Rating: ***** Five Stars
Veteran Author: No
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate retailer.
Scott Spotson is a novelist who excels in imagining scenes of intrigue and adventure within ordinary lives while daydreaming, then pulls together various plots to create a compelling story. He likes to invent “what if?” scenarios, for example, what if I could go back to my university days, and what would I do differently? What if I could switch bodies with friends I am jealous of, like the guy who sold his software for millions of dollars and does whatever he pleases? What if I had the power to create clones of myself to do my bidding? Scott then likes to mentally insert himself into these situations, then plot a way to “get out” back to reality. This is how “Life II” and “Seeking Dr. Magic” were born, within weeks of each other. He’s still working on dreaming up a situation where he gets to smash a pie in the face of his boss, with no justification whatsoever – how to get out of that one?
“Today’s world – skyscrapers, Internet cafes, and all – is in great turmoil. Economic doldrums have seized the entire world in the last several years, and powerful nations such as Pakistan and India are just about to unleash nuclear might upon each other. These troubled times have been labeled The Great Blight.
In response to the perceived failure of humanity to get its act together, powerful wizards have taken over the planet. In North America, four arrogant young wizards have set up a zone of governance for that continent. They unleash a harsh regime of “bread and circuses,” vowing to drag Earth forward “kicking and screaming” in order to advance progress by “a hundred years,” while at the same time thrilling the populace with their wizard games – the ultimate reality TV. Their appointed liaison to the humans, Amanda Fullerton, must soon decide which side of history she must support – or suffer the consequences. Compounding her woes is the fact that she has fallen in love with one of the wizards.”
My Two Cents:
Even though this tale was a bit longer than it needed to be, I was impressed. This is a great work of biting social and political commentary only masquerading as fantasy.
While there were quite a few allusions to Ayn Rand, the author doesn’t beat you over the head. If anything, I often got the impression this was a mocking sequel to Atlas Shrugged. What if the egotistical heroes did succeed in tearing down the old system and remaking the world in their image? Just like in this book, they’d have to have magic to keep things from falling apart.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t the magic that I found unbelievable, but the lack of any major resistance to these “gods” taking over the world. No stewing rebellion. I would have liked to see a lot more social strife. With the people struggling against their overlords and not just the gods fighting it out. But that’s my taste. There’s enough action here already to please just about anyone.
All in all, a lot of fun. More sci-fi than fantasy, which is a good thing. It might be 500 pages long, but Four Kings will keep you hooked the whole way.