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.
The reader is good but the book has a depressing and cynical ending. I have read most of Scalzi's other works and several have been excellent--wonderful characters, funny and sometime hilarious dialog, good story development and good endings for those of us that like morality tales. Not so this book. Some good ideas but a disappointing story. However, I realize that some readers/listeners might like the book. Just be prepared for a black black conclusion.
This is a novelette that could easily have been a novel or even another Scalzi series. It's like an introduction to a very interesting alternate universe. Much more serious and solid than Scalzi's other titles available through Audible imo. Christoper Lanes narration is unerring throughout and fits the tone of the story well. My only negative criticism has to do with its rather abrupt and rushed ending.
I really need to start proof reading my Reviews before I post them.
I can't fathom how John Scalzi wrote this story. His narrative is usually so light and fluffy, sometimes tear jerking (in the awe shucks sort of way). This is dark, twisted, imaginative, and so depressingly sad. Any god that needs my praise and worship, does not deserve it.
This is what I buy sci-fi for: a great story with great characters that takes me places I would not normally know. This is what I buy Audible books for: incredible narrations with high production value.
This book has both. And if you've never listened to a Christopher Lane narration, this is a phenomenal introduction to a master voice actor.
I guarantee you won't see the premise coming - it's an extraordinary idea. I listened twice in one weekend.
It's a relatively short work - but the universe is built here and the story is amazing. Yep. I'm gushing. This is a great beginning to what I hope will be a longer book in a series.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
I am generally dubious about authors, even good ones like Scalzi, crossing over genres. Most fail utterly. I was surprised to find I liked The God Engines a lot. The premise is wild but interesting, the characters are very good, the story has twists and turns and the narration was pleasant. There is a spectrum of fantasy from Alice in Wonderland that does not have to follow rules, to strict fantasy worlds having very firm rules (but some rules involve magic). This is firmly in the second camp and is thus is a lot like Sci Fi. I quickly got into the idea of levels of gods using magic to guide star-ships from planet to planet and navigators using prayer to interact with their equipment. Most of the characters were deep enough to be interesting and once the story gets going I was sorry it ended so soon. This one has a satisfying ending, but is also a cliff hanger that could be continued. I will read the next installment if there is one.
The characters are nicely developed, drawing the reader into this very alternate world where gods are used essentially as a source of power. I would have liked to see where this story could have gone in a longer work. Darker than other Scalzi stories.
not your usual scalzi (well the ones i've consumed on audible anyway), however i did detect him smiling away behind the scenes.
i agree with others here, this universe should be explored, christopher baby does a good job of bringing the characters to light in this dark, smelly world.
all in all i enjoyed this, not his usual rumpole meets the games, more a serious dark drama which places the toe into religion.
This is a different read from Scalzi's "Red Shirts". I enjoyed his style of writing this.
I've never listen to a book read by Christopher Lane. He has a great dramatic voice and is very good at giving different characters personality.
I really enjoyed the universe the story was set in and the characters, but the way the story ended.... it just felt like something was lacking/missing.
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