God's War

God's War

by Kameron Hurley

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Nyx had already been to hell. One prayer more or less wouldn't make any difference... On a ravaged, contaminated world, a centuries-old holy war rages, fought by a bloody mix of mercenaries, magicians, and conscripted soldiers. Though the origins of the war are shady and complex, there's one thing everybody agrees on-- There's not a chance in hell of ending it. Nyx is a former government assassin who makes a living cutting off heads for cash. But when a dubious deal between her government and an alien gene pirate goes bad, Nyx's ugly past makes her the top pick for a covert recovery. The head they want her to bring home could end the war--but at what price? The world is about to find out.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597803007
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Series: Bel Dame Apocrypha , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 443,789
File size: 448 KB

About the Author

Kameron Hurley currently hacks out a living as a marketing and advertising writer in Ohio. She’s lived in Fairbanks, Alaska; Durban, South Africa; and Chicago, but grew up in and around Washington State. Her personal and professional exploits have taken her all around the world. She spent much of her roaring twenties traveling, pretending to learn how to box, and trying not to die spectacularly. Along the way, she justified her nomadic lifestyle by picking up degrees in history from the University of Alaska and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Today she lives a comparatively boring life sustained by Coke Zero, Chipotle, low-carb cooking, and lots of words. She continues to work hard at not dying.

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God's War: Bel Dame Apocrypha Volume 1 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 686 reviews.
Reader54LP More than 1 year ago
This is a good read with a good story line and it is, forgive the jargon, a "page turner." Forget the pitiful whiners who feel they should get everything for free and it should all be exactly their way. This is a good book, it is entertaining and well done. It deserves this promo and merits your consideration.
Jim77JB More than 1 year ago
It's interesting that some one mentioned that this would be a good book club book, since this book was the selection of the io9 science fiction blog book club. The author will be answering questions today (4/1/11) on the blog. The publisher gave away copies in conjunction with this event, so I have already downloaded and partly read the book. I haven't finished it yet, so my review is not complete, but I will say that it starts a little slow and is somewhat confusing at first, but the action rapidly builds. The characters are well developed and within a short time one comes to know them quite well. The author is new, and not recognizing her, I would not likely have bought this book. By downloading it I have been introduced to a new writer that I will look for in the future. The book will certainly not appeal to everyone, but for science fiction fans it is well worth the read, and hopefully is a taste of more to come.
Adarajin More than 1 year ago
While this was definitely a lot different from what I've read in the past (bio-magic? non-typical religious style for an American book) I still found it to be a highly interesting read, and if there is a sequel I will likely get it as well. My only real complaint is not so much with the author as the publisher - there were a lot of bad (missing) line breaks where I had to play with the display size to try and have the entire line display, and even then I had to guess a bit...
SharonTRose16 More than 1 year ago
I'm too much a fan of happy endings to be able to enjoy stories like this one. Kameron builds a gritty, hard-scrable world populated with believable characters. War has drained the life out of these characters, making their actions and attitudes quite realistic. I find no fault with the worldbuilding or storyline; however, I was sad that the characters did not grow or change based on their experiences. I might have enjoyed the tale more if I felt the characters were trying to make something out of their experiences. I came away from this story thoroughly depressed. Technical suggestions: the opening was confusing; I needed more than a chapter to get a bearing for the world settimg. Also, there are numerous formatting errors that sent words off the edge of the e reader.
Liz_Scheier More than 1 year ago
Really great book - exciting and fun.
bitbox More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy happy endings, bodice ripping romance with or without the supernatural, cultures and worlds that feel comfortable and familiar, this book is NOT for you. If instead you enjoy authors who can build worlds that are imaginative and consistent within their own bounds, stories that take and explore our own human failings, and characters that struggle with the very essence of what it means to be human, well then give this story a go. God's War offers up a world that is both familiar and foreign. The technologies and cultures are all plausible, based on the extrapolation and exploration of what is currently possible and practiced. The story starts in the middle of the action, and does not offer much to explain the back story. You have to accept the characters and the world as in unfolds, which is wonderful. And the world and the characters that inhabit it are gritty. Not much is resolved in the story; but that's not the point. The character development is subtle, but profound in its own way. Worth the time to read and consider.
