Mezzowriter's ReadWriter Blog

Reading, Writing, and The Search for Buried Gems of Literature

What I’m Reading #24: Epoch April 11, 2010

This particular book I picked up because of the teaser on the back cover.  I really thought it sounded quite clever…

“MEMO
To:  All senior managers
FROM: Pharley Seamore Edwards, CEO
RE:  The end of the world as you know it.
There have been some changes to the format of the apocalypse.
1.  There will be no horsemen, not even one.  Just demons — hungry ones — with lots of teeth.
2.  Trumpeting angels are out.  We’ve had some reports of pixies and elves, but those should be cleared up soon; see point 1, especially the part about teeth.
3.  Rivers of blood and hellfire are canceled due to environmental concerns.  There will, however, be some seriously bad weather, though that will be the least of your concerns (see point 1).
4.  Rumors about the faithful being spared at the last minute are just that: rumors.  Don’t hold your breath.
That is all.  Have a nice death.”

And the artwork was also an attention grabber…

I just wish the story had lived up to my expectations…

—————–

Epoch by Timothy Carter

Flux, 2007

Courtesy of Amazon.com:

Product Description

In his fourteen years, Vincent Drear has been sure of a few of things. First, the world is going to end. And until it does, he has two jobs: saving souls and protesting movies about boy wizards. But Vincent wonders if there’s more to life than this. His suspicions are confirmed when he finds an elf at his school science fair. Vincent’s excitement fades, though, as the elf informs him that his family’s religion is right about one thing: the end of the world is coming—in forty-eight hours!

Vincent can’t save the world. His only hope is to get his family off Earth before demons wipe out everything, paving the way for a new epoch.  Timothy Carter combines humor, fantasy, sci/fi, and satire into a novel that is the missing link between The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Left Behind.

The end has come. But the fun has just begun.

———————

First off…let me say that I had a very difficult time finding a non-customer review of this title.  (I always try to find reviews from School Library Journal or Booklist if I can.)  Eventually I gave up looking.  I think it says something that they don’t appear to have reviewed it…

Strengths: I went into this read with a great deal of anticipation.  The premise of the story is solid, quite clever and unique.  In terms of marketing and cover appeal, it’s bound to get people to pick it up.  The initial development of the plot is also pretty promising, with some very interesting and amusing  devices that really bring color to the story (such as the obyons, which are insects inserted into the nose of a being and used to control them by elves).

Potential Flaws: For all of the good set-up, I became increasingly disappointed as the book progressed.  As it nears the climax, the plot seems to dissolve into a series of loosely connected, rather trite battle scenes.  The cleverness wanes, and the pace picks up to a ridiculous speed and rushes to the ending, almost as though Carter just wanted to get it over with.  My hopes for recovery were pretty much dashed by the first two pages of Chapter 8.  Critical passages of time/events are conveniently dealt with with either a), the protagonist’s unconsciousness, or b) a disappointingly brief and woefully trite summary.  (I don’t like to reuse words so much, but “trite” seems the best word for it.)

—————–

My Rating:

Promises much, delivers little.  Disappointing.

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