A portal led mankind to a new world which they named Pangea. While what remained of the demon-like natives were forced to retreat underground, the men from Earth proliferated. People lived simply in rustic villages resembling a blend of the medieval and the old west. In contrast, there is an advanced city using subliminal training to ready its army for an unknown cause. The original natives from the depths of Pangea violently seek to reclaim their world. Puritanical superstitions in the villages result in intense discrimination against what could be—or not be—the descendants of man and angel. The issue of what it means to be different in an intolerant society has been woven into a futuristic tale of horror and new age. Characters spun from a simple quote from Genesis struggle for their lives on a world with four moons, only to find themselves face to face with diabolical evil in a startling conclusion. A young man seeks shelter from the rain and finds himself on the doorstep of kind individuals. He is Lyle Rhodes, a messenger and a guide in Eastern Gondwanaland, Pangea—and he finds himself on the strangest journey of his life.
Reviewed by Lawrence Kane
ForeWord CLARION Reviews
Sons of God, Daughters of Man is an exceptionally creative, generally well-written book. Set in a future world, Pangea, where mankind has migrated away from a dying Earth through mystic portals, the characters are persuasive and the dialog first rate. Pangea is divided amongst enclaves of low technology refugees, a high-technology citadel ruled by an evil overlord and the native Pynxians who have been driven underground by the ancestors of current inhabitants.
Despite the author’s talent and vision, the complexity of the story line is a bit more than he could successfully pull off, in part due to the word-count. Although the book weighs in at a hefty 367 pages, the book is printed in double-spaced type, so it is actually a bit less than half that length. While this layout makes for a quick review, it sacrifices readability in the name of brevity. Transitions, in particular, are choppy, doing in mere paragraphs what most authors take full chapters to accomplish. This works reasonably well in the second half of the book once readers have gotten to know the characters and settings, but it is quite challenging in the first half of the book where the storyline bounces around erratically.
There are some logic issues as well. When stung by a poisonous thorn worm, Lyle, the main character, plucks the deadly insect from his flesh, carries it out the door, and gently tosses it outside rather than hurling it to the floor and crushing it under his boot heel as one might expect him to do. Further, while the high-tech city of Adrias, populated by red-haired individuals, is well known to the surrounding communities who sell them food, but the superstitious population still hunts red-haired people as witches.
Grych portrays true goodness as well as bona fide evil in a convincing manner. In a caveat that can only recommend the storytelling, there are parts that will make the reader shudder even while he’s finding it hard to tear himself away. Some highly disturbing images, such as a decapitated Adriasian who lives on in agony for several minutes unable to do more than open or close his eyes, and the semi-graphic rapes of both a man and a woman by a hermaphrodite, demon-like Pynx, live on long past their fictional demise.
Despite the creativity and originality of the book, Sons of God, Daughters of Man would be much easier to recommend had it been released as a value-priced, mass market paperback. Hardcover prices and the diluted typography make it tough to justify the purchase. Nevertheless, the author has enough raw talent that we can expect great things from him in the future as he matures in his writing.