Author: Scott Pinsker
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
First Published: 2014
Page Count: 404
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 2/5 Stars
A fictional take on the Second Coming of Christ that feels more like one long dissection of the Bible then a blow-by-blow of the End of Days.
*Feels more like non-fiction than fiction *Confusing side story *Cliffhanger Ending *Lacks Action
“I alone am the key to salvation.” Two beings appear in modern-day America; one calls himself Joe and the other calls himself Israel. Both claim to be the Second Coming of Christ. Modern followers of the faith become divided as they try to discover if either are truly Jesus Christ, and if that is true, then who is also Satan.
As I’ve said many times, I’m a big apocalypse story fan, and what is bigger then the original end of days story about Jesus coming back to save the faithful and let the sinners fall into the Devil’s hands? Not much in my book, so I was excited to see the author’s take on the classic tale. The tagline and the unique cover alone are enough to draw you in. The story was not what I expected right off the bat, but it was definitely a different way of approaching the subject. The author never lets the reader in on which entity is Jesus and which is Satan, and through a series of dialogues by the entities about different elements of the Bible, the reader has to guess right alongside the main characters which being is the real messiah.
While I thought it was interesting that the author hid the true identity of Jesus probably as a way to build suspense, I would have preferred to know who was who. I think it would have made the story more interesting because the reader would be able to see which main characters made the wrong choices and were tricked into following Satan. By the end of the book, I think I had figured out who was who, but my other qualm was that the author never revealed who was the true messiah! I realize he’s probably saving this so that you tune into the sequel, but after four hundred pages I really wanted to know if my guess was right! I don’t think it would have ruined the sequel to reveal who the real Jesus was, because the reader could go into the sequel knowing the unfortunate souls that weren’t going to be saved. Beyond that, the story mostly felt like a nonfiction dissection of the Bible and only the ending, when the two beings finally meet in front of the world, felt like a fictional take on the subject. Since most of the book is just dialogue between the entities discussing the bible, there is little action even though I had pictured epic battles between Angels and Demons and lots of fire and brim stone like what is described in the Book of Revelation. There was also a confusing side story about crows, bloodworms, a bad dragon, and the morning star which I’m sure has some symbolic meaning but because these things usually go over my head, it just felt distracting every time it was randomly inserted into the story.
I really wanted to like this story and was excited when I first saw the book, but, a couple of pages in, that excitement slowly diminished. I kept waiting for the earth to open up and hellish creatures to pop up to punish the sinners while Jesus came to save the day for the faithful. However, pages upon pages of constant dialogue told me that was not going to happen. Maybe it will in the sequel, but not in this book. It’s an interesting take on the topic, but ultimately not the End of Days story I wanted to read.
*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.