In the 13th century, Europe suffered through war, famine, and the evils of the pogrom–acts of hatred that massacred tens of thousands of Jews. In 1346, at the height of corruption, the Black Plague struck the Eurasian continent, wiping out half the world's population while spawning a new legend: The Grim Reaper. Now coming full circle, the Reaper returns in 2012… 666 years later.
At the start of Alten's new apocalyptic series, a plan to infect the Iranian delegation at the UN with a weaponized bubonic plague called Scythe goes awry, unleashing the plague on Manhattan. Manhattanite Patrick Shepherd, a crippled vet, is quickly tapped by the Secretary of Defense as the new poster boy for the military. Though reluctant at first, he discovers that a Scythe vaccine exists; with his estranged wife and daughter trapped in Manhattan, he begins a desperate journey through the dying metropolis to save them, along the way picking up the reluctant hero's requisite companions and going through the expected spiritual awakening by having to confront disturbing truths about reality, divinity, and the human race's capacity to self-destruct. Veteran Alten takes on a modern-day retelling of Dante's Inferno through the lens of a frighteningly all-too-possible biological attack on a densely populated American city. But terrifying plausibility is quickly muddled by ham-fisted allusions to Inferno, extreme leftwing conspiracy theories, vague spirituality, and enough blood to flood the Hudson. By the implausible end, readers will wonder how they went from genuinely scared to amusingly confused.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book will take the reader on a deep, dark trip all the while plucking at your heartstrings like an old train riding hobo. It can be emotional and it will draw you in until the very end. I loved this book and have read it and re-read it several times. It is one of those books where you stumble upon a gem of information that you didn't pickup before on the previous read through. I sincerely hope that a sequel comes soon.
I could not put it down. The ending also was a very big surprise and can not wait for the second book to come out,
Do NOT waste your time & $$!!
This book got 1 star only because I am unable to give it a zero or negative number.
I bought this book because I've read most of Steve Alten's other books & I generally enjoy his work. After reading the reviews, I thought this was going to be a great book. Was I ever wrong!
Now I'm convinced that the other reviewers must have read a completely different book because this was the most jumbled-up, muddled wreck of a book I've ever laid hands on. Apparently Mr. Alten is unable to write a cohesive story without the use of a plethora of exclamation marks! (see what I did there?)The dialogue was a joke, the characters were completely unbelievable(there were way too many and underdeveloped to the extent that I cared not a whit about any of them), and finally, the preaching was overboard.
If I wish to get lectured on the tenets of Kabbalah, I will go to a temple/synagogue or whatever; when I buy a novel I expect it to read/behave like one.