Captain Ean Tephe is a man of faith, whose allegiance to his lord and to his ship is uncontested. The Bishopry Militant knows this — and so, when it needs a ship and crew to undertake a secret, sacred mission to a hidden land, Tephe is the captain to whom the task is given.
Tephe knows from the start that his mission will be a test of his skill as a leader of men and as a devout follower of his god. It’s what he doesn’t know that matters: to what ends his faith and his ship will ultimately be put — and that the tests he will face will come not only from his god and the Bishopry Militant, but from another, more malevolent source entirely....
Author John Scalzi has ascended to the top ranks of modern science fiction with the best-selling, Hugo-nominated novels Old Man’s War and Zoe’s Tale. Now he tries his hand at fantasy, with a dark and different novella that takes your expectations of what fantasy is and does, and sends them tumbling.
Say your prayers... and behold The God Engines.
©2010 John Scalzi (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Shiloh Bound Doc! University of Iowa graduate. Iowa Writer's Workshop fan. Hawkeye Fan! Believer. Husband. Father. Physician.
5 stars is great.
4 stars is good.
3 stars is OK.
This is the first Scalzi book that I would say to all but the fan club, "Skip it. . . . " _______😱
John Scalzi is usually a fun read. This book was good, but was not fun. The tone of the story is fairly heavy.
As far as the performance, it was competently performed, but, stylistically, I didn't like it.
The short version: A good book, I liked it, but I didn't love it for purely subjective reasons.
Blind Vietnam veteran. Antique weapons collector. Outdoor enthusiast. Florida State University graduate with Business major. Owner of home health agency. registered nurse.
This book will make even a born-again Christian at least question a great many things.
Yes! A well written short story. It has its own uniqueness in it's subject matter and the way it's composed that should be a welcomed addition to the library of anyone that enjoys this genre.
The most memorable moment of the book for me was undoubtedly the ceremony toward the end when the elders son underwent the 'process' to call their new lord and that moment when the village elder was..absorbed..by Tephe's 'Lord'.. I imagine the looks between the men at that last moment and sense of terror and fundamental betrayal and instance of realization of truth that lasts but a moment. The final moments of the book also offer introspection to those of us that are persons of faith..after all, in the end, what was there left to do but 'pray'!
That exit music is a bit of well-timed icing on the cake too isnt it? With the numerous times that I've listened to this book, I wonder if it's for that ending with the music just as much as the whole story telling.
I have listened to Christopher Lane's performances before. I continue to be impressed by the talent that he and other narrators have in the lending of their skill to the telling of the story. I have quickly discovered that what determines if an audiobook is successful in it's storytelling and captures the imagination and attention of the listener all hinges on the quality of the narration.
I own older "books on tape" that have subsequently been reissued as digitally downloaded audiobooks, and the newer narrators in my opinion have performed so poorly that my interest in the book was negatively affected.
'Wizards First Rule' anyone? 'Children of Hurin' anyone?
A quality narrator is critically important. In my years listening to audiobooks that fact is undeniable and Christopher Lane's performance in this was superb.
Yes. I listen to a fair number of audiobooks. I especially enjoy a long story with details fleshed and flushed out, tho, every now and then, and in recent times, with greater frequency, I do like a short story that I can sit down and enjoy from start to finish in a relatively brief timeframe. For me the length of this book reading was perfect. Another worthy candidate is 'StoneFather' by Orson Scott Card.. That too is a story well fleshed, presented and performed in a satisfyingly tidy package.
I don't think I am predisposed to write reviews, but I saw criticisms of this book that I thought were not deserving. I agree that the story is admittedly dark with an ending that left one thinking of one's self almost supplanted in the person of the main character. I agree that this is unlike many of the other John Scalzi writings, it's quite different that it wouldn't surprise me if it were the creation of someone else.
I even believe some of the criticisms might come from those of us that might see the veiled critiquing of religion, devout belief and religious faith.. I see it.. clearly. I don't think these elements took away from the quality of the product. The story, the quality of the narration, the total delivery.. I think it was in it's way supposed to leave many of it's readers "hollow", almost with the sense of near hopeless dispair in the face of the obliteration of our reality as we saw in the captain (did I give too much away? Hope not..). It's amazing and a testament to the quality of the writing that it's at the very end where one goes from being immersed in the story to confronted by it.. The very last word takes you aback..
As for me, I continue to have unshakable faith in my Lord, I read his commentaries daily, am devoted and trust in his mercies... and faithfully await his promised return amongst us.. heh-heh-heh..;) (roll in that music)... Yea.. I can see why many of us are upset.. lol..
If you're a fan of John Scalzi, this is an interesting listen. It is darker by far than his other works. I enjoyed it, but it is definitely not my favorite of his work. It is, however, short enough that it doesn't overstay it's welcome.
Still if you're a fan of his work, and don't mind darker books, then it's worth a listen.
I have read/listened to all of John Scalzi's works, but I saved this one for last because of its lower reviews. To my surprise and delight, I enjoyed this novella immensely. I loved how Scalzi used some classic fantasy ideas and reforged them in his own creative way to create a unique and interesting universe.
The ending. Haters gonna hate; I loved it.
I have not. I greatly enjoyed this performance.
Not what I'm used to from Scalzi. No humor or quick repartee here. I could see this interesting concept being developed into a longer novel, but for me, this short(er) story was dark and left me feeling a bit empty - kind of icky, actually.
Has hints of "A Canticle for Leibowitz" by Miller and "Origin" by Konrath, and several other books. Themes of conquest, religious zealotry...a bit of The Inquisition
This is *I think* kind of a horror story. There are a couple short, graphic, descriptive violent scenes, and a bit of torture. Not overly done (whatever that means, haha) so they are probably palatable for the somewhat squeamish.
Good writing; creepy narration.
Sure, it is a good story, if a bit short
This could easily be developed into a compelling universe spanning multiple books. However I like Scalzi's other work more.
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