Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
The Left Hand of God
Paul Hoffman
Michael Joseph, Penguin, 439 pages

The Left Hand of God
Paul Hoffman
Paul Hoffman is the author of two previous novels, The Wisdom of Crocodiles (2000), which predicted the collapse of the world financial system, and The Golden Age of Censorship (2007), a black comedy based on his experiences as a film censor.

ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by John Enzinas

Our hero is a 14-year-old boy who is the most deadly human in the world. Adopted into a monastery of fanatical warrior priests, he was trained from a very young age in the arts of combat. While there, his super-power which allowed him to predict and counter any other fighter appeared. Using his powers and genius like a sense of tactics (as well as a bunch of lucky breaks), he and his friends (the best archer in the world and the best tracker in the world) escape after discovering the festering evil that lies at the heart of the monastery, in the process freeing a girl who was about to be murdered for some reason that is never fully explained. In case you were wondering she is super-beautiful, has large breasts and is apparently the best beautician in the world.

They are captured by the soldiers of an arty city state (looking a lot like Florence) while it appears to be in contrast to the monastery fortress, it ends up holding just as much corruption. They also meet and befriend the best general in the world.

There's a sub-plot about how the doge's daughter (also super-beautiful but she is blond with small breasts) snubs the hero at a party so he decides it's his right to make her life miserable and then she realizes what a terrible person she was to leave the room, when he entered, and falls madly in lust with him.

There's also a pair of assassins who are hunting him, but the female one sees him and falls in love with him but is killed by her partner.

There's also some Mafioso who is like a giant rabbit but to be honest, I stopped reading at this point. The book is really dull. It shouldn't be. It has got a evil giant rabbit Mafioso! It has got plenty that could make it interesting but Paul Hoffman just couldn't close the sale. The characters are flat and defined mostly by being good at things. The plot is haphazard, slow and driven by inconsistent reactions. The world seems like a Renaissance Europe with whatever bits Hoffman needed to keep his plot moving instead of making his own world or making a true alternative history. It's competently written, but in the end, it just didn't have enough of anything to get me to care enough about the world or the characters to finish the book.

Copyright © 2010 John Enzinas

John Enzinas reads frequently and passionately. In his spare time he plays with swords.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide