The God’less Saga by KL Mabbs is a science fiction novel that interacts with the idea of what it means to be human, and what that might cost. It follows Ashley Book, a young woman on her first journey into space, the journey that her father was training her for all her life. Ashley has a unique upbringing; her father had the disease of God’less, caused by space exploration, and carefully watched for. This disease causes its victims to become violent and irrational. The name is drawn from the fact that its victims lose their sense of God and then their humanity, and fall into a chaotic frenzy of despair. The Roman Catholic Church, which has a large presence on Earth and some of the closer space settlements, never was able to find God in the vast reaches of space, and so its members do not travel there, in spite of the advances technology that make it possible. Instead, space is the domain of the rich Corporations who have taken on the exploration into space. This means that all of the equipment and food, and even the breathable air in space belong to them, and they charge for it, causing their employees to be in debt to them for years, if not for life. But Ashley’s father had different aspirations for her, providing her with her own equipment, which not only means that she is not in debt for them, but also that it cannot be seized for uncooperative behavior. Ashley has her own secrets. Although she believes in God, she does not follow the theology taught by the Roman Catholic Church that she learned in school. Her individual faith is unheard of in a world that separates itself into the Church, the Corporations, and those affected by the God’less. Together with her father’s gifts and training, and the friends she makes, her faith may help her to discover the truth about the disease, and how she fits into her world.
“It only takes a few minutes. I pull my Witness out. It used to be Dad’s. Time was computer described the device perfectly, but that was centuries ago. A Witness usually attaches to the temple or shoulder epaulet, but it’s visible. It’s really just a sophisticated computer with sensor and communication chips in Smart Fabric, the internals are all organic. It’s the size of an old style dime, only spherical. Mine has an anti-grav unit built in. Considering how small that engine is, it can only life five pounds. It run mine up next to the ceiling where no one will notice, putting it in shadow mode with a command from my neural link. Now it looks like the foam texture of the roof, an off beige indistinguishable from the rest of the school. This is why I wouldn’t accept a security check the other day, and Dad knew it, because he’s modified the Witness for me. And it’s not legal by any means—not till I write up—and not even then. Floating spies are illegal. I use the neural link to send a signal to my Witness. “Okay Jetsam, give me too inputs and the Write exams at both.”
The God'less Saga examines the concept of individuality and the role one person can have, as well as faith, including faith in yourself. It also talks about the importance of community, but not a rigid community that quashes who you are, instead a community that realizes the beauty in everyone. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an adventure focused on a strong protagonist who likes to do things differently and questions what she is taught. The technology is is a big part of the plot line, and is explained in detail.