Rapture by Phillip William Simpson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Set in a world where the Biblical prophecy of the Rapture has come true, the story follows the protagonist Sam. Sam is half-demon and-half human, having characteristics of both. He is stronger and faster than most humans, heals faster and is difficult to hurt. He of course has horns protruding from his head, which makes interacting with people a little difficult. Like a demon, he is burned by contact with anything holy and cannot venture near a church. But, he has all the emotions of a human. He is awkward and shy, gets angry and ashamed and feels loyalty and love.
Sam’s entire world revolves around Hikari, his mentor and father-figure and his daughter Aimi. Sam is mainly confined to their house and only steps outside in the dark, or when he is wearing a cap or a hood to cover his horns. Sam has been trained as a warrior right from a very young age and is extremely proficient in using various weapons as well as hand-to-hand combat aided by his inhuman strength and speed. He is portrayed as fumbling his way through almost everything else. He has difficulty expressing himself and is positively disastrous in his interactions with others his age. Sam is in love with Aimi, and she is the only person with whom he interacts somewhat freely. This love story develops throughout the book, and I suspect it will have much larger role to play in later ones.
The Apocalypse Gene by Suki Michelle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When I picked up this book after looking at the description, I thought that it would be a run-of-the-mill dystopian novel. Boy was I wrong!
There were parts of the book which had me going, “What? That did not just happen! This is impossible.” There are some hard-to-believe segments in the book if you are expecting a normal story grounded in reality. But once you accept the fact that this is mainly a science fiction / fantasy novel, things start to get very interesting.
This novel is set in a dystopian world where a pandemic is raging. All over the world, cancer has gripped people and is progressing at an alarmingly fast rate with no traditional treatments working against it. In this situation, a new business which helps suffering people die in peace has sprung up. The protagonist, Olivya’s home has been converted into a hospice, catering to such patients.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Buy it on Amazon
Before I started reading Hunger Games, I had read some reviews going gaga over the book, but I was still not ready for it. The basic story premise goes something like this:
Set in a post-apocalyptic future, America is now divided into 12 districts ruled with an iron hand by the Capitol. The 12 districts each supplies the Capitol with different products such as coal, agricultural goods, etc. Years ago, there had been a rebellion by the districts against the Capitol which had been quashed mercilessly and utterly by the Capitol. As a reminder of the power the Capitol holds over the destinies of the districts, every year the Capitol chooses 2 children from each district, between the ages of 12 and 18, to fight in the ‘Hunger Games’, a fight to the death. The winner is treated as a hero uplifted from the poverty that hounds everyone else in the districts.
The event is of course televised, with compulsory viewing by the people in the districts. The inhumanity of this comes out when the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen’s younger sister, with no survival skills is chosen for the Games. Long story short, Katniss volunteers to take her place and enters the Games.