I enter contests all the time. I never win any of them, but I enter them anyway. My ex wife used to buy $20 worth of lottery tickets, get $10 back and claim she’d won. I’m not like that. I don’t enter contests for money, just the fun ones. Due to the interactive nature of this interweb thingie which encompasses our little worlds I have, nevertheless, made friends this way. Maybe not BFFs, but still neat new people I would otherwise have missed. So my life is a little richer and you weren’t harmed in the process. Anyway, recently, I entered another contest. This one was for a free copy of a new book called Ghost of the Gods by Kevin Bohacz. The catch was that, if you won, you had to provide a review. The second catch was that, if you wrote a review, it couldn’t give away information that would spoil the plot of the first book, Immortality. Naturally, a contest with all these catches would be the one I won. The problem I had was that I hadn’t read the first book so I had no way of knowing what plot points I could spoil. Fortunately for me I know a guy named Clump. If it’s non-mainstream sci-fi, Clump owns it. His wife, yes he has procreated, says that it’s cheaper than collecting Ferraris and it keeps him out of bars. Anyway, he had a copy of Immortality. So I read that and let him read the sequel. Then we switched books and I read the sequel. Now I knew what I could screw up.
The answer is quite a freaking lot.
So, basic plot stuff; Mark & Sarah were infected by nanotechnology that was created, and globally released, by a cyber-being called the god-machine which made then into transhumans while simultaneously killing billions of people and wiping out many governments. It is a bleak world in this book.
Mark and Sarah may be the only two such hybrid people in the world. Ghost of the Gods details their journey to find out if they are truly alone or if there are others like them. One sub plot involves finding out whether the god-machine was created by humans who lived millions of years ago, aliens or something else. Another involves a incestuous relationship between ruthless business people and what’s left of the U.S. government. Think of the world if the Koch brothers had their way and you get the idea.
Like I said, it is a bleak world in this book.
I admit that’s pretty bare bones stuff but I am really trying not to ruin book one by revealing too much about book two.
That being said, both books make one helluva read. So go buy them.
Sticking with Ghost of the Gods, while it is a thriller in every conventional sense of the word, it is more than that too. As you’re racing along from explosion to explosion – interrupted by the occasional, implied, sex scene – you’ll find yourself pondering questions like; (1) can there be an afterlife without a defined god?; (2) can machines have what humans would recognize as a soul?; (3) if the only way to save humanity is to commit genocide, do you pull that trigger?
I didn’t say they were easy questions.
For the locals reading this blog I’ll note that one of the seminal scenes in the book is set in Chicago. And since the characters are not from here he has them use official names for roads and wards and not the colloquial ones. It is a nice touch of authenticity when he could have caved in and just used local slang to try and be cool.
Simply put this is sci-fi the way it was meant to be; factual science, a plausible scenario and believable characters.
I may not have known Kevin Bohacz before this, but I won’t forget him from now on.