Fiction penned by members of the game industry intrigues and excites me, since I’m part of the same circle. Valve’s Ted Kosmatka is a prolific writer and has just released his latest second full-length novel, Prophet of Bones: A Novel, which is actually an extension of prior short story “The Prophet of Flores,” an exciting sci-fi thriller that creates a gripping amalgam of science and religion and the possibilities of what could happen in a world where God created two Adams and once race diverged from the doppelganger.
It’s a hot button issue that we’re all very aware of, especially when it comes to schools: creationism, Darwin’s discoveries, and what’s “acceptable” to be taught to students. That’s why Prophet of Bones is such an addictive read. A scientist happens upon a separate species that happened to be spawned at the very same time human ancestorS were said to have come into being. What if we weren’t the only ones? In this harrowing vision, we weren’t.
Kosmatka refers to his work as “lab-opera,” a term that does a great job describing the events that unfold. There’s weighty subject matter at work here, especially for readers that normally gravitate to techno-thrillers and sci-fi yarns that dance around the subject of religion often enough, but rarely take the plunge.
But that’s not all that’s in store: plenty of action, intrigue, and even a love interest crops up in the midst of the important discoveries. and it does take a certain type of reader to appreciate the multiple genres converging here. However, Kosmatka writes in such a manner that even those who don’t normally read hard sci-fi can appreciate. The sensation nearly feels like experiencing the thrills of a blockbuster videogame – perhaps that’s why I found myself able to connect so easily.
Once started, Prophet of Bones: A Novel is a real page-turner you’ll have difficulty putting down, even if you’re not as indebted to the gaming industry as some, and its philosophical musings will stick with you long after completing the final sentence. It’s a crisp, well-written effort that turned me on to Kosmatka’s body of work, and I’m excited to see what he’ll be up to next.
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Holt, Henry & Company
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