Memon More than 1 year ago
So far this book is great! I am so thankful that B n N offered a book of this type! Thank you!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No, I haven't read it yet, but I wouldn't knock a book before reading it. I for one am glad to see some science fiction / fantasy free books for once. Not everyone wants to read romance or mystery. Give it a chance, people. If the genre is not to your liking, then wait for a book that suits your taste, but don't knock what others may like. Oh, and not all sci fi / fantasy fans are teenage boys. This grandma has been a lifelong reader of the genre.
Vintie More than 1 year ago
Now, I'm a fan of authors like Robert Jordan and Tolkien...so maybe their way of writing has spoiled me for other books. Where Jordan will spend paragraphs describing the world you're losing yourself in, Hurley would explain that it was hot and that's it. So I didn't get a clear picture in my head of the environment the characters lived in except that...they were at war and roaches ran their vehicles?? The main character was your typical "bad girl" with seemingly no redeeming qualities. I had to give it a fair shot, even though beyond page 56 (where I usually cut it off if a book isn't catching me) because of all of the negative feedback due to free Friday. I read this book until page 111 and just had to start reading something else before I started pulling my hair out. I guess I just felt like I was thrown into this world that Hurley created without knowing anything about it. Sort of like starting a movie in the middle. Interesting concepts...I just wish the author had spent more time familiarizing me with the characters and the world they live in. Still a good book for you hard core sci-fi fans out there, I'm sure you're used to out of this world concepts that make no sense to my romantic and fantasy driven mind.
Joanne Tranchina More than 1 year ago
Different but good. I actually would like to read the next book if ever written. Stick with it - it starts out slow, but once you get a handle on it the characters are great and the story entertaining.
phlipside More than 1 year ago
Hurley is a fine writer but the book leaves something to be desired. Looking into her philosophy explains some of it. She doesn't like what's referred to as "infodump". In simplest terms it means explaining the world in which your story takes place. As a consequence you spend the book not understanding who the bel dames are, what sen is or how the world is fueled by bugs. Because I'm a collector of trivia I knew that a "bakkie" was a light truck. The term is used in South Africa. Hurley acknowledges that the world she's created is involved in the "genocide of a gender" but never explains why or how they got to that point. The list goes on and on. An author always has the right to tell their story as they see fit. For me Hurley's approach of "figure it out yourself" strikes me as disrespectful of her reader and just lazy story telling. Consequently while the story moves along quite briskly it's left as a shallow tale, hollow and without any inner life. It might be argued that the story telling style matches the main character of Nyx. In the end I'm left with the same reaction to both. It occurred to me that a lot of this may be familiar to some from some other universe (gamers etc)with which I'm simply not familiar. Unless you are content to keep your readership to the circle of the elect this is just more bad story telling. There were other small nagging details that bothered me. A gross and obvious mistake in language that none of her readers or editors managed to catch ("Whose bakkie?" became "Who's bakkie?" which given the lack of explanation of the term might just confuse the hell out of the reader) and a really silly piece of boxing action. Why you would follow a left uppercut with a left cross escapes me. A left upper cut sets the body perfectly for a RIGHT cross. But that's a tiny little thing that most people wouldn't catch. After a while however when the author makes you work so hard the little things become bigger. Why should I care? It is highly unlikely that I'll venture to read another of Miss Hurley's books. The book is written to make her happy as a reader. What she isn't interested in she simply heaves over the side. What's left is a tantalizing taste of what could have been a much bolder, grander and more satisfying experience for the reader. Instead she chooses only to satisfy herself.
