nice day too, even without your significant other 😥. I'm sure you made good memories through the years.


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