Storyhelix Review 019: End of the Innocence

There’s nothing quite like a good end-of-the-world story to make you feel better about reality. (It is open season on politics, after all.) To help satisfy this morbid curiosity, I turned to David Alderman‘s Black Earth series, starting with the first book in the series, End of the Innocence.

Keeping the fact that it is the end of the world in these books, there is an MA-18 rating on this next novel for some harder elements of “real life” in it – sex, rape, torture, government overstepping its power. Things we wish were not actually part of the real world.

In the first book of the Black Earth series, we meet several characters, including Nathan Pierce. Having recently suffered through a tragic car accident with his friend, Heather, he is “celebrating” his high school graduation when a falling star hits his hometown of Phoenix. With his sister, Daisy, by his side, they head off to go and see if they can find their parents, who were in Phoenix when the falling star struck.

While this is happening, Cynthia Ruin, also known as Sin, known also as the Pink Rabbit, is raped. She later finds out she is pregnant. Her abusive mother has ties to the governmental agencies that, after the falling star, rebel against God and all religious institution (kicking off the end times, in Christian tradition). Sin runs into Daisy and Nathan, and Daisy ends up getting captured by the government. Unwilling to submit to their new world order, she is sentenced to death and torture for punishment.

There are several other subplots and plot twists along the way.

Critical Points: 

1. The book’s genre. While this is labeled as Christian speculative fiction, it’s nice to see some Christian writing that’s not your typical “fluffy-feel-good” rated G storytelling. The extraterrestrial/supernatural/paranormal perceptions of the different characters is pretty cool.

2. More visual storytelling. While the book makes some excellent points, and they will be no doubt explored in later books, the storytelling was more of a visual one. It would make a good movie. High Fantasy readers will also enjoy the multitude of characters and events that happen in the book.

3. Cliffhanger ending. As I’ve discussed in previous book reviews, this is always a bit of a weird balance. I want to know more as the book closes, but I’m also angry that the book closes. Book 2’s not available yet, so it’s more on the end of “screaming rage” review, but I always take it more objectively as a good sign that I want to know what happens.

4. Book 2 of the Black Earth series is coming later this week. Per #3 of my critical points, The Broken Daisy (Book 2 of the Broken Earth series) is coming out this Tuesday! Click on the image below to check it out.

Have you read End of the Innocence? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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