Tag Archives: satire

The Four Kings by Scott Spotson

Image

Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Pages: 513

Veteran Author: No

Availability:

Kindle: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: NO Paperback: YES

Click on a YES above to go to appropriate retailer.

Author:

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?

Description:

“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.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Games by Izai Amorim

The Games by Izai Amorim

Image

 

Genre: Literary Fiction/Action Adventure

Rating: **** Four Stars

Estimated word count: 116,000 words

Availability:

Kindle: YES Nook: No Smashwords: NO Paperback: YES

Click on a YES above to go to appropriate retailer.

Author:

“Izai Amorim was born and raised in Brazil but spent most of his adult life abroad, briefly in the USA, mostly in Germany. He was trained as an architect and worked many years in the profession. But his real passion is story telling. At some point in his life he decided to mix storytelling with architecture, changed profession, and became a branding consultant, something that he loves and has been doing to these days. He writes about media, information, and politics. His first novel The Games shows how information is processed to create and spread the stories needed to establish power structures not accountable to anyone. The graphic companion to this novel is the photographic essay The Lace Curtains of Berlin.”

Description:

“The Games is a mean political novel. Not for people who expect the good guys to win at the end: there are no good guys in it. It’s rather a battle of evil against evil. This mother of all conspiracies will take you to the world of terrorism without a cause; environmental protection organizations operating extortion rackets; secret services run amok; global television networks manipulating the news; major sport events being hijacked by politicians and profiteers; and last but not least the world of lace curtains and their political meaning to former terrorists on parole.”

My Two Cents:

On page 1 you’re led to believe this is a thriller about stopping nuclear terrorism. As you go along, the bomb has little to do with the story. This book is packed with satire, social commentary and dark humor, but relatively little action. But that’s alright, since the background story to the attack sucked me in. This whole story strikes me as literary fiction merely masquerading as a thriller!

Another unique point: almost the entire tale is told in the present tense. I thought that would get boring after a while, but not really. It helps keep the story fresh.

The only real weakness is it’s a little dated. That’s important because the “hopelessness” of rehabilitating East Germany plays such a crucial role in the story. What was true once has changed in the last decade.

Still, that doesn’t detract from the story. This is a well-written and fun book, as well as a cutting commentary of European social politics and big business in general. An enjoyable, unique read.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized