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My Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

Publisher - 1iR3 
Genre - Sci-Fi
Publishing year - 2022
Language - English 
ASIN - B0BL3YPLWN
Pages - 269

Beyond the Father by Opëshum

Book Review - 

Opëshum's eighth sci-fi book, Beyond the Father, is the first book in the Gods on Trial series. It is part fantasy and part speculative science fiction, based on a planet named Xzyber, where people are divided into Mollards (robotic machines) and Non-mollards (humans).

The Mollards are planning to attack Non-mollards supervised by King Thio and his wife, Queen Evaline. They have two children, Anya and Anglid. No one talks about Anya, as she has some mysterious connection with the labor class and consistently defies the King's order. 

While the story starts with Anglid and his request to see a fallen King, but the request is denied, and he is sent on a quest where his whole life changed. Meanwhile, Mollards, under the direction of Commander Dugar, is getting ready to invade the foe and rob the most precious thing, Teal oil. 

It is the source of nutrition that each Non-mollard needs to live and is highly difficult to obtain. It is a classic tale of right and wrong with loads of dilemmas. There are always conflicting views, like some Mollards having highly emotional simulation software are under strict observation, as they start asking questions instead of following orders blindly. 

In King Thio's empire, the laborers are treated as enslaved people, leading to an uprising under the guidance of the fallen King. When Evaline gets sick, Thio does what he thought was right, and at first, it feels like he is doing it to save his beloved wife, but he has ulterior motives. But, sadly, even Evaline is no saint. 

As a reader, it has been hard to pick a side because both sides are chaotic, treacherous, and unethical. Well, it is a God on Trial series; there are Gods. But I say one, in particular, is eternally envious, confused, and isolated. At first, you'll not understand his significance, but with time, one can comprehend his work. Although, I would like to read a little less about his conversation with his creations in the next book.

I wanted to read more about Anya, Anglid, Thai, and Laira and how their decisions would impact the realm. I love the VR concept; it is impressive, and it would be great if Mollards would achieve their previous memories, whether good or not. Also, I would love to see if Thai chooses to have his memories back or not and what will be the repercussion of his judgments.

Anglid and Laira have a heart of gold, and I want to know what the author has for them in the store. Also, there are hints about what happened to Anya and will Anglid and Laira share the same fate as her, which is the big question.

However this book incorporated lots of information, but I still have many questions that I wanted the answers to, and that's why looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I hope the next book contains some excellent battle strategies and action sequences, which is slightly less in this one.

The story is layered with a non-linear narrative, and Opëshum's writing will compel you to connect with the characters. Overall, this fast-paced book is a perfect recommendation if you enjoy reading an engaging mix of sci-fi, fantasy, and hypothetical conversations. 

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