The God Engines by John Scalzi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This novella appears to be very different from the novels, such as Old Man's War, for which Mr. Scalzi is better known. Indeed, he warns us that it is dark fantasy, rather than science fiction. I found it to be a bit of both. And, in a way, it's not really that different from his other books after all.
The first part of the book does a good job of getting us into the world, a world where faith is central to not only life, but even the operation of starships. It also introduced us to the captain of the starship, an honorable man, and his ship's priest, a perhaps not so honorable man. The latter part of the book follows them on a special mission where they must again grudgingly work together. It is here where both their faith and honor are tested and the truth about it all is revealed.
What starts out as a story with the feel of science fiction with an overlay of dark fantasy becomes a rather shocking bit of horror. Be warned that there is violence and sex and an unflattering view of religion. But it's really not as bad as that makes it sound. And the writing is whip smart.
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