Have you enjoyed our week full of David-centric blog posts? Have you gained some new insight into the mind of this amazing author? Have you marked each of his novels as To Buy and To Read on your goodreads shelves? If you answered yes to each of those questions, our jobs here are done!
For the final leg of the tour, I wanted to wrap things up by discussing each one of David's novels.
First, I bring you my review of David's first Sci-Fi / Fantasy novel, The Gamble of the Godless.
4 Stars: Strongly Recommended
For those of you who have read his previous novels, when you think of David Maine, you think literary biblical fiction, because in your mind, the two have always gone hand in hand.
And ok, if you're a fan like me, you could argue that his 2008 release Monster, 1959 was a departure from his bible-related past, although I would argue back that it still held it's own in the literary arena.
Well, folks, David has turned the tables on us, yet again! Not only has he temporarily left the realm of St. Martin's Press - publisher of his 4 previous novels - he also leaves behind traditional paper novels for eBooks (GASP!) and plunges head first into an entirely new genre - one that is filled with characters and situations typical of science fiction and fantasy books.
Now, while I tend to get extremely upset when my favorite bands change their musical style (I'm looking at you R.E.M. and U2 - who kicked ass in the 80's and early 90's, then sold out and left me angry and confused from the mid 90's straight through to present day) I tend to be more forgiving with my favorite authors.
A departure from what was once an author's niche may run the risk of alienating readers, yet if done well, can demonstrate their flexibility and increase their readership. I am convinced that The Gamble of the Godless will prove to be the latter.
If I'm being honest, and my near and dear TNBBCer's know I am nothing if not honest, lovers of the science fiction and fantasy novels are among the most passionate, if not sometimes incredibly odd, readers. I'm thinking Star Trek, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings kind of readers... "Thou shalt not take JRR Tolkien's name in vain" kind of passionate!
While I am not sure David's Godless will spawn fan-fiction hard-core groupies, I do know that it is an excellent gateway novel for those who are considering testing the Sci-Fi / Fantasy waters. And from the reviews that are quickly pouring in, it's quite the hit with genre fans as well. Like any sci-fi novel, Godless requires some suspension of belief to fully enjoy the adventures that our protagonist Avin and his friends find themselves in the thick of, it's a fun read that you will find yourself easily slipping into.
Avin, a simple naive farm boy who does as he is told, heads out into Animal Territories when he discovers that his older brother ran off to join the Humans against their war with the Wolves. As he and his new friends Ax the Warrior and Jocen the One-Armed Sorcerer head out in search of Drew, they acquire a rag tag team of animals who accompany them on their journey - an owl who cannot lie, a drug addicted Cheetah, a sling-shot toting Raccoon, among others. Of course, the deeper they tread through the animal cities, the more they discover that this war may be much bigger and more sinister than they had originally suspected.
At it's core, it's a story of friendship and loyalty, and of not judging a book by its cover. It puts family and trust at the forefront, though it does come with its wicked little web of secrets as well. And for David, it's a return to a genre he has loved since he was a little boy.
And now, some mini-reviews, featuring David's 4 previous novels, in the order which I had read them:
2005 (click title to see google preview)
A unique spin on the Cain and Able tale - modernized and told in reverse, beginning with Cain awaiting his death in a cave and ending with Adam and Eve in Eden. At times incredibly breathtaking, David manages to capture human emotion unlike any other author. I fell in love with David and his storytelling within minutes of cracking this novel open. And it was one of the first books I ever pushed relentlessly on the member of TNBBC on goodreads, because it was just. that. good.
2004 (Click title to see google preview)
The hardcover of this book has the coolest, most artistic dust jacket I have ever seen - and quite possibly my favorite of all his novels - Told in turns by each of the characters in first person (except the chapters for Noe which were told in narration), we are introduced to the family who was chosen by God to survive the Flood in an interestingly modern telling of the biblical story. Maine gives each character depth and reason, showing us thier inner strengths as well as thier faults... thier histories as well as thier present lives.
2006 (click the title to see google preview)
2008 (click title to see google preview)
Join David Maine on his blog tomorrow as he puts the final touches on the blog tour!
For additional reviews and interviews with David Maine, check out these posts:
The Best o' Books has a guest post from David.