It starts in the 12th century BC during the expansionist wars of the Assyrian Empire. Love lost and immortality gained. The main character, Talmido is fighting for the freedom of choice and the liberty of free will. He is given the ability to live forever, never get sick or old and to regenerate his tissue if damaged. He flees the Assyrian military apparatus and fights successive battles for freedom while accumulating masses of displaced, desperate, freedom-loving individuals like himself. All of this is happening to a backdrop of alien intelligence and interference. Factions formed to determine whether conscience or chaos coalescence will be the dominant factor in creation’s character. Vast galactic battles of will play out to the eventual definition of what it is to be alive. The eventual causality of the defining actions of antiquity echo to us as we struggle to maintain the freedoms fought over to either win or lose them on the battlefield, governmental office or the pulpit.
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A debut novel introduces god-like beings from higher dimensions and one of their key instruments, a warrior in ancient Assyria, granted immortality and a hunger for justice and freedom.
Beginning before the start of time with an entity that depends on nothing for its awareness but simply is, this is a story digging into the deep mysteries behind the grand experiment of life. Alternating between the nonphysical entities the Originator created within dimensions far beyond human understanding and the physical experiments created by those entities within our dimension, life becomes a race between two divergent scientific theories.
The US Review of Books
In this series opener, Strawthorne takes a large-scale approach to sci-fi storytelling à la Olaf Stapledon’s Star Maker and Last and First Men. Here there are two parallel plot lines. In ancient (by human standards) Sumer, the cradle of civilization, a struggling 1221 B.C. couple pray to the gods and are rewarded with the birth of a fine son, Talmido. Although orphaned as a youth and pressed as a slave into the Assyrian army, Talmido displays courage, leadership, and intellect, which make him a popular figure with the warrior classes and the people.
Strawthorne details a pantheon of entities from far, far higher dimensions, beginning with an “Originator,” creating all time and space and populating it with subordinate beings and, finally, carbon-based, organic life. Some of these beings experiment with humans to answer questions of ethics, free will, and programmed determinism. Talmido has been awarded immortality and superior stamina and mental abilities as part of this grand experiment. (Meanwhile, a Luciferian-type “Authorial” defiantly concocts a civilization of his own on another, hidden world.)
The narrative largely describes Talmido’s rise as leader of a rebellion that quells the Assyrian and Babylonian empires. The god's stuff is often dispersed throughout descriptions of battles, intrigues, parleys, and troop strategies of a bygone epoch.
The big question is whether readers who enjoy a well-researched journey through ancient Mesopotamian military history and macrocosmic sci-fi metaphysics will be intrigued enough? And will sci-fi fans embrace an ambitious epic about an ancient warrior in the Fertile Crescent?
A sci-fi infused saga of ancient historical events and military operations.
Each nonphysical faction strives to demonstrate to the Originator the merits of its experimental theory, but neither side seems capable of fully playing by the rules, interfering in the lives of men and the creatures created on the other side of the universe in attempts to illustrate how their point of view is superior to that of the other side. As these would-be lesser gods struggle among themselves, trying to reason their way through extensive scientific and philosophic thought, one man on Earth is just starting to understand the powers given to him at birth.
Raised by his father, captured to be a slave in the Assyrian army, and emerging as a military leader, Talmido somewhat accidentally falls into a full-on desertion from the Assyrians and a desperate flight across the ancient landscape as he and his thousands of followers seek a place they can live as free people. Overall, this novel is a fascinating trip through ancient historical fiction and modern philosophical thought.
The US Review of Books