Mur Lafferty's Reviews > The God Engines

The God Engines by John Scalzi
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's review
Jul 18, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, isbw-author-interview, 2010-books, scifi
Read on July 18, 2010

** spoiler alert ** This was a fascinating tale of gods and real manifestations of faith. It's dark and gory at times, but more frightening is the zealous nature of people whose god exists, sometimes reveals itself, and gives tangible gifts.

I would have liked for him to explore the difference between "belief" and "faith" and "love" since most of our religions today show most believing in one god (whatever the flavor, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, etc) and denying the existence of the others, while in this book the god the people encounter most often is the trapped god aboard their ship, but that is not Our Lord, the most powerful among the gods. They can't worship the trapped god, but they are supposed to worship the more distant one.

Small spoiler, but talk of a sex scene below.

One thing that I kept expecting an "answer" to is why Scalzi chose to leave the rooks genderless. I'm sure we all pictured them as female, but read carefully- you will never find a female pronoun, you will never see a description of their sexual parts (except for the androgynous "nipple") and the one sex scene had Shalle taking Tephe's penis and "slid it into the place they both wanted it to be." He very purposefully avoids all gender identifiers, but there seems to be no reason for it. Both men and women are indicated throughout the book, and I expected Shalle's Talent to be something like the ability to switch genders to please his/her lovers, but that didn't manifest either, (Shalle's Talent is something much bigger and more important to the overall plot.)

I just didn't understand the purpose behind this one aspect of the book being unanswered.

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07/18/2010 page 43

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