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Book 1: Beyond The Father (Gods on Trial: The Series™️)


Loved it! 😍

'Beyond the Father' explores class warfare, death, and family in a well-built world. It is a solid start to what looks like a good series.

Beyond the Father, by Opeshum, is the first book in what promises to be an exciting series, Gods on Trial. This introductory tale, set on the planet Xzyber, tells the story of a world in turmoil. The old king, Thio, is facing war and upheaval within his household. His beloved daughter, Anya, has died, and the hopes and dreams of the kingdom rest on the young shoulders of Prince Angliid. Meanwhile, a class war brewing for years threatens to spill into absolute chaos between the Mollards and non-Mollards. Mollards are metal and can live forever, while non-Mollards are simple flesh and blood. Stirring the pot is the god Flexix, never content with the comings and goings of the Xzyberians.

A book like this lives and dies on its world-building, and Opeshum has done an excellent job laying the foundation for what could have been a muddled, confusing place. From the icy wastes of the Northern Zone to the opulence of Thio’s castle, this is a rich and detailed world. Another sign of a well-crafted science fiction story is one in which the reader is transported and shown how the world works instead of told about how it got to be that way through long passages of exposition that kill momentum and grind pace to a halt. This is especially evident in the application of Teal oil, a vital substance that all non-Mollards must drink to survive. Having a massive stockpile of Teal oil is a sign of power and influence, but the reader never feels like they’re being lectured on the importance of Teal oil.

Opeshum has employed the switching point-of-view character chapter method, which has worked in The Expanse and Song of Ice and Fire. This method allows the reader to see different classes of characters and their relative experiences of the world, and it is quite effective in Beyond the Father. A contemplative chapter from King Thio’s perspective can be followed by an action-driven episode that takes place almost entirely in a tank stuck in ice. It could have been jarring had Opeshum not handled it as well as they did. The chapter’s lead is always clear, but a character name at the beginning of the chapter, much like George R.R. Martin and James S.A. Corey did with their books, would have been appreciated.

Beyond the Father was a good read, and fans of science fiction, political intrigue, and race and class warfare would most likely enjoy it. There were moments reminiscent of Dune as well. Strong character work, a grand sweeping scale of world and story, and a good introduction to what looks to be a promising series. Four stars.

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I read across all genres and age ranges. I am a writer myself, and have written five novels, one of which was published. I read for the joy of it and see the value in championing independent and micro-published books when so little shelf space is dedicated to more than a handful of authors.

About the author

Opeshum has been writing since she was a child, and has a particular appreciation for oral-tradition story telling. Throughout the process of developing her collection, gods on Trial: The Series, Opeshum had originally designed Book 1, "Beyond the Father" to be read outloud, and is now an e-book. view profile

Published on November 07, 2022

Published by 1iR3 Publishers

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Science Fiction

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