Ever notice how nothing pretty ever happens in the future? Robots take over the world. Some disease wipes out everybody--or maybe World War III does it, or an asteroid, or a bunch of trash, or too much shopping--as if all the ills of the world as we know it now are multiplied in their use and extremity until we're either mostly destroyed or living lives of desperation.
Yet so many novels seem to look forward to this time, too. Armageddon. The surreal point in time when all the stuff from Revelations--stuff that can be only cryptically analyzed, at best--starts falling into place, showing us that THE END IS NEAR.
We've got another one of those dates coming up. But a whole league of novels have sought to depict the end of days, some with more clarity and success than others.
I can't say I'm a fan of this kind of books, in general. I love books with a spiritual or religious element--I was a big fan of Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments as a child, and I still gravitate to mythic literature--but I've found it difficult to accept the plausibility of most fictional works depicting the apocalypse. Am I a skeptic? Probably.
When I received my copy of Lis Wiehl's Waking Hours in the mail--for free, from Thomas Nelson publishers--I actually didn't know what to expect. I am not a typical thriller reader, but I love the paranormal, and mysteries often captivate me. The book was certainly exciting to read. Good characters--especially Dani and Tommy, who were both complex and sympathetic--interesting events, a chilling murder and a bunch of suspects, and I finished it at record speed. I literally kept talking myself into reading the next chapter, for the chapter breaks usually held enough suspense that I didn't want to stop.
Some of the paranormal elements were truly creepy, too. And I've researched creepy stuff before, but a few events really chilled me. Medieval literature has several of the elements Wiehl uses, adding to the authenticity, and the way some of the plot elements were discovered made them even creepier. It was a good read, a really good read.
Only the apocryphal bent to it--one that will be fleshed out further in the two future books of the East Salem Trilogy--didn't quite work for me. Perhaps it's my own skepticism, but so many things can be used at any point in history to point to Armageddon that I had a hard time seeing some of these events as unique. The Christian emphasis worked better, and yet even for readers who aren't particularly religious, these elements are not too obtrusive to be distracting. Overall, a very good book. I would definitely read the next book in the series.
What apocalypse have you seen depicted best? What's the worst version you've read or seen? (I'd have to say the film Armageddon is my least favorite. Awful, awful movie.)