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Shawn O'Bryhim is a professor of Classics who specializes in Mediterranean religion and ancient comedy--both of which figure prominently in "The Messengers." He lives on the East Coast, but enjoys going back to his farm in the Midwest as much as possible to hone his chainsawing technique. Look for his "Greek and Roman Comedy" at the University of Texas Press and on Amazon.
on Dec. 05, 2009 :
Excellent book! Never a dull moment. After establishing the characters with a good dose of humor, the story moves quickly to the plot: the discovery of a mysterious manuscript and the involvement of a slimy TV evangelical group in its translation. It then flashes back to the origin of the supernatural text in biblical times with a cast of familiar characters in unfamiliar situations, and ends up with a startling conclusion. It's sure to get lots of people rereading their Bibles and wondering why they've never heard of any of this!
Readers who want a fast paced story with enough detail to get your imagination going but without page after page of boring descriptions of room furnishings, lint on someone's jacket, the smell of coffee, how I feel this morning, etc., will enjoy this. I hope there's a sequel.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Nov. 18, 2009 :
Fire of the Gods is remarkably inventive. While one cannot escape the long shadow cast by story lines such as "Raiders of the Lost Ark," to which this has some superficial resemblance, that is only passing the story is truly unique. The story takes place in two different times, and the balance between the two is reasonable, although the strongest, and lengthiest section of the book carries on so long I forgot about the other story line.
The weakest part of the book, and I don’t claim I could have done any better, is a tenancy to rush right past some very significant story elements. Before the reader has time to digest a “wow” moment, the author quickly moves the plot on to something more mundane. When a character is betrayed, there is no examination of the emotional impact, a discussion by the character of the moral implications, or any device to say, “hey, this is important.” More glaring is the dénouement, in which extraordinary events get little more than a couple of sentences.
When I was in elementary school I was supposed to write a story: I started writing a rather elaborate science fiction story when I ran out of time, the story was due. Desperate, I put my character is a steel ball with five minutes of air but he was saved by a princess. The end.
THIS book is, of course, far, far better, and most sections of the book are fully fleshed out, but there is a couple of places where the author could have given the reader a richer experience.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)