Books

O For God’s Sake: Alan Masterson’s science fiction novel is a thrill ride through Providence

Obi Storm Otto pretty much thought that he was living a paint by numbers life for a guy in his mid 20s. He had a job as a bar back, a best friend, a fishing spot and plenty of acquaintances. He was still feeling the effects of his father’s passing 11 years ago and had a love for all things popular at a ComicCon. His life wasn’t mundane, but it was average and predictable — but until he woke up naked in the basement of the funeral home his mother worked at with a strange tattoo, the ability to understand foreign languages and no recollection of the night before. 

After a drunken hookup, Otto inadvertently gets himself involved in a secret real life (for a fiction novel) science fiction dispute between various houses (its complexity is properly explained in the book) that hide in plain sight and protect and/or destroy (depending on viewpoint). He puts together the pieces from the night before and learns a little bit of unthought-of backstory about his father. He is being hunted by a (literal) band of miscreants trying to get at him and his oversized friend, Seth. He discovers that he has more powers than just understanding foreign languages and gets a crash course training to use these newfound powers to his benefit. 

Although the book is filled with characters, Otto and Seth serve as the main characters, with a sarcastic Batman-and-Robin-raised-on-Star-Wars vibe going for them. Silas, a lanky hunter and front man of the matter of factly named Silas and the Hunters, is the main antagonist, and Hope is the reason all of this happened. Other characters are sprinkled throughout, each adding to the progression of the plot in their own way. Each character is well thought out and likable, with some leaving a lot of exploration for future storylines. 

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The city of Providence is as much a character as anyone in the book, and Masterson drops Easter eggs throughout the book. His beautiful and accurate description gave me a clear visual setting while reading. Streets are named during driving/chase scenes, which I was easily able to follow and picture, enhancing the reading experience. Some venue names are changed (Club Hell was renamed Heaven, even though its currently called EGO), but the rest could make for a pretty successful bar crawl/walking tour and overall good time. 

Masterson has the ability to make nearly 500 pages not feel too daunting to read. Each chapter has an even flow to it, cutting out any unnecessary filler. The book is filled with action and humor. There were some questions left unanswered, which serves more of a sort of cliffhanger than anything (the story itself has an ending), making me eagerly await the next volume, especially after reading the end credits scene.  

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