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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Challenges of the Gods is a work of fiction in the fantasy and alternate universe sub-genres, penned by author Christian Hofsetz and narrated in its audiobook format by Alfred Tam. The central action of the novel is focused on Mike, who finds himself randomly chosen for a daunting task: to destroy an entire parallel version of Earth. Mike has plenty of his own personal issues going on after he is betrayed terribly by his fiancée, and waking up in another world does little to assuage his confusion. But if Mike finds that he is not up to or is resistant to the task, then the gods themselves will take matters into their own hands.
Author Christian Hofsetz has created a compelling interpersonal drama that works on the character level, then extends into a worldwide catastrophe adventure as it develops and builds to its excellent climax. Slow-burning at first, the plot is well crafted to reveal the fantasy elements alongside the grounded realism of the protagonist, making it all feel extremely real and high-stakes, which makes for a fantastic adventure throughout. In terms of audiobook quality, narrator Alfred Tam lends a lot of characterful touches to the work which really enhance the unique personalities not just of Mike, but of the people he meets along the way in his mission. Tam’s female voices were well achieved with plenty of inflection, and his males were all very distinct from the narrative itself. The editing quality was also crisp and clear for easy listening. Overall, I would certainly recommend Challenges of the Gods in its audio format for readers who want a slow-burning and engrossing parallel universe adventure. This is a tale not to be missed.