3 out of 4 stars
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Agony of the Gods is an exciting science fiction novel written by Tom Wolosz.
After harnessing the power in the universe, scientists create The Machine which can use that power to grant any person anything he wishes for, even his own world to lord over and do as he pleases, making him like God. These people who are connected to The Machine are called Originals. The Originals are omnipotent. They are also hedonistic, vain, and brutal. They subject their people, called ‘prints,’ to various kinds of suffering merely for amusement.
Now, someone is killing the Originals. The enforcer, a print in service of the gods, is sent to find the killer. He and his new apprentice, an alluring woman with a deep sense of self preservation, travel and meet the gods of various worlds. They meet The Fat man in his floating palace, The Imager who takes and keeps images of anyone and anything he fancies, The Maestro whose life is dedicated to finding the perfect musician and The Lady of the Land who is served by talking animals.
Meanwhile, the death toll continues to increase and one question still remains: who can kill an all-powerful god in his own world?
Undoubtedly, the book has a great premise, unique and fresh. Every god is given specific descriptions and every world is described in details. This is not only exciting, but also engaging and thought-provoking. Every chapter introduces something new to think about and the surprising revelations never end. The book is written in third person perspective. Scenes involving the two main protagonists are told alternately between the enforcer and the apprentice.
Basically, the book is about power, how to use it, and how intoxicating it can be. The author adeptly portrays how an ordinary person can and will use his borrowed power to use, abuse and ultimately discard those he considered inferior to him. The book shows how overbearing, callous and inhumane powerful people can be. Likewise, the book depicts the different predilections of people of great power as evidenced by their choice of entertainment.
However, though each world is, without a doubt, very interesting, the descriptions of too many different worlds can be overwhelming to some readers, and the abrupt change of setting can be very confusing. There are simply too many minor characters and too many scenes, which other readers may find excessive. Moreover, I found the backstories on the two main protagonists, well-developed as they are, inadequate for them to be relatable. The enforcer is honorable, respectful, patient and kind while the apprentice is suspicious, ambitious and vindictive. Finally, there are several questions left unanswered and events left unexplained which make the ending of the book less satisfying than I hope it should be.
I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I love the story. I enjoyed reading it, but there are just too many gaps. I recommend it to fans of science fiction. There are, however, some scenes which may not be suitable for young readers.
Agony of the Gods
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