After accepting an invitation to join a beta-test for a mysterious product, college student Yi-hao gains control over a magical entity known as the “God of Theft”. Power, however, comes at a price, as Yi-hao and the other beta-testers are forced to band together to avoid falling victims to a nefarious plot.
College student and board game aficionado Yi-hao is invited to participate in a beta-test for a mysterious product called “Deity Series”. Writing it off as a scam, Yi-hao shares the invitation letter with his best friend Hui, not expecting that Hui will actually encourage him to accept the offer. His curiosity piqued, Yi-hao joins the beta-test, and thus comes into possession of the “God of Theft” who enables Yi-hao to materialize any object at will.
Not long afterwards, Yi-hao receives a letter informing him that all of the beta-testers are in grave danger, and must meet up to discuss the threat. When the appointed time comes, only seven beta-testers of the original twenty arrive. The writer of the letter informs them that the missing beta-testers appear to have been kidnapped. Using the powers granted by their various “Deity Series”, the remaining beta-testers decide to work together to ensure each other’s safety, while also investigating what is behind the disappearances.
Some in the group, however, know far more than they are letting on. Others are reticent to speak too freely because they are already under threat from their common enemy. Others still have yet to reveal themselves, placing their trust in secrecy and self-reliance. Yet none of their secrets compare to those hidden by the “God” company itself: the nefarious purpose behind the development of the “Gods” and the source of their occult powers in the global conflicts of the past century.
Novelist Xiao Xiang Shen has always proven adept at weaving together his twin passions for Taiwan history and supernatural folktales. With Man-Made Gods, he has taken things a step further, incorporating elements of the superhero and science fiction genres, and even ideas inspired by tabletop strategy games. Packed with pitched battles, devious ploys, puzzling conundrums, and occult powers, this tightly-paced techno-fantasy will delight genre fans even as it shines a light on the legacy of Taiwan’s colonial and cold-war past.