Verdict: CITY OF GODS, like all good science fiction, uses an alien world to examine those vulnerabilities and flaws that define our humanity. Do not expect a fantastic Armageddon battle showcasing super human deeds. Though the powers of The Horsemen are significant, this is a story of great characters becoming greater because of their ability to see beyond their powers.
Jonathan Maas’ CITY OF GODS envisions a world divided into tribal fiefdoms ruled by the ancient gods. Each of the rulers has carved out their territory and the world they rule has devolved into one of constant warfare between these provinces. In an effort to stem this warfare several regions created The Academy to train police force that will end the bloodshed. Among those chosen were 4 youths with special powers, the Four Horsemen, who will lead the Academy toward this goal. Unfortunately, they are hobbled in their efforts by the ruling classes as well as traitorous mercenaries within the Academy.
CITY OF GODS is Science Fiction work that has intricately defined characters moving the action forward in a well developed plot. The Horsemen’s story begins at recruitment, continues through training and ultimately finds them in a battle to save both The Academy and the broken world in which they live.
While the story focuses on The Horsemen, that focus is on the human side of these demi-gods. Their powers are part of their stunted human nature and each of them must develop empathy for former enemies as well as trust, something that was not part of their upbringing. Battles with demons such as the Kraken or Banshees have a human resolution and do not depend on a fantastic deus ex machina. The ruling gods of the provinces do not demonstrate super powers as much as flawed ideas of virtue and selfishness.
While the geography of this story is divided into many tribal areas with their own ethnic deities, some of the more obscure Asian and animist spirits have only a single reference and sometimes seem peripheral to the action. Though the individual ruling gods are strong, The Horsemen defeat them by learning the need to act as a team, even with those who have been their mortal enemies through the ages.
CITY OF GODS, uses an alien world to examine those vulnerabilities and flaws that define our humanity. Do not expect a fantastic Armageddon battle showcasing super human deeds. Though the powers of The Horsemen are significant, this is a story of great characters becoming greater because of their ability to see beyond their powers.
Reviewed by Ed Bennett for IndieReader.