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Prophets: Apotheosis: Book One Mass Market Paperback – March 3, 2009
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"One of the best of the hard-boiled, action-adventure science fiction writers today."
About the Author
S. Andrew Swann lives in the Greater Cleveland area. He has a background in mechanical engineering. He has published twenty-three novels over the past eighteen years, which include science fiction, fantasy, and horror. His latest series is his epic space opera, the Apotheosis trilogy. He can be found at sandrewswann.com.
Top customer reviews
S Andrew Swann continues his sci fi novels with this book, the latest in his Moreau universe. This time, it is set in the year 2525 and begins with two competing religious groups vying for influence and control of some previously unknown human colonies beyond known space, and a Race AI called Mosasa, who has detected anomalous signals from that region of space and decides to investigate as well.
I always enjoy books which have ties to characters in previous books. Prophets brings back Mosasa, Tetsani, an offspring of Rajastan, and an egg. Those who have read his previous books will understand what I mean by the egg.
Explaining more may give away the story but suffice it to say- it's another good book from Swann.
The one thing I am wary of however is the revelation of the enemy towards the end. I fear it may be too technologically advanced for the humans and have some doubt over how the enemy was able to create it in the first place. Swann may have backed himself into a corner and there may be a finale which is unrealistic (unrealistic for this book's premises I mean)
If you made it this far, thank you for reading.
Buy it. You'll enjoy it.
The world-building is creative and thorough, including inventive use of FTL travel, high-tech weaponry, new and ever-more-fantastic ways of engaging in the "heresies", and unusual social structures. The intrigue and complex web of plots exist courtesy largely of Mosasa, the AI--he was designed to analyze vast arrays of economic, social, and cultural information, and affect events by subtly manipulating small details here and there. The ways in which he goes about preparing for and setting off on his expedition to the anomaly fascinated me. I also loved the fact that the technologies became integral parts of the plot rather than window-dressing; for example, the manner in which ships travel faster-than-light factors intimately into several major plot points.
The characters were good but not great. I enjoyed Father Mallory, Wahid and Mosasa most; some of the other characters seemed one-dimensional or melodramatic. Also, there were definitely some rather static and repetitive informational dumps. Despite those two issues, I absolutely enjoyed the plotting and world of Prophets, and have already started in on the other books in the series: Heretics and Messiah.
[NOTE: review book provided by publisher]
Prophets takes place in the twenty-fifth century, a time when man has reached the stars, made contact with alien civilizations, and already survived both an interstellar war with some of those civilizations and civil war with itself. The Confederacy, the one government that held humanity's far flung planets together, has collapsed and divided into factions, some along secular lines, some aligned with the Vatican, and some a part of the Islamic Caliphate.
A balance exists between the worlds of the Caliphate and all others. But when shadowy forces start moving on the fringes of civilized space, speaking of lost human colonies and astral anomalies, everyone must race to be the first to arrive, to lay hold of what might tip the balance of power in their direction.
Swann spins a tale that is cinematic in vision and has echoes of Dan Simmons' Hyperion series. He fills the story--equally mystery, cloak and dagger, political intrigue, and science-fiction--with characters that are mercenaries, scientists, priests, A.I.s, aliens, spies, saboteurs, and mutants. And there are also, of course, lots of space ships with faster-than-light travel drives (what would space opera be without that?). Almost none of the characters are clearly hero or villain, and each is a well drawn composite of traits that are likeable and flawed. Their interactions are unpredictable and gripping, each pulled by the plot in ways neither they, nor the reader, expects. By writing his characters credibly, and not balking at their pain or suffering, Swann creates a story that is both enjoyable and that the reader cares about.
Unlike many scifi and fantasy authors today, Swann is willing to tell the story in under five hundred pages. The length keeps the story alive, stopping on characters just long enough to paint a portrait of their history and relationship to the plot, then moving along again. Chapters cut to the chase, inserting the reader as far into the action as possible, then leaving them right at the point of greatest impact. The result is a page-turner that demands to be finished.
I have a bad habit of parachuting into authors worlds mid-series, and while Prophets is definitely the first in the Apotheosis series, it is the third series that Swann has written in the so-called "Moreau" universe. The first two--the Moreau series and the Hostile Takeover Trilogy--occur hundreds of years earlier than the events in Prophets. I had decided, upon picking up Prophets, that if I liked it I would go back and read the Moreau and Hostile Takeover. The good news is that I enjoyed it immensely, and as soon as I finish the Heretics and Messiah, the next two books in the series (which are both waiting on my bed stand), I'll go hunting for the previous series.