I will be completely honest up front and say that young adult and paranormal romance don't generally pop up on my radar. Nothing against the genre, it just hasn't been something I have been interested in. There are times, however when something is done so well and is so effective that you enjoy it regardless of the genre. Good writing is good writing, regardless of the form. I don't generally care for country music, but I like Johnny Cash. I don't really watch very many westerns but put Clint Eastwood in a serape and I'm on board. I might not be a fan of the YA genre, but I am definitely a fan of A.M. Yates.
There are two things in particular that Yates seems to excel at. First, she has a remarkable eye for character and for developing a point of view that is incredibly vivid and original. Her character's voices come through the text loud and clear and it is a pleasure to just sit back and listen. It's always a treat to see a writer take such an interest in their characters. So often in books, you have an ensemble of people who are really just different variations of the protagonist. In this case, all of the characters take up their own unique space and add different, but essential elements to the story.
Second, Yates has a great ability to create a world that is somehow completely fictional but also familiar. I find myself often thinking about Tolkien in reference to his world building ability. When I read the Lord of the Rings, I never feel like I'm reading about a fantasy universe that the writer is making up. I feel like somewhere out there, I could find a library of actual history of Middle Earth, as if it was a real place that Tolkien just happens to be the authority on. With Minor Gods, there is so much attention to detail; so many different little things about the universe of the book that come up and are communicated to the reader in such an enjoyable and natural fashion. She plans out and develops the world of her story to staggering levels of detail.
The book is paced brilliantly and there is just the right amount of narrative proximity to the protagonist to give us as the readers great insight into her frame of mind throughout the story. As the first book of a series, this does exactly what it should be doing, namely introducing us to the primary players and end the book leaving us wishing there was another three hundred pages and searching for the second book, which the author was generous enough to have ready for publication as well.
I can't recommend this book enough for anyone looking for an enjoying read. It is always nice to find books that are both entertaining and smart and Yates has nailed that target dead center. I was privileged enough to be a part of the support team for this book as a beta reader and I believe strongly in this author. Give the book a try. I bet you won't be disappointed.