Llumina Press (2009)
Reviewed by for Reader Views (10/09)
Fantasy can be a very tricky genre. Take it too far into the "unknown" and you risk being incomprehensible. Stay too close to the "reality," whatever that might really be, and your reader will quickly lose interest. Finding a balance between those two is never easy, and sustaining it throughout a book even less so. Robert D. Berger's "The Divine Theory of Everything" succeeds remarkably well in doing just this, mostly by using many known elements, yet combining them in a new and oftentimes slightly challenging way.
Of the many perplexing questions that humankind has faced throughout generations, the one of evolution versus creation is surely at the very top of the list. When one combines this with the other impenetrable dilemma, that of the obvious duality of the world surrounding us, a raging battle has to ensue, be it inside the hero or in the world surrounding him. When the hero battles an internal battle while fighting tangible enemies in extremely hostile environment, you can be assured of a wild and hair-rising tale.
Steve Morgan is snatched from his safe, if somewhat stagnant life, and thrown in the midst of an epic battle between the forces of the evil and those of good. The balance in the world has been upset, and without restoring the proper order, the world is surely going to end. The existence of two worlds, one of science and one of magic, is revealed to Steve and he is rigorously trained for a journey that does not seem to have a clear destination and a known path. While he can choose some of the elements himself, the rest is in the hands of divine destiny. He is thrust into the world of magic, and begins his wandering that ultimately should alter the course of the raging battle fought between the evil and the good.
While I detected many influences and echoes from books and other diverse sources, ranging anywhere from the world of Tolkien over Battleship Galactica and back to Plato, "The Divine Theory of Everything" by Robert D. Berger remained fresh and engaging. Although moving slightly too slowly at times, and with an ending that disappointed in its abruptness and "middle of the action" termination, I have to admit I am eagerly waiting for the sequel. With an ending of this nature, one must surely be coming soon.