A subpar sci-fi update of the Book of Revelation.
The book’s epigraphs–which feature aphoristic, tautological phrases like â€œUnderstanding is knowing the truth / Understanding is accepting the truth / The truth leads to understanding / Which leads to awareness / Which strengthens our will to be”–are brief bits of pseudo-wisdom that reflect the novel as a whole: they appear to be deep philosophical thoughts, but are ultimately superficial. Part science fiction, part apocalyptic thriller, the story follows Darien, a young boy who grows up and falls deeply in love with his adopted sister Catherine. Catherine and Darien share a passion for science, especially that related to space travel, and their zeal leads them to design and build the spaceship Ulysses, which they hope to pilot to distant galaxies. However, Catherine also happens to be Satan’s daughter, and the linchpin in his master plan to bring a fiery end to our world by establishing a new reign of hell on earth, with the help of his alien minions. Such implausible situations pack the poorly written narrative, and Towe unrealistically expects readers to swallow it all as he skips breathlessly from one unbelievable event to the next, while providing almost no descriptive detail. He crams so many fragments into one slim volume–in addition to Satan’s plan, Towe carelessly dives headlong into such disparate topics as military strategy, aerospace engineering, presidential politics, international diplomacy, the Jewish concept of the Elohim and hazy echoes of the legend of Excalibur–that it reads like the outline of a potential series. The book ends with the marriage of Darien and Catherine, performed by Christ.