07 February 2013

Review: Tribulation by Phillip W. Simpson

Tribulation (Rapture Trilogy #2) by Phillip W. Simpson

Published: December 2012

Pages: 436 (paperback)

Genre/s: YA, Post-apocalyptic

Source: Author for review

As the second book in the series, my review may contain spoilers of the first book, Rapture.  You can read my review of Rapture here.

Synopsis


Halfway through the desolate Tribulation, half-demon Samael is still alone, with only his beloved Samurai swords and memories of the dearly departed - especially his beloved Aimi - to sustain him. Fighting for the innocents who remain behind, Sam has thwarted the plans of the Antichrist once before. Now, having already conquered Europe, America remains a thorn in his brother’s side. 

At the head of a massive invasion fleet, an army of demons, and his sights firmly fixed on New York, he will not be denied again ...

Beset on all sides by adversaries, aided by friends old and new, Sam must stop his brother before America falls. And if that means killing him, then so be it. He failed once before; this time he will succeed - or die trying.

My Thoughts

I absolutely adored the first book in this series, Rapture, when I read it in 2011.  I was completely enraptured (see what I did there!) by the main character, Sam, the world-building and the way that the author used Christian eschatology as the plot without actually making it a Christian book.  

In the second book of the series, Sam finds himself very much alone for the majority of the time.  There are secondary characters that come and go at various parts, but this is really Sam's book - his struggles across the post-apocalyptic wasteland that America has become, wrestling with his own demons whilst fighting the real demons that threaten to drag the surviving humans to hell.  As in the first book, Sam is a fantastic character - his singular purpose is to help and save as many humans as he possibly can, all the while dealing with the revelations of his lineage that were revealed in Rapture.  He also maintains a vulnerability that made me really cheer him along - it's a risk to have a book solely about one character, but Tribulation is an example of how it can be done very well.

Familiar characters from the first book make appearances throughout Tribulation, in a variety of ways, and although they don't play a major part in the story, their collective reappearances tie together both books nicely.  

Along with focusing on Sam's journey, Mr. Simpson also builds an incredibly bleak, frightening world as the surviving humans resort to any means necessary to survive in an incredibly harsh environment.  There are various elements that are almost required in any post-apocalyptic tale, along with a whole host of characters and situations borne from the plot itself - demons and angels, hellish situations both on earth and in hell, as well as the battle scenes which flow beautifully.

As I've mentioned earlier, the actual plot is derived from the Christian eschatology which includes the Rapture and the Tribulation, and both books use this is a device to move through the story, which adds an interesting element that, although I am not religious, is commonly known enough to be familiar, with a whole bunch of extras that steer the story away from Christian preaching and to a fantastic young adult read that also holds appeal to adult audiences, particularly fans of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, so happy to see that this series is continuing to be awesome for you! I haven't heard of these books before but they sound like ones that I would really enjoy. Great that you got to see characters from the previous book throughout. I'll have to check out the first one in the series.

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