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Bryan Thomas Schmidt

My thoughts on books, stories, authors, and publishing

Currently reading

The Clockwork Dagger
Beth Cato
Progress: 120/360 pages
The Road to Science Fiction 3: From Heinlein to Here
James Gunn
The Road to Science Fiction 4: From Here to Forever
James Gunn
The Road to Science Fiction 1
James Gunn
A Broken Christmas
Claire Ashgrove
The Ultra Thin Man
Patrick Swenson
Progress: 174/334 pages
The Broken Eye
Brent Weeks
The Dark Between the Stars
Kevin J. Anderson
Oath of Fealty
Elizabeth Moon
The Road to Science Fiction 2: From Wells to Heinlein
James Gunn

Death's Heretic

Death's Heretic - James L. Sutter A powerful debut for Sutter. The book takes fantasy where it has rarely gone: Atheism. The lead character, while serving the church to pay his debt to a goddess, nonetheless remains a nonbeliever. Even though his debt to the goddess originated from a granted prayer. While I found the arguments against faith v. reason the character presented less than compelling, the argument for faith at the end, ironically, was quite compelling. The contradictions are interesting. The idea of death as a reward, even for nonbelievers. The idea of a man struggling for immortality who, once he knows what death is like, chooses to stay dead. And the idea of a goddess allowing her subjects free will and up to the last moment redemption through faith are great themes but contrast with the unbelief of the lead in compelling ways. Well written. Not your standard D&D tie in either. The world explored here is mostly spiritual realms as Salim and the daughter of the man whose soul was stolen travel into the underworld to investigate the crime. Some good action, well written descriptions, and strong character development. A good read. Third on Barnes & Noble Book Club's 2011 Best Fantasy Releases.