A retro review from November 20, 2009.
Review: Prophets: Apotheosis: Book One, S. Andrew Swann, 2009.
This novel has just about everything I want in a space opera: lost colonies, political intrigues (here the Caliphate and Roman Catholic Church vying for control and influence in the worlds of human space – a space that includes the human/animal chimeras called moreaus), vividly described violence, forbidden technologies (genetic engineering of humans, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence), espionage, and subversion.
Swann’s style strikes just the right balance with his physical descriptions – cinematic but not too long to slow the plot down. And I liked every chapter having an epigraph from sources historical and fictitious. This is a continuation of Swann’s work in his moreau/Confederation universe and is chronologically the latest story but don’t worry. Swann provides enough background explication so that, if you’ve never read the Moreau series or the Hostile Takeover trilogy – or, like me, it’s just been a long time since you read them, you won’t be lost.
Actually this novel reminded me a lot of a stripped down version of Peter Hamilton’s Commonwealth Saga: a human political order with its internecine squabbles is threatened by an invading force willing to do anything to alter that order. However, Swann’s universe is never as utopian as Hamilton’s world.