3 out of 4 stars
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The end of the world is a catchy subject. Aliens, natural disasters, angels and demons, and wars are the protagonists of countless stories. Humans have an inner desire to understand what's going to happen. And to be fair, we live in such a hard time that it is no wonder our mind wanders in that direction.
Armageddon and Beyond by Adam Declerck is a particular approach to the subject. Is it your classic good against evil kind of book? Well, yes, and no. I have to admit, the book as a whole gives a strong black and white vibe when it comes to the way things should be. However, there is a very refreshing emphasis on the importance of balance in the universe. Light and darkness engage a battle that will define the destiny of all life-forms once and for all.
First of all, I need to clarify this is not a religious novel, nor is it based on the Bible's apocalypse. To my understanding, in the novel, there's no God, no angels, no demons, just light fighting darkness, and both energies complementing each other to bring balance.
The book begins with a timeline. It describes millenniums of human history leading to the final events. A detailed description of humanity's evolution, I have to admit, reading that first chapter was draining. It made me feel like reading a bad history book. There were several pages of fact after fact with no dialogue or plot whatsoever. It almost made me want to put the book down. Thankfully the book gets better as the actual story develops.
It isn't all downsides, though. I loved how powerful women are in the book. Both female and male characters are equally relevant, and that's something hard to find in this genre. Both the creators of light and darkness are female figures. I also have to point out the book is outstandingly well edited. Of course, in such a long book, there have to be some errors. However, they were not bad enough to be considered an issue.
I have to be honest here. I think the book could easily be half its size if the overexplaining and forced descriptions were omitted. They are unnecessary. That's why even with the good editorial work, I will have to rate the book three out of fourstars.
As for the trigger warnings, there are quite a few worth mentioning. There are constant abuse mentions, explicit sexual content, and gruesome violence. It is clear to me that the author wrote this book with an adult audience in mind. If any of these subjects cause you discomfort, you might want to pick up a different book.
Armageddon and Beyond
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