Saturday, March 16, 2013

Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway: Rapture by Phillip W. Simpson

Welcome to Reading with ABC's stop for the Rapture Tour! You can find other stops here.

Title: Rapture by Phillip W. Simpson
Published: October 21st, 2011 by Pear Jam Books
Format: eBook
Source:  Provided for free for review
Group age: Young adult
Genre: Paranormal / Dystopia
Challenge(s): 2013 Dystopian
Grade rate: B
 The Rapture has occurred, just as the Bible predicted. The faithful have risen up to Heaven. Those left behind are in a living hell.
Earth burns, hell-like in its oppressive heat. Every volcano in the world has erupted, and tsunamis and earthquakes continue to devastate the planet. Clouds continually rain ash onto the scorched landscape, sparking fires all around. Plants and animals are dying. Food is scarce. The night sky is devoid of stars, and the moon - when it can be seen - is the colour of blood.
 The remnants of humanity fight for survival. Most have fled the cities and now hide in caves deep in the mountains. By night, demons stalk the Earth, capturing the remaining humans and killing them - if they're lucky. The less fortunate are converted to worship of the Devil, and ushered into endless hell.
 Eighteen year old Sam is unable to rise up because he is half demon. Hikari, a Japanese sword master and demon expert and his beautiful daughter, Aimi, have been all the family Sam has ever known. Now they're gone, and Sam must set out on the mission Hikari charged him with long ago: to help all the humans left behind. Armed only with his beloved Japanese swords and his wits, Sam wanders the post-apocalyptic world alone, separated forever from everyone he loves. Cursed by his demonic heritage, he must now embark on a quest that will take him across the US to the City of Angels.
 There he will confront his destiny. There he must fight to save a friend ... and the souls of the living. 
My Review

I’ve seen reviews of Rapture in other blogs and I was intrigued by the cover and the synopsis, thus I jumped at the opportunity to review it for this tour. It wasn’t quite what I expected, that is to say, that I was pleasantly surprised.

Rapture is a post-apocalyptic tale with heavy religious undertones.  The story begins when Sam is ready to start his quest, a few weeks after the rapture.  From there, the story is comprised of mostly alternating chapters from the present to Sam’s past.  The flashbacks give the reader an insight on Sam’s life, training, family and his responsibility.  I rather like Sam’s voice; he is not perfect and doesn’t pretend to be.  He had a sheltered life, but full of truths and a burden that’s not easy to carry. It’s refreshing  that the main character knows exactly what he is and what his purpose is.   I felt sorry for him at times; all in all he fought really hard to do the right thing.

Sam is a half demon, therefore he cannot rise to heaven regardless of how good he is.  He’s not a normal teenager, he is socially awkward , distrusted and feared by most and really hard on himself.  Other than Sam, we learn a lot about Hikari, his foster father and master, and Aimi, Hikari’s daughter and Sam’s only other companion.  During his quest, Sam meets a few people, some better than others, the most memorable Joshua, Grace and Gabriel.  I hope that at the end Sam gets a happy ending since he really deserves it.

The characterization is really good, even small characters are well developed and contribute to the story.  The writing is articulate and eloquent; there is a lot of narrative to explain to the reader the background of the rapture and tribulation.  The plot is original; the concept of the rapture is very interesting, as well as all the different nasty demons that invade Earth.  I didn’t have an inkling about the twist towards the end, didn’t see it coming at all!

Overall, Rapture is a post-apocalyptic tale with paranormal and religious undertones that is fascinating to read.  I will definitely pic up Tribulation, book two of the series very soon.

Find it here: Goodreads | Amazon | Smashwords

About the Author

Phillip W. Simpson is an author of mostly children's books - both fiction and non-fiction.

As well as being a writer, he is an elementary school teacher. Career highlights include being in the
army, gaining a Masters in Archaeology, owning a comic shop, becoming obsessed with martial arts
and oriental weapons and turning down a job at the British museum.

His YA novel RAPTURE (the first in the Rapture trilogy) was released Sept 1st, 2011 by Pear Jam
books. RAPTURE is a dystopian/post-apocalyptic story about the end of the world featuring demons,
angels and a half demon protagonist caught in the middle. RAPTURE was shortlisted for the Sir Julius
Vogel award for best Youth novel.

Book 2, TRIBULATION, was released in December, 2012. The final book, APOCALYPSE, will be out
early 2013.

On a personal note, he is married to Rose, has a son (Jack) and two border terriers, Whiskey and
Raffles. He loves fishing, reading, football (soccer) and single malt Whiskeys.


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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

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