Book Review: Rapture (Rapture Trilogy #1) by Phillip W. Simpson

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*
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.


After all the romance novels I've been reading lately this was very refreshing. There is a tiny bit of romance, but mostly it's demon attacks and fighting scenes.

Sam has known from very early in his life that he was not like the other kids, no matter how badly he wanted to be normal. He is a half demon and his whole life has been in preparation for the Rapture. Unlike his adopted family he won't be able to go to heaven, his demon blood preventing that. Instead he has gotten the mission to help all the people that will also be left behind and stop evil from completely taking over the world.
"The voice would only be satisfied with bloodshed - with the blood of these boys."
For as long as he can remember, he also had to fight the evil in himself. Whenever he got mad or jealous, those emotions would get heightened, his eyes would turn red and a voice whispering to him to do all sorts of bad things. Luckily his upbringing made him a good person, believing he is good, no matter how much people might fear him. Hikari did not only learn him to fight, but also what it means to be a good christian.
"You will become the champion of God and protect the innocent."
Easier said than done, as most people will fear him upon first sight. But Sam knows it's his destiny and he will do his best to fulfill it. It is kind of sad, that this single boy will have to fight all the evils of hell. Still Sam accepts his fate and does not whine and moan about it. It is what it is, nothing he can change about it, so he's all in.
"She shrugged in a way that made Sam want to laugh. He didn't though. He never laughed."
Aimi has been the only person who truly understood him and accepted him the way he is. Sam's life isn't a happy life. Knowing one day his family will leave and then he will be all alone. In the meantime he can't have a normal life, he can't go to school, he can't have any friends...for such a young boy it's nearly heartbreaking that other people will always be afraid of him. He longs so much to be part of society, but he's always on the outside looking in. Aimi really is one of the only reasons he keeps going.
"'Part of you isn't demon', she said. 'You're all human - you just have those horns for decoration.'"
The story switches between the present and happenings from Sam's past; his upbringing, important revelations, the people he met... These all gradually help you understand him better and form his story. It is all told from his point of view and really he's just a guy, who happens to be half demon, which is why he has to save the world.

The actions scenes were well described, I could clearly picture it all in my head. There was a good balance between those eventful scenes, those flashbacks and Sam's personal journey. I very much liked this book. Sam isn't just this great warrior, he's also a sensitive guy who really just wants to be with his family again. Definitely read this if you like apocalyptic stories, that don't just revolve around the action!

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