The trumpets have sounded and the end times predicted in the Bible have begun with all Christians on the planet being taken up into heaven, but as the Antichrist makes his move for world domination, a small group of new believers hole up in the little town of Shaleford as the powers of hell come down around them. Book One of The Revelation Chronicles.
I always liked the Book of Revelation in the Bible, so calm and peaceful, so full of hope for the planet. I mean yeah, there was that whole Tribulation thing and all the madness that came with it, but still, I can’t imagine a better planet than one minus an overabundance of the meatbags known as humanity. We wouldn’t even have to have our revolution, the problem would just kind of take care of itself. Then I want ahead and read this book and realized I was just a little off on how it all worked out. I found out that more than I thought are still here after the event…and for a thousand years no less…that just sucks. I went to church (what, the undead can’t have faith), I thought most everyone was just supposed to disappear after the Tribulation and we zombies would take our true place as masters of this planet. Sure, a life without constant human flesh would be a little disappointing but we can farm pigs and they taste similar to you meatbags. I even had a little dream of surviving unlife until most of the living were taken away and I could just enjoy the quiet life of a pig farmer. You know, get an undead wife and a couple of undead kids, open up my own little pig market, and live out the rest of my rotting days taking care of swine to sell to my undead brethren. We’d still be able to have the occasional human delicacy, it’d just be a treat instead of something we’d have all the time. I guess that’s all fucked now isn’t it thanks to this little piece of information. Well I tell you this now John Prescott, for ruining my fantasy (even if it was a fantasy) I will find you and I will turn you, and then you can feel the loss of a potential pig farm…okay, on second thought you live kind of far away and I just don’t really feel like taking the trip. Still, one of these days…maybe.
Anywho, our end times adventure begins just a little bit into the future where The Northern American Union, a new entity consisting of The United States, Mexico, and Canada, envision putting electronic ID chips into all their citizens, Israel has become the richest nation in the world, leading to a bitter alliance between Russia and the Arab Nations, and the world is poised to destroy itself. It’s in this world that a trumpet blast sounds throughout the planet and in an instant millions are suddenly missing and the world is gripped by confusion as those left behind search for answers in a world that is falling apart at rapid speeds. Not only has a good percentage of the population up and vanished, leaving looters and vicious men free to do as they please amid the chaos, but blood thirsty werewolves have stepped out of legend and into reality, tearing apart anyone unlucky enough to cross their paths. As the world struggles to put itself back together, several differing people are finding their lives forever changed as they realize the rapture predicted in the Bible has come true. Trez Sleighton, a man without a purpose looking for a new one in the middle of Shaleford, Colorado finds a good friend in Gene Stinson, the only resident of Shaleford not taken during the rapture. As the two realize they were meant to help each other out, Roxi Parks is being visited by a Nephilim named Aeris, a half man, half angel sent to protect the woman for a very special purpose. Last but not least is Rick Adams, a man with little faith, but whose stubbornness will help several hitchhikers along the way. As all three groups find themselves drawn together a much more sinister man sits and waits for his moment, the moment that will make him ruler of the world and usher in The Tribulation.
There was one major problem I was worried about when I picked up this read, the use of the Biblical Book of Revelations. I myself have read several different religious texts out of curiosity from The Koran (trust me, terrorists represent a very small portion of Islam), The Satanic Bible (good job ripping off Jack London dude) and even The Bible (still wondering where some Christians get their ideas) so I knew what was in the Book of Revelations, the end time scenario predicted in The Bible (except for that damn thousand year bit). However, not everyone else is going to be so familiar with it, so how it was used was going to be very important. The last end times book I read was that god awful Left Behind series and you really had to know your religion to understand what was going on. With Pray, you can never have even heard of The Bible and still know what’s happening for a couple different reasons:
- Author John Prescott really makes the story his own, and if he does use something straight out of The Bible, he lets you know and he lets you see where it’s coming from instead of just hoping you know what he’s talking about.
- A lot of the story is based off of a very esoteric set of Biblical Verses in which John (the man writing the Book of Revelations) is asked not to record just a bit of what he hears while being allowed to describe everything else, meaning even if you have read that specific book through and through, Mr. Prescott still has some very unsettling surprises for you.
- The story is more about the people left behind then it is about the Bible.
All three of these factors come together to craft a great story that uses the Biblical end of times in a way no author has yet.
This was another one of those books I just couldn’t put down, you know, the kind of book where you keep telling yourself “Just one more chapter and then I’ll stop,” and of course after that chapter you have to tell yourself the same thing once again and before you know it your one chapter has turned into ten. Normally it is the strength of a story itself that will cause that kind of intense desire to continue reading a novel but with Pray there is a different strength that causes that desire to finish the story, the characters. The story itself is great no doubt and does a fantastic job of grabbing the reader and refusing to let go, but it is the strength of Prescott’s characterization that really pulls you in. In only a short amount of time you will begin to really feel for the small group of new believers trying to find their way through a completely changed world. I couldn’t help but really want for them to succeed, to make it to the end of their journey unharmed. Not only will you grow to easily love the story’s heroes, but you will easily grow to hate some of its villains as well, literally felling bile rise in your throat at the mere mention of some of them. I say some because there is one villain in particular that John Prescott has written perfectly and it’s the story’s main villain, the Antichrist. If I were including him in the group of bile bringers than I would have to say Prescott hadn’t done his job very well. The Antichrist is supposed to be a man of charisma and charm, a man the world will love; it’s how he takes over the world, with smiles instead of spears. I have to admit to liking Samouel Gallo’s character, even during his darker moments he still retains an almost regal demeanor about him, even when he becomes cruel and causes pain to those around him he does it with a calmness that seems without anger and void of malicious enjoyment. He simply does what he does because he is who he is.
In the end, this is a great read and I can’t say I found a single thing wrong with it. Book One wraps up nicely, completely this leg of the journey for the group but leaving it open for the journey to come. I can’t wait to finish up Book 2.
The Undead Review
Written By: John Prescott