Monday, December 30, 2019

"Before the Shattered Gates of Heaven:
Shattered Gates Volume 1 Boxset"
by Bryan S. Glosemeyer

When a human turned 18, they were given a choice between two potential lifepaths. They must choose one immediately, and that choice cannot be undone. In the case of the book’s main character, her two choices were to become a “hen” and give birth to broods of children for the rest of her life or to enter the pit. Those who chose the pit fought battle after battle in an attempt to earn a name. For on this world, humans were considered less than nothing. But if they won 9 battles in the pit, they were given a name and became considered a Servant.

Being a Servant with a name gave one a chance to earn more rank and glory for their masters. But just as likely as earning rank among the Servants, was the probability of being killed in battle. But for the main character, the chance to see the stars and be seen and recognized by the Gods was what she wanted. It was what she was raised to desire and all that she knew. But what would happen if something began to make her question everything she had ever known?

This was a well written science fiction book. I liked the concept of a race of humans who had spent generations believing that the Gods would only see and honor them with a name if they were able to prove themselves worthy. Many succeeded, but many more died. And what happens when something finds a way to make one question that their lifelong belief in the Gods is false? What becomes of them then? And where do they go from there.

I liked how this book followed the path of one human and showed us how and when she began to come to question those long held beliefs. It wasn’t an easy thing for her, nor should it have been. But it was a fascinating story. And it was very interesting watching how she grew and evolved over time. The author did an excellent job of showing how a desire for something more than what one has already known can influence how a person reacts under a number of different circumstances as well has how the things we have been taught to believe can also shape our lives. I enjoyed reading this story and I think others will likely enjoy it too. Recommended.

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