Author: S. Andrew Swann
Release Date: Feb 2011
Reviewed by: Daniel Burton
Buy from: Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com
The last stand against the self-proclaimed God, Adam, has retreated to the anarchic planet Bakunin-a world besieged by civil war. Humanity's last hope lies with Nickolai Rajasthan, a Moreau who believes that the human race that created his kind is already damned beyond redemption.In Messiah, the third and final book in his Apotheosis Series, S. Andrew Swann has crafted a fitting end to the story of the fight against the alien AI Adam. The seeds of salvation from the worlds destroying nanobots under Adam’s control are seemingly unstoppable, and the rebels are cornered to the planet of Bakunin for one last “hail Mary” shot at survival, no pun intended.
As with its predecessors, Messiah is chock full of exciting action and creative twists. We see multiple characters inhabiting a single body, mutant tigers that struggle with faith and redemption, portals to other dimensions, and more. Like science fiction is supposed to do, Swann pushes us to examine ourselves, our world, and our faith, while spinning his tale in a world different, but not entirely so, from our own.
Perhaps it is this last aspect of Messiah that makes it most worth reading—Swann’s effort to turn the action inward towards looking at human nature. Swann puts us in a multicultural universe where prejudices are harbored, and while the prejudices are against beings so different from ours—mutants, AIs, and hives of merged consciousness—they are a proxy for humanity’s own proclivities to regard those who are different as suspect, dangerous, and sub-human.
As he writes in the last page of the book, speaking of these disparate races descended from humanity:
All these, and more, no formed the people of mankind—humanity no longer quite exclusively human; all still sharing the need to understand, and to give themselves meaning.I finished reading and wondered if such a result was plausible. Could the shared threat of destruction of all humanity, really result in a paradigm shift that would reset our predilections and prejudices?
And the expanding universe of humanity faced this diversity as it always had—painfully, in equitably, begrudgingly—with violence and joy, with denial and a near divine acceptance. Each of the five hundred billion human hearts left to navigate its own path through the chaos of human belief.
Nothing had changed.
Everything had changed.
I don’t know. Still, it is an interesting idea, and it comes with a great, rip-roaring ride of a tale. Pick up a copy of Messiah (as well as Prophets and Heretics) and enjoy the ride.
About Daniel Burton
Dan Burton lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he practices law by day and practices everything else by night. You can follow him on his blog lawafterthebar.wordpress.com where he muses on the law, current events, books, and ideas. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.