About the Book
Book: Steal Fire from the Gods
Author: Clint Hall
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: November 7, 2023
The Human Alliance knew the war was over when the machines started using magic to cast fire, shake the ground, conjure storms, and part the seas.
We fought back anyway.
22-year-old soldier Gunnar Graves lost his faith and his family when a platoon of AI-driven war machines—led by an android fire mage— destroyed his unit. Forced to live in a machine-controlled village and hiding a dark secret, he spends his days trying to learn elemental power so he can take his revenge. After years of failure, his ability ignites when he least expects it.
On the run and hunted by the war machines, Gunnar discovers that an ancient, life-based strength has awakened to help humanity fight back. Joined by the other life mages, Gunnar is thrust into a mad world of android overlords, cyborg clans, and evil forces bent on his destruction.
To protect his newfound family, Gunnar must discover the truth behind a power he doesn’t understand and wage a war he doesn’t believe they can win.
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About the Author
Clint Hall is a storyteller, speaker, and podcast host. He has been writing stories since middle school, where he spent most of his time in class creating comic books. (Fortunately, his teacher not only allowed it; she bought every issue.) Known for instilling a sense of hope, wonder, and adventure, Clint’s work has been published across multiple anthologies and magazines. Find him at ClintHall.com or “The Experience: Conversations with Creatives” podcast, available on all major platforms.
More from Clint
When I first heard the song See A Victory by Elevation Worship, I assumed the lyrics, “You took what the enemy meant for evil and You turned it for good,” were pulled verbatim (translated, of course) from the Bible, probably one of Paul’s letters.
Despite not knowing exactly from where they came, the words stuck with me. It’s inspiring to believe that God can take the terrible things that have happened to us – or even because of us – and use them to bring about something beautiful.
When I looked them up, I found that the lyrics are actually a derivation of what Joseph said to his brothers years after they sold him into slavery. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20 NIV)
Placing the words within the context of a story makes them even more impactful for me. It’s astounding to think about Joseph’s faith and spiritual maturity to not only offer forgiveness in this moment, but also to recognize the immense benefits that have arisen from such a horrific injustice against him.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much this passage is related to my book. That’s the funny thing about writing stories. You often don’t know what they’re about until you’re done.
Steal Fire From The Gods is the most faith-based story I’ve ever written. It’s also the darkest and certainly the weirdest. It’s an action-packed book in which AI has discovered the secrets of elemental magic and used that power to overthrow humanity.
But that’s just the concept. This story isn’t about magic robots. It’s about a person undergoing a crisis of faith. And you could hardly blame him.
Gunnar Graves and his family did everything the right way. They were faithful, devoted, and kind. They prayed, studied God’s Word, and followed His laws. Then, they were decimated. As a result, Gunnar is angry at God and even at his late parents for their blind faith that – from his perspective – ultimately failed them all.
Gunnar spends much of the story trying to harness magic for what he believes is a righteous cause. But despite his altruistic intentions, it eludes him, causing him even more anger and frustration. How could an all-powerful, all-loving God place such an awesome power into the hands of oppressive machines instead of mankind?
To make matters worse, Gunnar and other characters in the story have secrets that I won’t spoil in this blog. Suffice to say there are aspects of who they are and what they have done that would cause most people to cast them out if the truth became known. So instead, they hide themselves from God and other humans. More separation. More shame. More darkness.
It often feels that way for believers. In our weakness, we can simultaneously be angry at God for what we perceive as injustice – getting what we don’t think we deserve, or not getting what we think we do – while also being convinced there is something about us that will prevent us from ever connecting with His love, joy, and peace.
But there is always hope. God often reminds us of His presence by not only saving us from our circumstances but also using our weaknesses as tools to create wonderful outcomes. Paradoxically, good comes about not in spite of evil, but seemingly because of it.
As believers, we understand this is not a function of necessity. To bring about this good, God did not need evil to occur. But He will use it to demonstrate His ability to turn the enemy’s own weapons against him.
These occurrences wouldn’t make sense outside the knowledge that there is an all-powerful, all-loving Father. That reminder of His presence – that He must be with us because otherwise, such good springing from such evil would be impossible – is in many cases a greater blessing than the good itself.
But He will not force these blessings upon us. We are free to choose whether we will trust and accept them. We do so through faith, selflessness, and surrender.
That’s where we find the power. That’s where we find goodness. That’s where we find hope.
That’s what I want readers to take away from this book.
Interview with the Author
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Thanks for having me on your blog!
I love this question. For me, it’s Battle Mage by Peter Flannery. It’s already a well-known novel (nearly 10,000 Amazon reviews as I’m writing this) but I think it should be way more popular.
Battle Mage is a great sword and sorcery novel for people who might be put off by books with so many pages that the hardcover could stop a bullet. It’s also a great introduction to the genre for people who maybe haven’t read some of the more classic titles and series.
How do you select the names of your characters?
This can be hard. I’ve spent a lot of time on baby-naming websites looking for the perfect options. A few times, I wanted specific consonant sounds in a name, like a Z, T, or K. In those instances, I tried typing out different letter combinations around those consonants until I found something I liked.
In Steal Fire From The Gods, my wife and I liked one of the character names so much that we gave it to our second-born son! After that, I decided to change the character name in the book for reasons I won’t go into because they might spoil the story.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
Concept first, after which I create extensive character sheets. I like to know everything about my characters, even how they would react in situations they will never face. This process usually generates lots of plot ideas.
But I’m not a discovery writer, either. Once I know my characters, I write a detailed outline before I start a first draft. Sometimes I realize that I have too many characters or some may need to be changed to fulfill different roles. I also do a ton of world-building before I begin writing the book.
Who is the author you most admire in your genre?
It’s Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, and much more. His approach is that science fiction should be entertaining but also carry important lessons about life, society, and our need to be adaptable.
I’ve learned so much from reading his books, which are both informative and extremely fun. He also works for the Modern War Institute, which means his interviews are endlessly fascinating.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I spend as much time as possible with my wife and our two sons. In addition to that, I’m a podcaster and a musician.
But when I’m not doing any of those things, I’m usually in my driveway, playing basketball while listening to a sermon, a meditation, or an audiobook. That’s a peaceful place for me.
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Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, November 16
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Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 18
Through the Fire Blogs, November 19 (Author Interview)
Wishful Endings, November 20
Beauty in the Binding, November 21 (Author Interview)
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23
Simple Harvest Reads, November 24 (Author Interview)
The Lofty Pages, November 24
Blogging With Carol, November 25
Labor Not in Vain, November 26
Fiction Book Lover, November 27 (Author Interview)
To celebrate his tour, Clint is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.