A complex tale of the end times with skillful worldbuilding.



This dramatic Christian fantasy novel, set after the rapture, alternates between heaven and Earth to tell a story of the battle for the souls of humanity.

The well-known prophecy of the second coming of Jesus Christ gets a completely new twist in this text, which follows multiple groups of characters. First, the author pulls back the curtain on Harem, the realm of angels who plan to rescue “the righteous” in an invasion of Earth that humans will perceive as a mass alien abduction. Later, brilliant but nonbelieving medical researchers Yvette Milagro and Wen “Winnie” Chow Lee, along with Yvette’s 10-year-old daughter, Mia, wake up and find the injured Hoshea (aka Jesus) when the rapture occurs. The story bounces between Harem and Earth with additional subplots that follow 13-year-old Artemis and her family, who are raptured in North Carolina and begin the process of becoming full-fledged angels, as well as the first rumbles of the Antichrist coming to power. Meanwhile, a New York City police detective named Reynolds and National Security Agency operative Akachi Ihejika pursue the researchers and Hoshea in the post-rapture world. Readers of high fantasy will recognize the in-depth worldbuilding in debut author Perez’s descriptions of the technology and mystical powers of Harem, which include time- and space-traveling devices and celestial weaponry for fighting the Helem, or demons. The journey of the humans in Harem is particularly compelling, drawing out deep philosophical insights. The dialogue-driven story focuses on how demonstrations of love are capable of changing hearts, but at its core, it aims to offer nothing less than a tale of an epic struggle between good and evil. This Christian novel showcases human emotions and sacrifice without preaching or out-of-place spirituality; even divine beings are portrayed as experiencing something new during this era of history. The novel is also action-packed, offering harrowing helicopter travel, devilish enemies, and gut-wrenching losses of innocence. The author helpfully outlines the dizzying array of characters in a “Character Key” at the end, and the story clearly hints at a sequel.

A complex tale of the end times with skillful worldbuilding.

Pub Date: March 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-73217-180-0

Page Count: 434

Publisher: Aristo's Publishing, LLC

Review Posted Online: April 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Unrelenting gloom relieved only occasionally by wrenching trauma; somehow, though, Hannah’s storytelling chops keep the...


Hannah’s sequel to Firefly Lane (2008) demonstrates that those who ignore family history are often condemned to repeat it.

When we last left Kate and Tully, the best friends portrayed in Firefly Lane, the friendship was on rocky ground. Now Kate has died of cancer, and Tully, whose once-stellar TV talk show career is in free fall, is wracked with guilt over her failure to be there for Kate until her very last days. Kate’s death has cemented the distrust between her husband, Johnny, and daughter Marah, who expresses her grief by cutting herself and dropping out of college to hang out with goth poet Paxton. Told mostly in flashbacks by Tully, Johnny, Marah and Tully’s long-estranged mother, Dorothy, aka Cloud, the story piles up disasters like the derailment of a high-speed train. Increasingly addicted to prescription sedatives and alcohol, Tully crashes her car and now hovers near death, attended by Kate’s spirit, as the other characters gather to see what their shortsightedness has wrought. We learn that Tully had tried to parent Marah after her father no longer could. Her hard-drinking decline was triggered by Johnny’s anger at her for keeping Marah and Paxton’s liaison secret. Johnny realizes that he only exacerbated Marah’s depression by uprooting the family from their Seattle home. Unexpectedly, Cloud, who rebuffed Tully’s every attempt to reconcile, also appears at her daughter’s bedside. Sixty-nine years old and finally sober, Cloud details for the first time the abusive childhood, complete with commitments to mental hospitals and electroshock treatments, that led to her life as a junkie lowlife and punching bag for trailer-trash men. Although powerful, Cloud’s largely peripheral story deflects focus away from the main conflict, as if Hannah was loath to tackle the intractable thicket in which she mired her main characters.

Unrelenting gloom relieved only occasionally by wrenching trauma; somehow, though, Hannah’s storytelling chops keep the pages turning even as readers begin to resent being drawn into this masochistic morass.

Pub Date: April 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-312-57721-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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Debut novel by hip-hop rap artist Sister Souljah, whose No Disrespect (1994), which mixes sexual history with political diatribe, is popular in schools country-wide. In its way, this is a tour de force of black English and underworld slang, as finely tuned to its heroine’s voice as Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. The subject matter, though, has a certain flashiness, like a black Godfather family saga, and the heroine’s eventual fall develops only glancingly from her character. Born to a 14-year-old mother during one of New York’s worst snowstorms, Winter Santiaga is the teenaged daughter of Ricky Santiaga, Brooklyn’s top drug dealer, who lives like an Arab prince and treats his wife and four daughters like a queen and her princesses. Winter lost her virginity at 12 and now focuses unwaveringly on varieties of adolescent self-indulgence: sex and sugar-daddies, clothes, and getting her own way. She uses school only as a stepping-stone for getting out of the house—after all, nobody’s paying her to go there. But if there’s no money in it, why go? Meanwhile, Daddy decides it’s time to move out of Brooklyn to truly fancy digs on Long Island, though this places him in the discomfiting position of not being absolutely hands-on with his dealers; and sure enough the rise of some young Turks leads to his arrest. Then he does something really stupid: he murders his wife’s two weak brothers in jail with him on Riker’s Island and gets two consecutive life sentences. Winter’s then on her own, especially with Bullet, who may have replaced her dad as top hood, though when she selfishly fails to help her pregnant buddy Simone, there’s worse—much worse—to come. Thinness aside: riveting stuff, with language so frank it curls your hair. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-671-02578-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Pocket

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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