It’s not very often that we come across literature that allows us to explore worlds that are simultaneously unique and relatable, but that is exactly the world we encounter in Yvette Kendall’s debut novel, The GOD Maps. The GOD Maps is one of those true sci-fi novels that perfectly weaves science and innovation into an expertly crafted universe that is realistic enough to make us question whether the science is really possible, and then question our sanity for considering that it actually may be. That’s what Kendall does in this book–she positions us in that undefinable realm between reality and fiction that inspires our imaginations and make us questions the limits of our realities.
The GOD Maps takes place in an unknown future and is mostly narrated by an entity named “Oldso” who is reporting on the activities of the scientific team the novel is centered on. The main character, the uber-talented Ameerah Mahar, is a Black female cryptologist and Ph.D., who leads a diverse group of scientists toward one goal; to find scientific proof that both heaven and hell exist. Their methods are unconventional and they have access to seemingly unlimited resources and amazing technology that makes their feat seem easy– some may say, too easy. But, what happens when you dabble in God’s affairs? Is it smooth sailing toward the answers you seek, or will you be presented with challenges and obstacles beyond the human imagination? In The GOD Maps, it’s the latter–because it wouldn’t be sci-fi or “biblical sci-fi” as Kendall calls it, without it.
The plot of the story is simple, yet somewhat unnerving for some, I’m sure. At the core of this fantastic story is a group of scientists who are boldly attempting to spy on God, and they have the technological potential to make it happen.
One element of the book I enjoyed is how the technology is broken down into laymen’s terms. in The GOD Maps, we learn what inspires the technology, how the technology works, and how it’s created. More than that, we also get to know how the characters work as we learn about their weaknesses, flaws, as well as their underlying purpose for wanting evidence that heaven and hell exist, and essentially God exists as well. Surprisingly, most of the scientists are able to set aside their personal beliefs about God for science, however, what happens when your moral religious convictions begin to kick in during this quest? We’re presented with that scenario as well.
And then there’s the “villain” of this tale. But are they a really a villain, or just a victim of their circumstances in the way that Killmonger is in Black Panther? To be honest, there are a few potential villains in this book, but Kendall leaves it up to the reader to define for themselves who they are–if there are any at all.
In The GOD Maps, Kendall gives us excellent world-building, innovation unlike any you’ve likely seen before in sci-fi, and a well- written story that keeps you captivated with each page. There’s also several “Easter Eggs” hidden within that is wonderfully explained at the end, along with an in-depth glossary to help you with some of the complex terms and inventions you come across in the book. From the science to the phenomenal twists and turns we’re presented with, Kendall’s writing is no doubt on par with many of the best-selling writers of today, so it’s hard to believe she’s not backed by one of the big publishers and their amazing editors. With a style slightly reminiscent of Dan Brown, Kendall brings us a story that is so uniquely mind-bending, she may have created her own sub-genre within science fiction–and that’s amazing in and of itself.
So, who is Yvette Kendall? Kendall is an Innovator and Product Developer for over 20 years who decided to incorporate all her amazing ideas, her passion for science and innovation, and her love for science fiction into a phenomenal debut novel that uses stories from the Bible as inspiration. This book is highly recommended and if Volume II is anything like the first, we’re in for another fantastic journey.
P.S. A comic book series based on the novel is in the works!
The GOD Maps is available at the following: