People from across the United States band together to stop dimension-hopping demons from annihilating humankind in the author’s latest sci-fi outing (The Aladdin Project, 2011).
Strange glowing orbs in the mountains and birds falling from the sky are merely the first signs that creatures from another dimension are making their way to Earth. Thousands of curious people travel to the Teotihuacan pyramids in Mexico City, where a signal is being transmitted to an unknown destination. Soon a celestial being makes an appearance there. Not long afterward, a ragtag team, including priests, detectives, ghost hunters and a medium, embarks on a “holy mission” to stop the aliens—and believes that God is on its side. There are quite a few main characters in Winkles’ novel, but he doesn’t skimp on their development; everyone has distinctive abilities and some even have superpowers, including superior strength and the ability to see the future, among others. Most of the secondary characters who aren’t a part of the quest, however, become demon fodder later in the story. The demons, meanwhile, are described in all their glory and are often delightfully grotesque; one character equates part of a creature with a gutted catfish. The monsters also attack humans in ghastly, graphic ways, including burrowing into a person’s body. The book handles its religious themes boldly and prudently. For example, a priest, Father Moretti, suggests that the celestial being at the pyramids was in fact an angel sent to sanctify their mission; however, the same priest had previously been reprimanded by the Catholic Church, in part, for his scientific approach to religion. The novel, despite its ambition, is not epic in length, and it wraps up its story without feeling rushed or incomplete.
A solid entry in the sci-fi genre, with enough horror and supernatural elements to discourage readers from turning off their lights.