Jason Golomb's Reviews > The God Engines

The God Engines by John Scalzi
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's review
Aug 09, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: science-fiction, favorites
Read in August, 2010

"The God Engines" is dark, heavy, and richly textured beneath a gauze of foreboding. John Scalzi's novella is a severe departure from the tone and wit of his popular "Old Man's War" series. But it's equally as awesome.

The title is quite literal. Superhuman god-like beings are the engines that drive human interstellar travel. While they have the power to move humans and ships across enormous amounts of space, their powers are much more vast. The story moves at a rapid pace, and the characters are well drawn despite the books' length. The universe of "The God Engines" is creatively conceived.

Scalzi's story, which sits somewhere between scifi and fantasy, takes an compelling look at religion, faith and what they can really mean to individuals and societies. The foundation of characters are military, like much of Scalzi's "Old Man's War", but this military and this universe is much more frightening.

Everything is drawn with muted colors. Scalzi's writing is very clear, and always crisp, but one can't help but feel a little suffocated in reading this story. Scalzi is also a master at forwarding a plot through well-worded and well-timed dialogue.

This is not your father's John Scalzi. And this is very good.
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