Rory_Rhorerton More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't include this book on a list of 'must reads,' but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to fans of Iain M Banks' culture novels, Suzanne Collins' hunger games novels, or Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. The problem I have is that this book seems like a synthesis of these books I have already read, rather than something new and unique. All authors build on those who have influenced them, however I feel that Hurley is too closely emulating the style of others. Luckily, Hurley seems to have good taste and I enjoyed the book, but I couldn't get away from the feeling that I had read this before, just split up across multiple other books and authors. I am more excited about future novels set in the same universe; the concept of an Islamic hegemony has been done before, but there's an interesting power structure here that should allow for some exciting stories. There are a number of nations mentioned that get little screen time, as well as hints at the political forces that are shaping other (less isolated) planets. If Hurley can find a stronger voice, I think these future novels have great potential. A final note about the ebook version of this text. I read this on my Nook, and a formatting error would push 3-4 words off the edge of the screen every so often. You could usually figure out what was said by the context, but it was still a distracting/annoying problem. I considered dropping a star off the review, but that didn't seem like a fair assessment of the novel itself.
Tiranna More than 1 year ago
The world in God's War is stunning and innovative while the characters are real, without any apologies. I loved reading this book, and can't wait for the sequel to come out on the nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I have ever reviewed a book. But, I just enjoyed this one so much I had to write something. It is a different genre than anyone else has come up with, but the world and characters created were very well done and believable. I really enjoyed reading it. Hopefully, the author has another book coming to continue on the Adventure of Nyx and her crew. It was an interesting world to visit.
Willi_B More than 1 year ago
While a bit confusing at the start, as soon as the details of this strange world are accepted, the story coalesces into something quite good. While some authors are great at weaving intricate details into 800 pages, this author omits such fine detail and I think the story is actually better for it. A great book for discussion and I look forward to others by the author.
wyndsayl More than 1 year ago
I like this book. It's good science fiction in the traditional sense. Not littered with fantasy, except maybe the magicians, and in the way of good science fiction it investigates modern day topics in an other worldly setting. Never mind touching on the fact that no matter how many centuries go by, or where we go, people are always going to be people with all that means. As far as some comments here, for people that should be fairly educated there are an awful lot of petty, hateful, entitled, my way or the highway, type people here. Kind of goes to the point above that people will be people, the good and the bad, no matter what.
Brandy_Hunt More than 1 year ago
This is a phenomenal book. Set in a very strange, biotech heavy future, it explores the idea of religious war and gender roles in a way I enjoyed but somehow found to be vaguely distasteful. I kind of felt that the author was using Islam while also trying to explain Islam. Does that make sense? It was a fascinating book, but I don't think it is for everyone.
sailor_moon More than 1 year ago
I had never heard of this book before the free Friday special. It took a little while to get into, I was struggling until Rhys is introduced and Nyx is out of prison. The bug based technology is strange, and there is so much involved with understanding their world that it could have been introduced in a more cohesive manner. I would read a sequel out of curiosity, this was a very original book. Never read anything else like it.
MiddleagedSFfan More than 1 year ago
Strong woman as a central character surrounded by a gang of almost as strong men and women. Takes place in a future world that is riddled with war and hardships. Religion has taken over the whole world and different branches of the same religion are at war because they believe their form of religion is best. The idea that various insects on this desert planet either work for people or are after people to eat is an interesting twist. As I said, not for everyone.
blessedelementsGH More than 1 year ago
I began reading this book with some reservations as I could tell it was going to be quite different from the books I normally read. I was pleasantly surprised and I read it in about 3 days as when I'd lay the book down I find myself thinking about the characters and the path the book would choose to travel. The author did a good job building the characters and the story line and I disagree with a past review where the characters did not grow in character through out the book. By the end of the book I saw clear path changes and personal growth from where they had begun. It is a very imaginatively written book and is very believable in the way the author depicts how war effects the countries and people it touches. This is a story of survival and using your resources to survive and the reflection of the person you become as a result. I'm hoping for a sequel because I will definitely buy it.
