Starship captain Ardeva Korrell is used to fighting prejudice, both because she's a woman in what's normally a man's line of work and because she's from a world with a misunderstood religion. But now, on a trading mission to a backwater planet, she finds herself with another kind of fight on her hands; she and her small crew must battle an army of robots and defeat the tyrannical, god-like beings who have enslaved the native population. The task before them is straightforward: to storm the gates of Heaven itself!
Tropes: Aliens as God, Interstellar Travel, Space Pilot
Word Count: 60350
Setting: Primitive alien planet
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Amazon Customer on https://www.amazon.com/Assault-Gods-Stephen-Goldin/product-reviews/1583483306/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_helpful?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending wrote:
I ran across this book when I was ten or so. As usual, I was drawn by the cover--a kick-ass babe with a gun--and thought the story sounded interesting as well. It was not what I expected, but that was actually for the better.
Instead of a pulpy action tale, there was a thoughtful story about a female star ship captain named Dev with Zen-Buddhist like principles who has to deal with chauvinism and incompetence from most of her male crew. Normally, it wouldn't have been a big deal, but they happened to be stuck on a jerkwater planet where the locals lived in fear and awe of 'gods' that limit their development so much that they essentially existed in a permanent medieval state.
In a drunken fit, one of the crew curses out the gods, and an 'angel' reduces him to a smoking pile of ash. After being put under strict scrutiny by the 'gods', Dev, ever the rationalist, undertakes a mission to find out who these gods are, exactly. She and a crew of misfits break into the gods' mountain stronghold and seek answers to the mystery of who the gods really are, and how they can keep an entire planet enslaved.
Dev is a great character, and easy to root for. She's flawed in the sense of being too logical--sort of like a female Spock, in a way--but this only enhances her realism and appeal. The final confrontation between Dev and the gods fits the novel perfectly.
I reread this book when I was 30, and was happy to discover that I liked it even more. It's unfortunate that it isn't better known.
Mike Vasich on https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/228316345 wrote:
Dev is a female spaceship captain stuck on a jerkwater planet where the natives live in mortal terror of their omniscient and omnipotent gods. One of her crew decides to curse out the gods in a drunken fit, and he gets vaporized by one of their 'angels'. Dev, always logical and sensible, has no belief in gods and assumes that some powerful entities are masquerading as gods in order to exploit the superstitious and backward locals. She discovers that these 'gods' are holed up in a nearby mountain complex and decides to pay them a visit.
A very entertaining and thought-provoking book with a definite feminist slant. Simple enough to be enjoyed by older kids, but sophisticated enough to be enjoyed by adults, as well. There is also enough action and suspense to keep the pages turning, and the climax where Dev finally meets the 'gods' is very satisfying. I've read this book multiple times at different ages and enjoyed it immensely each time.
This book really deserves to be better known. It is thoughtful science fiction with an intelligent and interesting female lead character. A smart and thought provoking read that flows along like a pulp sci fi story (meant in a positive sense).