September 23, 2007

It's The End of the World as We Know It...

Eschatology is the study of end-of-world events, a belief which many religious groups share. It's a belief in the eventual end of the age of mankind, and the purposeful rebuilding of another homeland – whether here on a renewed Earth, or a celestial kingdom above the stars. Timothy Carter has a wry and cynical view of eschatological issues, and Epoch is his tongue-in-cheek tribute to believers and belief.

Fourteen-year-old Vincent and his brother, Max are members of the Church of the Triumvirate. Their family activities include such things as enthusiastic family viewing the movie Left Out (remind you of anything like 'Left Behind?') which is about the end of the world, protesting movies starring boy wizards (any boy wizards come to mind?), and passing out leaflets at the school science fair. It's okay for a family of believers to do this together... but... Vincent is not as ardent a Triumvirate as his family, and because of this, he’s the family misfit – always in trouble with his Dad who locks him in the basement “Chapel” to pray, and always a disappointment to his mother. At the science fair, Vincent becomes a lot bigger of a misfit. At the science fair, Vincent sees… an elf.

Seeing elves, pixies, demons and trolls soon becomes the least of Vincent’s worries. As he soon finds out, the world is going to END in two days. TWO DAY! Humanity should have been called to escape via the Portal Gates, but humanity doesn't know WHAT the heck a portal gate is, much less knows where one is -- and horrifically enough, neither do any of the non-humans. It falls to Vincent, in an uneasy alliance with an elf and two pixies, to save mankind -- and the nonmankind -- and since the elves keep kicking him, the demons want to eat him, and the pixies are just about microscopic…they’re gonna need just a little help.

A quick, easy read, this book might be ideal for readers who like fast-paced adventure books with dry wit and wry, snappy dialogue. Epoch’s heavy-handed depiction of religious people as homogeneously two-dimensional, judgmental, and idiotic was disappointing; but, once the reader gets through the first few pages, the action and dialogue move the storyline along.

1 comment:

a. fortis said...

Sounds like a fun one! The copy you lent me is on my to-read shelf, so I'll have to get to it soon...