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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Michael on 01-30-15
Original Concept, Somber Tone
If John Scalzi can be credited with anything, it is coming up with original concepts in modern science fiction writing. This book is almost as good as his thoroughly entertaining and hilarious Redshirts. Instead of the mild dark humor of Redshirts, The God Engines removes all of the humor and cranks the darkness all the way up to 11. The tone is really gloomy, which I found to be a nice change of pace in genre that tends to lean towards the optimistic end of the spectrum.
The book takes place on an interstellar ship that is literally powered by a "god". There is a physical humanoid god inside the ship which powers the engines. The catch is, this god is an unwilling participant and only powers the ship under the threat of torture and death. It's unclear if it's an actual god, or merely a being of extraordinary power. However, there are other gods, and the people on this ship worship a different god who is at war with all other gods.
The society on the ship is a fascinating draconian mix of military and religious hierarchy. The highest ranking official on the ship is the Captain, the second highest is the Priest ... they don't get along. (The reader narrates them perfectly, he reads their lines in a matter of fact, almost curt tone, just the way I think people like that would talk.)
I won't give anything away about the ending. Many other reviewers have lots to say about the ending (too much in my opinion, I think many are inadvertently giving away what happens). All I have to say is that I think the ending is reasonably well written, but perhaps a bit abrupt.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Kindle Customer on 11-29-11
I love Scalzi's writing but not this book
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.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kawie1 on 02-24-15
The God Engines
Set in a world where man had flown to the stars on the backs of gods rather then science this short delivers a very detailed world and belief system. Scalzi has a unusual mind and this wonderful tale about belief and faith showcase it!
Kind of wish this was a much longer story.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Booklover on 06-16-18
Great Sci-Fi brilliantly performed by Mr Lane!
An excellent short story performed with extra-ordinary talent by Christopher Lane. As an experienced listener of audiobooks, with well over 5000 titles in my library, I very rarely find a title that stands out for the best of reasons. This does this in spades!!
If you like Sci-Fi and a great performance you may well LOVE this!