The Hunting of the Gods by Henry Tam
A stranger has been washed up on the shore of a world he does not recognise, for reasons he cannot remember and carrying digital books which cannot possibly exist. Rescued by a kindly professor, he is cared for by a team of microbots – tiny gadgets which combine in myriad ways to do what they can for him. He is hidden away for his own safety.
The world is divided between warlike leaders, who call themselves gods and rule with the power of life and death. The technology is advanced to the point that every human heartbeat is held in a global register and the authorities know at once when any human on the register dies. Surveillance methods, transport and military technology all help the gods to maintain their grip. They insist that human culture began under their leadership and that human life will only flourish under their rules.They are backed by powerful and profitable interests, notably the mysterious shareholders. It would be heresy to state that the stranger possesses books which are too old to fit this worldview, and a capital offence to produce these books.
As the gods wage war from their ivory palaces, sacrificing a million lives in each conflict, then impose austerity on the survivors to pay for the wars, it becomes clear to the professor and his allies that the rule of the gods offers no hope of security, peace or prosperity for their subjects. If disobedience means almost certain death, obedience appears to invite an ever harsher regime. When an isolated colony refuses to cut all wages by 20% to pay for more security and ensure greater profits for the shareholders, the countdown to an entirely new type of conflict begins, one with some unexpected protagonists, and ambitions beyond the traditional ones of wealth and power.
"The Hunting of the Gods" joins a tradition of dystopian fiction from "1984" by George Orwell to the "Star Wars" series of films. They all show us the cracks in a society based on stratification, exclusion and propaganda. The global heart register enables the authorities to identify anyone, anywhere: a reminder of the watchful "1984"; and the brutal impunity of Lockmoor reflects some of the activities of the Ministry of Love. The obsession with rules which might be all too easily broken is a theme common within the genre, here it is justified as a quasi-religion with its own book, the Book of Origins. Most movingly, the bewilderment of the pious Joseph on learning that human culture existed prior to the era of the gods, is so reminiscent of the cry of the youthful Jonas in "The Giver" (by Lois Lowry) who said: "I thought there was only here. I thought there was only now."
"The Hunting of the Gods" does distinguish itself within the genre in a number of ways. There is great beauty in the natural world, distinctive technology (such as the microbots which add wonder and humour to numerous scenes), and always there is the unending quest for a better world. The book is inspiring because, despite the odds, the characters do not feel beaten. There are many joyful moments – time in the garden, games with children, delicious food and drink. These details reflect the strong thread of humanity which runs through the story. The key characters care for each other: they are not too terrified, overworked, drugged or otherwise shorn of their concern for other people. This gives them an insight into how the world could be run, which gives them a great weapon in their fight – hope.
This is the third book in Henry Tam's dystopian series, Synetopia Quest, which began with the sparkling "Kuan's Wonderland" in 2013. This book, like the others, can be read on its own, but themes and characters carry over from book to book. The book is recommended for teens and adults.
This The Hunting of the Gods book review was written by Trish Burns
All reviews for: Synetopia Quest
Synetopia Quest #1
The mystery begins when Kuan is taken by force to the curious world of Shiyan. Although the ten-year old has flashes of exceptional intelligence, he hasn’t a clue why...
The Hunting of the Gods
Synetopia Quest #3
The people on Earth know their place. They’ve all learnt that their planet was just a barren rock until the gods arrived 500 years ago and brought with them life, tec...
Have you read The Hunting of the Gods?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Hunting of the Gods reader reviews
8.7/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
When Colin and Susan are pursued by eerie creatures across Alderley Edge, they are saved by the Wizard. He takes them into the caves of Fundindelve, where he watches over t...
The Dark is Rising Sequence
On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is ...
Three Hearts and Three Lions
The gathering forces of the Dark Powers threaten the world of man. The legions of Faery, aided by trolls, demons and the Wild Hunt itself, are poised to overthrow the Realm...
His name is West. Her name is Cally. They speak different languages and come from different countries thousands of miles apart, but they do not know that. What they do know...
The Abhorsen Chronicles
Who will guard the living when the dead arise? Sabriel is sent as a child across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from magic; away from the Dead. Af...
The Chrestomanci Series
Diana Wynne Jones
Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth an...
It has lain lost and forgotten for fifteen hundred years in the ancient heartland of England – a scrap of glass and metal melded by fierce fire. It is the lost core o...
Charlie Keeper has been forced from her home by a bloodthirsty and terrifying stranger. But in escaping she discovers her house holds the gateway to the Realm of Bellania -...
The Tragedy Paper
Every year at an exclusive private boarding school in New York state, the graduating students uphold an old tradition – they must swear an oath of secrecy and leave b...
The Very Best of Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint, a fantasy author who has left the same mark on the genre of myth and legend much as the likes of Sir Thomas Malory, Christian Anderson, Grimm, who has foun...
The Testament of Tall Eagle
John R Fultz
A young warrior's vision-quest unveils an alien city full of magic and mystery. As a tribal rift threatens to destroy Tall Eagle's people, night-crawling devils sta...
Out of Oz
The marvellous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on...
Alif the Unseen
G Willow Wilson
He calls himself Alif - few people know his real name - a young man born in a Middle Eastern city that straddles the ancient and modern worlds. When Alif meets the aristocr...
After an inexplicable catastrophe on Earth, John Bridgeman is left to scrap out a solitary existence, surrounded by bodies and haunted by the girlfriend he cannot allow to ...
R.H. Ragona's Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass - remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone - are wonders ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended contemporary / urban fantasy books/series
- Recommended parallel universe / Alternate reality books
Best of 2016
A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through......
It is for the entities known as Sleepwalkers to cross the doors between dreams, and hunt the nightmares that haunt sleeping minds. Theirs is a world of impossible vistas, wher...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Ceda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further their rule. She knows the dark history of the asirim--that hundreds of years ago they were enslaved to the kings against their will--but when she bonds with them as a Maiden, c...
Dead Men Naked
After the sudden death of his best friend Neil, involving a 6-foot giant crow and quite some Tequila, Lou’s life takes an unexpected turn towards the impossible. As L...
Age of Assassins
Girton Club-Foot, apprentice to the land's best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But their latest mission tasks him and his master with ...
A Conjuring of Light
The precarious equilibrium among the four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empi...
Sebastien de Castell
Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead King's dream: Aline is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once...
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine i...
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow...