Stephen Spotte’s imaginative novel recounts the tales of a scroungy former alley cat named Jinx, whose memories aren’t just his own but those of other cats who existed before him, one of which was Annipe, Cleopatra’s pampered pet. Through Annipe’s eyes the ancient Mediterranean world of Cleopatra and her legendary lovers, Caesar and Antony, spread before us in all its glory, pathos, and absurdity. Jinx reveals these stories telepathically one night to his stoned and inebriated owner just home after gall bladder surgery. Annipe’s memories are bookended by Jinx’s own that detail his early scavenging days in bleak urban alleys.
Delve into ancient Egyptian and Roman history from the perspective of a cat. In truth, this novel was of interest because of it being based on historical eras that intrigue me. I have never read much about the history of Cleopatra, Julius Caesar or other figures from that time. This historical fiction did help me gain a lot of insight into what life was really like for those seen as royalty… Or in their case ‘gods’ and ‘goddesses’. I did also appreciate the light hearted humour woven into most of the book. The entire concept of it is original and it was very well researched.
For being a short novel, I thought this would be a quick and easy read but I really struggled to invest my time into it. There were a couple of pages that simply listed the contents of a barge and I had to skip a page or so because I did not find that necessary. The book did not need that excessive detail. This book had a lot of potential to be amazing but I often felt it flat-lined. In saying this, it was very well written besides maybe the list situation.
Truthfully, I did not connect with this book as much as I’d hoped to. The historical facts are interesting but not enough to make the book a recommended read. It’s fair for me to say that I’ve not read a great deal of Historical fiction. So maybe it’s personal preference that made me enjoy it less. I’d give this a 2.5/5, but I’m still glad I read it and gave it a chance. If historical fiction mixed with humour is your thing then I suggest giving this novel a read.
DISCLAIMER: Open Book Publishers sent me a free copy of this book to read and review.
Until Next Time,