Machine of God: A Steampunk Fantasy Adventure Novel. D. A. Metrov. Create Space Independent Publishing Platform. March 2013. 254 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9781482773378.
Leonardo da Vinci is a world-renowned artist, inventor and scientist. Here we find the somewhat “crazy” (genius-crazy) living in a dirty room full of books, sketches, animals in cages and pinned on boards after death, and journals. He has no money and now is in trouble with the police because he’s the first to discover one of his great friends dead, murdered in Leonardo’s small, very messy apartment. At first he is blamed for the murder and is actually arrested but is soon saved from a very harsh punishment by the also famous Lord Medici. He also discovers that the journal of all his ideas and sketches regarding art and science has been stolen. Is it the infamous Savanarola who constantly seems to be watching the artist to see if he sins? For while Savanarola is not yet in his Inquisition role, he’s an ascetic, narrow-minded man who sees sin everywhere – and what Leonardo does with his life seems to the sniffing priest to be the epitome of sin – in which Leonardo delights!
But no, we can’t tell the whole tale – no spoilers here – of this genius man who is about to embark on the commission of a lifetime – to create a combination boat, carriage, and plane that will enable the French King Louis XI in 1538 to carry gold across countries in one trip without unloading and reloading as was the norm for trade commerce in that era. Leonardo and his best friend, the monk Lucas Fluck, as well as a staff sent by the King himself, set off to invent and test this innovative idea for quick, easier travel.
But no one can predict how difficult the creation is and whether it will do all it should when the time comes to show it to King Louis XI. What follows is marvelous adventure, audacious and practical creation, and testing by those who have been sent from the Pope and the Medici family to destroy Leonardo’s work and to humble him in the post-destruction aftermath. Fire, almost drowning, pirate attack, political scheming, and the haunting presence of his girlfriend, as well as many other thrills, compel the reader to flip those pages and allow the wings of brilliance to fly overhead in praise of Leonardo’s creation. But that’s about to change as well! There’s something for everyone in these pages – spirituality, religion, metaphysics, science, magic or mystery, and more!
The one thing writers tell each other is that they strongly support each other and vow to stay confined and not yield any further to mercenary temptations in food, drink and song. Machine of God…is a rocking, rollicking, read with unique twists and turns that keep the mystery intensifying, the temptations and trials flowing, and the zaniness hopping page after page after page. Fine, far-out spunkmaster fiction!!! It’s not so far from fiction when we look around us today after reading this novel tale!