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Gods of Strife Kindle Edition
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Writing speculative fiction would seem to be pretty easy. You just dream up a universe unlike the one we accept as real, plunk down some characters, and have them do interesting things. There are, of course, many writers who have done just that, and they have produced completely forgettable books. Townsend's book is not at all forgettable.
I think that's because he has managed the task of creating a work that allows us to suspend our sense of disbelief. When Coleridge described that idea in the early nineteenth century, he explained that if a writer could infuse a "semblance of truth" into a fantasy, he could cause the reader to accept that fantasy as real, at least for the time during which he was reading. He said the key to creating that semblance of truth was human interest. That is, the characters had to resemble actual people as they interacted with their fantasy world.
That's what Townsend has done here. I don't want to describe the plot or characters, because discovering them is the joy of reading the book. However, I can say that he starts with an intriguing question: What would happen if some of the ancient gods were real and still operating in the world? The book answers the question.
I enjoyed "Gods of Strife" very much. In fact, I was sorry to reach the end. I recommend it most highly.
Within the world created by S. Evan Townsend there are many who have the power to create spells that can persuade you to change your course of action or to change your mind about a situation. Within this same world there are some that can cast protection spells, security spells and even teleport themselves from place to place without being seen. Faster than the speed of light and without blinking an eye they can be in one place one minute and miles away the next. Even the ability to cast a farseeing spell in order to contact someone that is a great distance away. They walk among the lessers or humans: They are Adepts and they are quite powerful. But, someone is out to destroy the head of one of the organizations that employs some of these powerful adepts. Within this world created by our author the time period is the late 70’s. There are no unions to deal with union bosses. There are powerful guilds and the American Meta Guild is the most powerful. But, within all organizations or when someone is out to take away the territory of a gang or group a coup might occur or worse. Someone is out to kill the head of this guild and will stop at nothing short of annihilation of entire populations to finish what was started many years before. Revenge, hate, deceit, lies and treachery plague the pages of this book as the members of the American Meta Guild fight an unknown enemy stemming back to the time of Greek Gods and many that we meet might seem immortal and ageless but everyone is vulnerable. Everyone has an Achilles heel and even immortals. The Gods of Strife: enter the world of the adepts and find out when and if the war will begin and if it is too late to stop it!
Within this complex plot the author takes us back to a time when Gods reigned and we learn the identity of the person who wants to eliminate not just Michael Vaughn the head of the AMA but entire populations of the world too. Peter Branton is second in command and will play more than just an integral part in trying to stop what someone has already put into motion. Peter is a powerful adept but when Vaughn requests his presence to interview a possible new member, what happens will set off a chain of events that will take readers and Branton to many places around the world. Housed in suite 1313 the AMA leader along with his warriors to protect him and many others will welcome Mary Jones. But, just who is Mary Jones and why does she viciously turn on Vaughn shooting him and trying to take his life? What happens you won’t believe as Branton and his warrior chance her, try to run her down and the end result leaves someone dead and the image of cat in her place. A shapeshifter! Her name is Ariel and she is quite old. She can materialize as a human or an animal and she is dangerous. Someone hired her to go after Vaughn and the AMA and someone wants to start a nuclear war. Why you just won’t believe!
Someone is following Branton’s movements and is able to track him down. When Peter goes to speak to someone at the CIA he learns about a leak that will get readers wondering if this sort of thing really happens. Information comes to him way before as he learns that someone from the CIA is giving out credit card information and leaking it to the FBI and NSA. Within this structure Ariel the hit woman can access information at any number of places. The information was requested by someone named MARS. The research described on how credit card transactions are made and how the seller gets the money is revealed on page 88. But, Ariel is far from done and she appears once again but this time Branton’s new Warrior, Graham has the situation under control. What she is able to do to a plane and Branton using a protection spell shooting an airbolt at her and knocking her down makes you wonder why you would ever fly and just how dangerous it can be. The remainder of chapter five is frightening as we learn more about the credit card information, how it is disseminated and just what part Mars plays. Added in not only that but the M16 Britain’s equivalent to our CIA comes into place and it’s possible that this man has contacts there too.
What if the person orchestrating this happens to be a high priest of Atlantis until he and his sons were banished. What if they call him Ares. Ares was banished “for wanting to take armies and destroy the barbarians who were attacking Atlantis. Ares and his sons Phobos and Deimos were the ones after Branton and the AMA. Reason: to bring a nuclear war about. Thinking things are falling into place for him what happens will shock readers and hopefully stop the annihilation of many innocent people. The Kennedys managed to stop the Cuban Missile Crisis which this man said was all orchestrated by him. Not only that Michael Vaughn played an important part in it too. Added in he rid the world of Joe and Robert Kennedy and anyone else that stood in his way. Powerful, dangerous as any adept or maybe more what Branton and Graham face might cost them their lives and others too. But, Ariel just might be persuaded to turn and become part of his crew. As Ariel returns and her powers and ability to kill and destroy come full circle will Peter be able to enlist her aid once she realizes which side she belongs as the author shares her history, a woman named Bessie and just where Ariel comes from and her link to an Indian tribe.
“Caduceus is a winged staff with two snakes wrapped around it. It was an ancient astrological symbol of commerce and is associated with the Greek god Hermes, the messenger for the gods, conductor of the dead and protector of merchants and thieves. It was originally a herald's staff, sometimes with wings, with two white ribbons attached. The ribbons eventually evolved into snakes in the figure-eight shape.” Just what part this plays you won’t believe and just who Graham is will surprise readers as many risk their lives to prevent a nuclear disaster and others fight for what they believe. Gods of Strife: “Eris (/ˈɪərɪs, ˈɛrɪs/; Greek: Ἔρις, "Strife") is the Greek goddess of chaos, strife and discord. Her name is the equivalent of Latin Discordia, which means "discord". Eris' Greek opposite is Harmonia, whose Latin counterpart is Concordia. Homer equated her with the war-goddess Enyo, whose Roman counterpart is Bellona. The dwarf planet Eris is named after the goddess, as is the religion Discordianism..” (Wikipedia). Gods of Strife brings to light many issues of loyalty, betrayal, fear, revenge, hate, discord and creates a whole new meaning to the word Strife: “ vigorous or bitter conflict, discord or in this case pure antagonism. A quarrel, struggle or even a clash that can create such violence that no one sees past what their goals are or what is in the best interest of everyone. An ending that will shock readers. Characters that just might be living among us and we just don’t know it. Gods of Strife or discord: will the battle ever end?
Let's give the author: FIVE GOLDEN CUPS OF STARBUCKS COFFEE: BEWARE THEY ARE ADDICTING!