City on a Hill (for kindle)
City on a Hill (for kindle)
Faith, religion, godliness—these things have caused more pain, suffering, and death than all the plagues of history combined. In Fortinbras, a city built in the aftermath of a religious war that nearly ended all life on the planet, religion is considered a disease. The residents are taught that they are all that is left of humanity and the cold law of logic and reason rule their lives. Sabrina Sabryia, a young police cadet, is a resolute enforcer of the law until her loyalties are torn between her best friend Lindsey Mehdina, a charismatic spiritual leader, and her uncle Angelo D’Agosta, the head administrator of the city.
The conflict drives Sabrina and Lindsey across a radioactive wasteland pursued by cyborg bounty hunters. They quickly learn that what they took for truth in Fortinbras was not all that it seemed. Meanwhile terrorists plot a religious uprising that threatens millions of innocent lives and Sabrina and Lindsey must choose sides. Their choice pits friendship against family, war against peace, and eventually, faith against doubt.
FIVE STAR REVIEW FROM Readers Favorite
FINALIST for BEST SCI-FI National Indie Excellence
"City on a Hill by Ted Neill is an epic tale of belief, chaos and conflict. While many post-apocalyptic, dystopian novels center on the ravages of atomic fallout, the wasteland lifestyle of survivors, unholy abominations or alien overlords, there are few books in the genre that have placed religion as the focal point. City on a Hill is the bold and provocative tale of Lysander and Fortinbras, the Twin Cities, the last two havens in a world destroyed by violence and religious conflict.Following the Cataclysm, the new leaders of the world, the Head Ministry, have outlawed religion in all its forms, and subjugated the few survivors of the human race within a rigid society that is unmistakably reminiscent of Orwell's vision in 1984.
However,spirituality is impossible to quench, as Sabrina Sabryia, a young police cadet soon discovers. Growing up with a best friend, Lindsey Medhina,who regularly experienced prophetic visions, Sabrina at times finds it difficult to fit into her role as an authoritarian drone of the Head Ministry. Religious tension seems to be growing in the city, occultist rebels are acting more desperate every day, and there is even talk of "God" being found somewhere out in the desert. Sabrina tries her best to carry out her sworn duty, without betraying her oldest friend or digging too deeply into the company she keeps, but a conflict seems inevitable. When Lindsey's divine purpose within the new world order becomes apparent,Sabrina is forced to make the hardest choice of her life.
Although these two characters couldn't be further apart in terms of their beliefs, their friendship is the one thing they do trust, and it launches them on an epic quest into the irradiated wasteland,seeking answers to questions that the Ministry would prefer to bury in the sand forever. This book celebrates the power of faith and truth, and argues that friendship and understanding will always be superior to force, deception and unchecked control.
The allegories within the story, from the ancient central city of a global conflict to the brutal to the isolationist philosophy of the Ministry, all hint at places and problems currently terrorizing the real world. However, the dystopian creativity of the plot keeps those similarities at a thoughtful distance, stimulating readers to think critically without beating the mover the head with symbolism or veiled intent.
The writing itself is very strong, exhibiting a perfect blend of exposition,dialogue, action and muse-worthy narration. The peripheral characters are intriguing and believable; some are easy to love, while others readers will love to hate. The core of the entire story, however, is the relationship between Lindsey and Sabrina. From the first formative scene to the mirroring moment at the end of the book's first section,these two characters grow and develop before our eyes, finding their place in a world that is much larger and more dangerous than either had previously believed.
The philosophical questions posed by the book are slow burning - gradually sneaking up through the subtext of the plot and leaving readers with fresh opinions of their own, and hopefully a new respect for "outsiders" who see life through different lenses. Thankfully, the author does not force his opinion on readers,merely presenting the dangers of extremism in either direction.
The resolution of the novel suggests that harmony can only be achieved through moderation, understanding, communication and honesty. While this fits neatly into the premise of the plot, it also reveals the author's deeper sensitivity and ambition to write for a higher purpose. Overall, City on a Hill is a shining example of what great fiction should be: entertaining, thought provoking, polished and professional." 4½ Stars Self Published Review
FROM AMAZON READERS
“This novel is a page-turner. The creation of this futuristic society, and the unfolding of Sabrina and Lindsey’s story was written in a masterful way. I found myself unable to put it down, and it held many twists and turns that were unexpected and heartbreaking.”
“Neill creates a world that is full of surprises and horrors, but doesn’t seem so far-fetched. A world that has practically been destroyed by religious wars and is trying to correct the mistakes of the past by banning all religion seems feasible in a world that is destroyed by fanaticism. I found the book to be both entertaining and thought-provoking. A great read with lots of imaginative characters, inventions, and plot twists.”
“Absorbing, suspenseful and full of surprises!”
“A fascinating analysis of society and belief grounded in an intimate and realistic character study. Beautiful work of fiction! Definitely worth reading!”
“I loved City on a Hill. The plot is fantastic and really speaks to a lot of the religious issues that are happening right now. Also as a children's' librarian and someone who reads a lot of young adult fiction, I appreciate a well written story that has positive relationships and doesn't overdo the romance.”
“What a rich book for the senses! The details really help the reader enter this different world. As a woman, it was really refreshing for me to read about a heroine who is real in character -- not having to be 'all strong' or 'all weak.' (Yes, a book that passes the Bechdel Test!).”
“Author Ted Neill’s debut novel is a treat for lovers of Sci-Fi and Fantasy and a pleasant surprise for those who are just now being introduced. Add this novel to your collection, you won’t regret it.”
“Thought provoking... very worth reading.”
“A melding of fantasy and science fiction like you’ve never seen before.”
“Neill expertly merges the science fiction and fantasy genre to deliver a story filled with emotional attachment, hard choices, and coming to terms with inner beliefs. Two friends must learn to understand true friendship in the face of opposing views.”
“Taking it to the next level! The truth that is revealed towards the end about the Twin Cities and the Cataclysm is awesome to think about and really adds a shot of excitement to the later portion of the story. Science fiction can sometimes be slow and difficult to grasp, especially when the landscape and culture differ so wildly from our own, however, the interesting concepts in this book manage to keep the reader intrigued as they eagerly await the fate of the protagonists.”
“This action-packed novel has a lot going for it: realistic protagonists, a fast-moving plot, mysterious elements, some intriguing points, and generally good writing . . . the plot reminded me a lot of those Russian nesting dolls that actually contain numerous wooden boxes that must be opened up before you eventually reach the final one. The same rings true here. You think the plot is leading you somewhere and then it goes somewhere else. That’s a good thing.”