Posted by Literary Titan
Enemy of the Gods follows Zeon as he tries to live a normal life, before a missile drags him back to the life he left behind. What was the inspiration for the setup of this thrilling story?
The main theme of this trilogy is trust. So, the opening chapters are a call for help from his family and friends—but the missile indicates he still doesn’t know whom to trust. And even his family hasn’t believed him in the past. The only person—uh, I mean, animal—he can trust is his overfriendly cat-robot.
Zeon is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some ideals that guided his character development?
Zeon’s main character trait—which is also a big disadvantage—is his confidence. He makes assumptions that tend to be incorrect, but in his head, he’s always right. The readers see his version of the world and they trust him. He thinks he knows the rules of Pangea and everything else. And when he’s wrong, we crash and burn with him. A lot of the humor comes from this. It’s the classic unreliable narrator.
Moreover, we tend to empathize with Zeon because not only is he a likable hero/anti-hero, but we often find ourselves in situations exactly like his—where we must make decisions based on uncertainty.
The book uses parallel worlds in some fascinating ways. How did this idea start and change as you wrote your story?
I always liked parallel worlds, but I was never a fan of infinite Earths. It doesn’t matter what we do; there’ll be universes where everything else happens differently. Infinitely. But a small number of parallel Earths is more appealing to me, because we can compare the society and morals of a single planet with Earth’s, and we can try to understand how a complete foreigner would react to Earthers and to Pangea.
Furthermore, and especially for Enemy of the Gods (which is book two of the trilogy), it makes the main characters consider that perhaps they’d be fighting for the other side if things had happened differently. Would Zeon be a killer if he were born in a different Earth? This line of questioning guides his actions during the climax of the book.
Finally, one of my favorite authors—Isaac Asimov—was a master at throwing humans into societies with different rules. For instance, in his novel The Naked Sun, there’s a planet where humans live in isolation—far away from each other. This is a bit similar to what we’re living with today, with the Covid-19 stay-at-home laws. I also wanted to explore different societies, but without losing a contemporary Earth, so I had to use parallel Earths.
This is book two in your Challenges of the Gods series. Will you continue this series with a third installment?
I planned this from the start as a trilogy, so there will be a third and final book. All I can say is that the humans are finally going to meet the gods. As with the first two books, you can expect some twists; nothing is exactly as it seems. And don’t trust Zeon!
Unbeknownst to most humans, there is a place where our consciousness drifts when we sleep. An ancient alien race of self-proclaimed “gods” calls this realm Pangea. For millennia, they needed no intervention from us. Until now.
Oblivious to the world of dreams, neuroengineer Zeon is busy being in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. But when Pangea’s deceitful “gods” contact Zeon, he has no choice but to dive headfirst into their war—a war complicated by a band of human rebels led by the last person he’d ever expect.
If the war is lost, it’ll be the downfall of Pangea—and without a world to dream in, the entire human race will die with it.
Posted by Literary Titan
Enemy of the Gods picks up where Hofsetz’s previous book, Challenges of the Gods left off. The book begins with antihero Zeon imprisoned and alone on a planet with his trusty cat-like robot Harry for company. Assuming he has left his previous existence behind him, Zeon has settled into a sense of normality. Obviously, that doesn’t last long when a missile drags Zeon back into a life he thought he had left behind. The opening chapter was an excellent introduction to the book that made me keep reading for the next few hours. A cat robot that can speak to missiles – now that’s cool!
The story itself really flows nicely, and much of the imagery depicted by Hofsetz really helps bring the lands of Pangea and umpteen parallel worlds to life. Zeon himself is kind of a bumbling nuisance, but you can’t help forming a soft spot for him. Humour is injected throughout the book which I loved, and at times it really works to distract you from the utter destruction that is going on around him.
The obvious question is – do I need to read the first to understand what is going on? In my opinion, yes, probably. Although you could get away without it, although it will take you a minute to catch up. I spent a lot of time trying to work out the difference between a hypersphere and dreamsphere, and who was good or bad. Concerning the latter, it seems our hero himself has trouble at times, so I am sure Hofsetz does this in an attempt to keep you guessing (it works!).
One thing is for sure, you need to concentrate when reading this book. A few times, I had to stop and revisit a page or chapter to work out exactly what was going on. Given there are multiple parallel earths, some of which have slight variations of the same character (with similar-sounding names), I think I can be forgiven.
If you love sci-fi or dystopian fiction, this one the novel for you. As I suggested, it would be beneficial to pick up the first book in the series, as it would ease you into this universe much quicker. That being said, this was an entertaining and enjoyable novel to read, and I will undoubtedly pick up more of Hofsetz’s work.
Pages: 333 | ASIN: B0846T483N