Fated by S.G. Browne

I am typing this review mere minutes after finishing S.G. Browne’s Fated – at past two in the morning, no less. I cannot contain myself, really, because a book hasn’t made me laugh out loud as much as this one for the longest time, and this isn’t something you can just sleep on and remember to write about in the morning. So here I am, way past midnight, gathering my thoughts, wondering where to begin.

Let’s start with Fabio.

Ah, Fabio, more commonly known as Fate, the guy responsible for how our lives will turn out, our paths, if you will. Decades upon decades of looking out for the fates of more than three-quarters of the human race (the other quarter of the human population is on the path of Destiny, which is actually altogether different from Fate, but I don’t want to spoil the book for you). He’s bored (he has been doing this for the longest time), he’s bitter (all the humans on his watch are predestined for mediocre futures, and even that they can’t stick to) and he’s pretty much fed up with his job, even going so far as asking Jerry the Almighty for a job transfer.

Then he meets Sara Griffen – good-looking, outgoing, such a head-turner (in more ways than one). Sara’s not on Fabio’s list, but he’s so smitten by her that he starts following her around, meeting her, getting to know her… well, you get the idea. But the thing is, when you’re Fate, an immortal responsible for the lives of pretty much nine out of ten humans, getting involved with a mortal is a big no-no. Meddling with mortals tend to mess with the cosmic balance and ends up affecting everything else. Which is why Rule No. 1: Don’t get involved.

The thing about Fated is that it’s so well-written, you won’t notice the overwhelming complexity of the premise of the story. Fabio is such an engaging narrator, so casual and laid-back, and the way he talks about the universal laws and relationships of the immortals (would you believe he used to be best friends with Dennis a.k.a Death?) is so uncomplicated, like reciting the alphabet. He kind of reminds me of Rob from Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. I love Fabio’s conversation ticks, the way he always describe things in threes, and the way he describes the other immortals with “the thing about…”.

A modern-day version of your classic god-falls-for-human love story, Fated is one of those books I would love to see on the big screen (which hopefully does happen, since I heard Diablo Cody is already working on S.G. Browne’s first novel, Breathers – which I am currently reading, too, by the way). Its characters – even the secondary characters such as Lady Luck, Sloth and Gluttony, even the only remaining Greek god, Hermes – aren’t hollow and lacking in description. And lastly, it wasn’t entirely what I was expecting. Halfway through the book and I was anticipating something different from how it ended. On second thought, I’m not even so sure what I was expecting anymore.

That would be the lack of sleep talking.

All in all, Fated paints a colorful picture of the complications of being human, of the decisions we make, and why we do what we do, regardless of consequences. Definitely a must-read, probably one of the best books I’ve read this year.

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