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 does success as an author look like to you?
Thanks for having me on your blog!
What a great question. I’m afraid my answer is going to sound shallow or boringly practical.
Success for me as an author would be earning enough of a living that I could support my family, take them on vacations every so often, and be able to unplug from work during those times, but also still love the work so much that I’m also excited to get back to it.
But I’m also okay if that doesn’t happen, you know? If I’m writing stories from the heart that feel authentic to me and connect with readers, that also feels like success. Or it might be if I’m writing something fun and engaging that gives people a welcomed break for a little while. Sometimes, that’s all you need from a book; there’s nothing wrong with that, either.
Which character did you connect to best in this book?
The lead character, Gunnar, is going through a crisis of faith. His parents did everything right; they prayed, worshipped, read their Bibles, and cared for people. Then, they were decimated, and he was taken prisoner. But despite all that, he can’t help but hold onto the lingering shreds of his faith.
I’ve sometimes felt that way, gone through periods when my faith became far more academic than emotional. I believed in God, but it had been long since I felt His presence. Those can be challenging times, but they can also be essential to our growth and faith.
What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?
It’s the “Do not worry” section from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew Chapter 6. I often have to remind myself of two truths. The first is that so many things in life about which I get so stressed are really of minuscule importance compared to my salvation through Jesus.
The other truth is that nothing can compare with the power of God, who loves us, knows what we need, and will provide. That’s an amazing assurance.
What is your vacation spot?
We don’t have a “go-to” spot right now, but my favorite vacation ever was in Ireland. My wife and I spent a week driving through the middle of the country on those small roads lined by stone walls, looking at sheep and cows while we talked about everything on our minds.
You couldn’t turn around in Ireland without seeing another breathtaking view. It was impossible to take a bad picture. We stayed in old castles converted into hotels and spent an afternoon doing falconry, which was terrific. A double rainbow arched over the road as we drove back to the airport to head home.
But beyond that, I’ve never had such a sense of home in another country. I can’t wait to go back.
10)If you could have one book or piece of art or music on a deserted island, what would it be and why?
Okay, so obviously, my honest answer is the Bible. But for fun, I’ll choose something else.
It’s such a difficult question because it’s not the same as asking my favorite book (which is probably World War Z, by the way). I have to choose something that I would read repeatedly that would hopefully keep me entertained and lift my spirits when needed.
It would be cheating to say a collected edition of The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings, although those are great choices. But I think a collection of short stories would be allowed.
A photographer friend gave me a book called The Best From Fantasy and Science Fiction, which was published sometime in the 1950s and includes short stories from C.S. Lewis, Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne, and so many more. I’ll go with that.
Texas Book-aholic, November 14
Artistic Nobody, November 15 (Author Interview)
Exploring the Written Word, November 15
Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, November 16
Guild Master, November 17 (Author Interview)
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.