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Book Review: The Hand of God

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“This compelling new series explores questions of family, faith, and the human condition on the backdrop of a dark post-apocalyptic future. The world ended—twice.

Once at humanity’s hand and a second time at God’s, according to legend. Only Esther, the Eternal One, saw it all happen. Chosen by the Messiah to redeem humanity, she heads a holy sisterhood that rules Cathedral, the Last City. Except Cathedral isn’t the last city, and the source of the Revenant Sisterhood’s supernatural power is far from holy.

It’s the year 2500, give or take. The passage of time has become as blurry as the gray wastes that cover most of North America. No moon or stars light the night, and demonic hordes smash against the last outposts of civilization. Two reborn nations vie for humanity’s future. In the west, Cathedral unleashes its God-engines—ancient walking war machines—in a final bid to cleanse the earth. In the east, the struggling city-state of Bastion turns to the last living AI for salvation. Between them, a tribe of technological scavengers known as the Union unwittingly holds the balance of power.

Hell is on the horizon. Who will survive?”

Title: The Hand of God

Series: Dark Legacies #1

Author: Yuval Kordov

Page Count: 374

Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: October 20th, 2023

The Hand of God by Yuval Kordov was another read in my top 20 priority list from my personal SPFBO-9 TBR. I knew going into this one it was going to be a bit different than my typical reads. Finishing it up, I think it lived up to that prediction as well.
 
This story did seem to lean a bit more into the science fiction side of things than the more traditional fantasy. I mean looking at the cover along should have eluded to this. There were certainly some fantasy aspects in it though. This is more along the lines of a post apocalyptic world where the survivors still have some technology but have also taken a step or two back with their societies.
 
Religion is a very strong aspect to this story. As with this topic in general I found it interesting how the author brings to light how perspective can play into religion. Who is to say what is good and what is evil and where to things fall in middle? This story and it’s characters populate this entire spectrum.
 
The pacing was solid. Even though this one took me far longer than my usual visual reads I don’t fault the book at all. Timing was just wrong for me. I have had so much going on while trying to read this book, I simply didn’t get the chance to pick it up as frequently as I wanted to. With that being said, I got through the second half much faster than the first as I really force fed this read into my priority so I could try and enjoy it more. I’m happy to say it worked! The only issue I’ll mention is the timeline was a bit confusing for me for quite some time. I was having some suspicions that things covered at the beginning might not all be current events. As the story progressed that suspicion grew more and more until I could finally confirm there was indeed some hopping around with the timeline on some chapters to fill details in. Reading this book more consistently might have helped with this and some readers might not have any issues at all with it. But it took me almost three quarters of the way through the book before I really understood this was happening.
 
The worldbuilding was really unique and enjoyable for me. I’ve been have a lot of fun with the post apocalyptic stories of late and this was another one. Yuval has painted a very dreary and ominous world for us readers to explore with some interesting characters. There is a decent amount of political intrigue with some espionage as well. As I mentioned above it’s interesting to see who different factions with a strong religious aspect in leadership where they have drastically different views and ruling practices.
 
The character development has been solid so far. We’ve seen some growth from Philippe as well as some of our leaders and even our “machines” up to this point. But this is one of the reads that I’m thinking we’ve only just scratched the surface with these characters and there is so much more to come!
 
As good as this read was, I was even more intrigued to see mention that this story came about as a tabletop RPG setting before the author turned it into a book. Now I’m thinking I need to get my hands on some notes from this campaign world so I can create some characters to run in it and see how things go!

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 4/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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