Tammke More than 1 year ago
God's War is one of the most original books I've read in a while. This is Ms. Hurley's debut work and it is a little rough in some places, but overall it's an excellent read. The story gets off to a slow, confusing start since Ms. Hurley doesn't provide a lot of back story to explain how the situation on her world got to the point it is at the beginning of the book. The pace of the book picks up after the introductory section (about the first 50 pages) and turns into a real page turner. The book's plot is resolved at the end, but I was so fascinated by the world Ms. Hurley created that I hope there is some kind of sequel. Due to the level of violence in the book and its portrayal of religion, this book may not be for everyone. The book is full of moderately graphic violence and is rather bleak in its overall tone, but considering the state of affairs of the world, the violence and tone is appropriate and not gratuitous. Religion is mostly portrayed as a reason for intolerance and justification for war (everyone fighting (on and off world) claims that they are fighting God's war and that they are on God's side of the war). There are some formatting problems with the book. About halfway through the book, there are sentences that run off the edge of the screen, so you have to fiddle around with the font size to get the words to appear (you have to set the font size all the way up). There aren't that many instances of this, but enough to be annoying. Hopefully the publisher will review the epub files and fix these issues. Overall, if you are looking for an original story, don't mind not having everything explained to you, and can handle some violence, God's War is an excellent read.
Michelle8012 More than 1 year ago
I'm half way through the book, and I've really enjoyed it so far. thanks for the free book B&N.
MarFisk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is little simple or sweet about this book. It is a bloody, no holds barred, look at long term, devastating conflict with racial and religious foundations that are largely propaganda or misunderstandings. As if that weren't enough, the different groups also hold harsh beliefs about gender, sparked by being on a planet where survival is difficult even without an ongoing war.Before you get the idea that this is a sociological rant, though, know that it is personalized through the lead characters, each of which has a different stake in how this all comes into play. You see the world and the war through the eyes of a character who has been on many different levels of the conflict, and whose rare viewpoint lets her take people on their own grounding despite race and gender. Which is not to say she has no prejudices, nor that she is not a product of her culture. She suffers from as many internal clashes of culture and duty as external, a process that is both fascinating and traumatic to watch.No, God's War is not an easy read. It's neither light entertainment nor fluffy, politically correct, feel good literature. What this novel does is offer a look at flaws that exist in our world through the window of another planet where everything is an extreme. It makes you think about things that are swept under the rug and provides a level of realism that is both horrifying and compelling. I said it was not light entertainment and I hold to that, but there is no question that God's War is entertaining, compelling, and illuminating thanks to rich, complicated characters who are feeling their way around as much as we readers are, and who I wanted to get to know better and hoped for a happy ending. Oh and there are even 'aliens'--off-world splinter races--and something along the lines of magic, and the setting is more Middle Eastern than Western European, for those of you seeking to expand your reading cultures.P.S. I got this book through NetGalley but the opinions are all my own.
ladycato on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book first came to my attention as a Nebula nominee earlier this year and then was recently selected as a book club read. I found God's War to be completely different from my usual reads: aggressively dark, defying all genre conventions, and fascinating at every turn.This is science fiction in that it takes place off Earth, but on a world that was colonized 3,000 years before by Muslims. At this point, faiths have diverged amongst different nations, with some more conservative than others and many tenets of Islam recognizable in an evolved form. The fantasy element is that this is also a world with magic--bug-based magic. That's right. Magicians manipulate bugs to heal wounds, transmit poison, or even as an energy source for vehicles.This use of bugs also lends itself to the incredible darkness of the book. Nyx collects heads for bounty. Death is everywhere. Torture is commonplace. The war is a nefarious, constant presence. There are points where it verges on horror, because the scenes are so gruesome and intense. Yet I kept reading. Why? I typically like my heroes and heroines as good guys. Nyx is not. She's terrifically complicated. Rhys--I loved Rhys, the God-fearing Chenyan with haphazard magical skills. The rest of the team is equally vivid and diverse. The plot is fast-paced, like a thriller, with threats at every turn. My curiosity about the world pulled me in, and the characters wouldn't let me go.God's War is daring, dark, and amazing. I will definitely look for more by this author.
faganjc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terrific protagonist: Nyx is not admirable, but she is interesting, tragic, and empowered. Secondary principal character Rhys is not completely likable and is hardly inspirational, but he is 100% himself. The other characters are not that deep, but they add good flavor and are likewise true to themselves. This book would make a great Zoe Saldana movie. Noir elements. Creative world-building; magic and technology are interwoven with a religious war context. Even though some of the trappings are like our world, mostly this setting stands apart.