“box 13. Very dark missing much of Scalzi's normal humour. . I really wish it was fleshed out more into a novel. Strong 4 stars.”see full review » see other reviews »
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“The only reason this did not get 1 star is that it had an interesting conceit and a nice final scene.
“box 13. Very dark missing much of Scalzi's normal humour. . I really wish it was fleshed out more into a novel. Strong 4 stars.”Billy Landon wrote this review Tuesday, August 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“There are loads of really good ideas here but I think I would have enjoyed it better as a novel than a novella.”ghosttie wrote this review Tuesday, November 13, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Quite interesting, liked the ideas of the gods though I didnt really find the story all that appealing. I was glad it was quite short!”Deyara wrote this review Saturday, August 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“John Scalzi is one of my favorite authors. He is a master of "hard" science fiction, to the extent that he has written a superb trilogy of "military" sci fi, that was so popular, he had to create both a novel from his daughter's perspective and a "diary" from his wife's perspective in order to flesh out the story as fully as possible. He has written several other novels from that world and others such that he has successfully constructed a space opera, which is fast, serious, believable and, once started, quickly becomes a set of books which you cannot put down until you have read everything you can from this world, so you an relish every page of it.
In this novella, The God Engines, he has a go at fantasy sci-fi, which he pulls off with the expertise of a modern master. He successfully intertwines spiritual, militant and ethical/moral dilemmas in a way that keeps the reader reading late into the night.
The concept is that one of the great captains of this world's battle fleet has been put in charge of a uniquely powered special ship on a special mission. The mission is to get the ship to a planet for a special purpose. The catch is that the ship is powered by "lesser gods" who have been captured by the powerful conglomerate to which the captain belongs. These "gods" are powerful and can be a threat to the crew if they are mishandled.
Scalzi pulls this story off with gratifying success and displays his infamous dark story telling with its dark, snarky humor along the way.
It is well worth reading, even if it does not strike the typical Scalzi fan as the sort of book at which he would have a go. Get it; read it. Enjoy.”
“I knew this would be dark fantasy…but jiminy. Dark almost feels like the wrong word. Maybe “harsh fantasy” would be a more appropriate descriptor. Because it’s certainly that. Some of the sequences were really tough to read (or, in my case, listen to): violent torture, grisly human sacrifice, and an ending that is most assuredly not a happy one all combine to make this a rather disturbing tale.
Which isn’t to say that it’s bad. It’s not. Not at all. The world is imaginative and well-developed (if harsh) and the plot follows logically given that world development. The writing itself is excellent and vivid and other positive adjectives. The protagonists and his associates are sympathetic while being horrid, which is a pretty neat trick that Stephen King could stand to learn.
Fortunately, for all of the violence and horrors, this is still a fantasy book rather than a horror one. So it isn’t apt to cause nightmares or anything. I think the worst thing about it is that it can probably serve as a mirror for a lot of people where we learn that the real monster is ourselves! But that’s sort of what literature is supposed to do. So that’s really just a job well done.
All in all, this is another excellent piece by Scalzi and a pretty good example of the sort of thing that’s been making him such a force in contemporary SF.”
“very Dark fantasy about the pawns in a silent war between gods.”smog wrote this review Sunday, August 14, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I loved it. I'm typically someone who hates reading thinly veiled social criticism, so I was curious to see if this book was simply going to be an attack on religion, and was pleasantly surprised. It was fanciful, outrageous, and made reference with out drawing parallels. This is exactly the type of supernatural fiction I like. Highly recommended to those who are not defensive about religion, like StarTreck, and have a rainy day they'd like to fill with a good book.”Shannon B wrote this review Thursday, August 11, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“One of the best books that should not have ended as i wanted to read more. I've still yet to buy my copy, but that doesn't stop me from drooling over it.”Cryston wrote this review Saturday, August 6, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Solid, and nice to see something that's quite a bit of a diversion than Salzi's usual works. I actually would like to have seen it expanded, though, because he does create a very interesting universe with some really interesting ideas and characters. This story was pretty well developed and definitely ends on a note of finality, but I hope he does eventually return to this universe again and devote to it the same care he gave the "Old Man's War" novels.”Kai P wrote this review Sunday, May 15, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No