Welcome to Realm Explorers! In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors. Enjoy your travels! And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book.
Author’s name: D.J. Torres
Title of book and/or series: The Nature of Gods: The Awakening
Brief summary of the story:
When gods and goddesses abruptly overthrow Earth, humans are given two choices – worship or die. Desperate to survive, Olivia and her family devote their days to fulfilling the will of the gods. But the wrath of the gods is insatiable and unpredictable. With her hope crushed, Olivia is resigned to her bleak fate . . . until she meets Nature.
Immediately, Olivia knows this charismatic girl with color-changing eyes isn’t normal. Nature looks like a teenager yet she has the power to control the weather and converse with animals. Nature opens Olivia’s eyes to a hidden world that had always existed in harmony with her own. However, know-it-all butterflies and mystical creatures aren’t the only secrets revealed as Olivia discovers the dark plan of the gods.
When Nature decides to confront the gods, Olivia is catapulted to the forefront of humanity’s battle for survival. Olivia must rely on her courage, strength, and newfound gifts as she faces monster-infested pathways and ever-looming traps. But does she have enough courage or skill to battle brutal gods eager to rule the world and dole out punishment to anyone who defies them? Nature and the world depend on it.
The Nature of Gods is a fantasy adventure appropriate for tweens and middle grade readers.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Within the world of The Nature of Gods, ancient gods (such as Neptune and Zeus) have risen in a huge display of elemental power. The gods demand all of humanity on Earth to worship their recently unearthed idols. Humanity doesn’t have any power to fight back against these deities that are capable of wielding the earth, lava, sky, and ocean, so people do as they are told and settle into a life of endless worship. But things get really interesting when Nature wakes to discover her world is not how she left it. The world she created was a utopian paradise. Now Nature is on a mission to take back her world from the gods and return Earth to her original design.
If we were to visit as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Earth is in shambles, so unless you desire to worship these demanding gods for at least eight hours a day, you should probably steer clear of all the cities. However, Nature’s place of slumber is a sight to behold. After she finished designing Earth and all its creatures, she fell into a deep sleep. This is the only place on Earth that is left untouched by modern society and the gods. It is a beautiful tropical island where everything blooms full all the time. The plants respond to Nature’s power so all the flora becomes lusher and brighter in her presence. You will see animals from all walks of life living in harmony with one another. You will even see such sights as a monkey riding atop an alligator. Totally worth the price of admission, right?
What dangers should we avoid on Earth?
You definitely don’t want to do anything to anger a god. Hades can melt you with his bare hand. And if the gods are too busy to discipline you, they will send their monsters to deal with you. But danger also lies within communities. Because people live in such fear of the gods, groups known as Zealots have developed. These Zealots have made it their responsibility to create and enforce rules designed to keep people safe. In the eyes of the Zealots, if you don’t worship, you are considered a threat because you could be the subject of the gods’ wrath via one of their monsters and others might be collateral damage. If you cross the Zealots, you risk expulsion from these communities and are left out in the cold to fend for yourself, which isn’t easy to do in a world ruled by ruthless gods.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served by Nature?
Nature is all about eating from the earth, so get ready for a lot of fruit and vegetables, uncooked and unseasoned. While that doesn’t sound particularly appetizing, the food Nature grows is second to none. Her apples are crisper yet juicier than anything you can imagine.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles does Nature utilize?
Earth and all it’s resources respond to Nature, so if you are planning on getting in a fight with Nature, be prepared for the land to slap you silly. Being a warrior is not something that comes easily to Nature. Her desire is not to fight, but when pushed, she definitely packs a punch.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in Nature’s world?
Nature has wings that take her wherever she wants to go, and if she really likes you, she might just gift you wings of your own. But if you aren’t one of the lucky few to don wings, her animals provide a pretty decent ride. Riding a dolphin is Nature’s favorite way to travel.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Nature’s world that we don’t see on Earth?
Nunitzes are everywhere, watching everything, though you would never know. A Nunitz is a Messenger Butterfly. You can identify them by their golden wings. Nature created the Nunitzes with the intent for them to record every memory on Earth. Once she was awake, they were to inform her of everything that happened in her absence. Don’t be startled if they talk your ear off. They are known to be quite chatty, opinionated, and are horrible secret keepers.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Nature’s world.
Nittle Tag is the famed game of the Nunitzes. The rules of their game are fairly simple: one player, the Flyer, moves through the field, hiding clues to a secret, while the second player, the Seeker, tries to either catch the Flyer or discover the secret before the Flyer reaches the finish line. The dust on Nunitz’s wings contains memories, so if you’re the Seeker, you have to maneuver through the plants, searching for clues in the Nunitz dust.
Is there a particular religion practiced? Please describe what it involves.
Every continent has their own way of worshiping the elemental deities. In the United States, the gods declared themselves to be Greek deities like Zeus, Neptune, Pan, and Hades. But in South America, the God of Fire is known as Huallallo-Carhuincho. The gods made sure they became all things to all people so their reach would not be limited.
What is the political or government structure of Nature’s Earth? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
I’ve already touched on the ruling systems within the community, so I will touch on Nature’s rule of Earth. After Nature was done creating Earth, she knew sleep would soon capture her. During her absence, she put four horn bearers in charge of maintaining her design. Vanada, a dragon, was in charge of the sky. Baldev, a dinosaur, was put in charge of fire and creating more land for Earth to grow. Sumudra, a narwhal, was in charge of the ocean and all it’s creatures. Nairi, a unicorn, was in charge of the forest. All the animals respected the four horn bearers, but everything changed with the creation of man.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I spend a lot of my time trying to interact with animals. If I can pet or feed any animal, I will be the first in line. I have played with dolphins, hung out with lemurs, and fed giraffes. I am dying to do this monkey experience at a local animal rehabilitation center. I am also really inspired by anything that gets me to think outside of my normal thought process. Whether it is through music, pictures, or fashion, the creativity of others sparks my creativity.
D.J. Torres is the author of The Nature of Gods series. Her works reflect her passion of fantasy, adventure, and escaping into new worlds. After struggling through many awkward years of her own, D.J. began writing to empower young girls to be confident in themselves and own their unique brand of individuality, quirks and all.
D.J. is a renowned nature lover and spends much of her time with animals. She has a huge passion for people, an affinity for yummy desserts, and can’t stop binge-watching TV. If D.J. isn’t writing, you may find her frolicking in a field, mastering her Xbox dance moves, or twisting herself into a yoga pretzel. More than anything, she hopes to pioneer imagination and share her story with you.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book?
Where can readers connect with you online?
I love meeting new people! www.djtorresbooks.com
has all my social media links, but I am most active on my Instagram and I do plan to start blogging more. Stop by and say hi.
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the World of Nature. Questions about the world or the book? Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!
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Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima