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Lunch » Tags » Untagged » CATACLYSM: Return of the Gods » User review

intriguing mix of science fiction, mythology and romance

  • Oct 10, 2012
  • by
Stephen H. King, otherwise known as TOSK, imagines a curiously different Armageddon in this, the first of a series of mythologically post-apocalyptic novels. The confusion of a young woman who learns she just might be married to the God of War is very nicely portrayed, and an intriguingly pagan Rapture introduces a new world of magic, replacing modern technology.
I’m probably more scientific than this book’s intended audience. When the god explains that “Electrons no longer exist,” my mind turns away from fiction to wonder just what the implications would be—surely more than just electricity not working and the earth’s magnetic field getting upset. The concept of “two-thousand year long technology era[s]” and “two-thousand year long magic” is certainly intriguing, though I wonder when the technological advancements of the ancient Greeks took place--and yes, I know they had gods too. I rebel at math being a scientific tool when I view it as art as well, but that’s beside the point. Given the author’s premise, this new world is nicely built on the old, and, after all, “What woman didn’t” want to “believe that her husband was a god?”
It’s nice to find a celiac protagonist (if you know me, you’ll know why), though it's mildly frustrating to see it portrayed as an allergy—satisfying though when it's healed by magic--ah, cakes and pastries and other divine delights--the wondrous scenery and foods of the gods are sumptuously described. Battle scenes sparkle with power and fire and excitement. And myth and magic smile with pleasing touches of historical humor. There are intriguing hints of ethical dilemmas as gods look down on mere mortals, even while one of them’s married to one.
The story’s complete enough in itself though it ends with the clear promise of more. If you love mythology and don’t mind too much about math, this just might be one for you—it's certainly a very different kind of sci-fi romantic adventure.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review.

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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth ()
Ranked #44
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
About this product


A Mississippi native, Stephen H. King was moved in high school entirely against his will from the small town of Corinth to a large city he ended up loving in southern California. After, a series of mostly unexplainable decisions led him through a strange sequence of events beginning at the United States Military Academy, where he double-majored in physics and electrical engineering, through a fairly short career as an Infantry officer and then an electronics technician, a product engineer, a carpenter’s helper, and an elementary school janitor, to ultimately finding himself on the faculty of a small college in Anchorage, Alaska. During those years, he learned that reading science fiction and fantasy allowed him to escape the strangeness into the more understandable worlds crafted by Isaac Asimov, Piers Anthony, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and many other great writers. As time went on he began to mold his own worlds. Stephen now lives in Midlothian, Virginia, with his wife, daughter, and two white Chihuahuas that enjoy morphing from Therapuppies into miniature dragons at the sound of food being opened. Stephen is currently working on the next book in the Goddess series when he’s not serving the students of a small college in Richmond, Virginia, as their Dean.
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