My Book Rating System

My book rating system is based on 5 stars. The book must be rated at least 3 stars for a review.

3 Stars: Good story, good plot, good writing.

4 Stars: I was wowed, but something about the story fell short of perfection.

5 Stars: I was either drooling, on the edge of my seat, or falling in love.

If you would like me to review your book, please contact me at

Monday, July 8, 2013

Book Review: Tribulation, by Phillip W. Simpson

Phillip W. Simpson
Initial Thoughts: Not quite the same thrill as the first

My Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
Halfway through the desolate Tribulation, half-demon Samael is still alone, with only his Samurai swords and memories of the dearly departed - especially his beloved Aimi - to sustain him. Fighting for the innocents who remain behind, Sam has thwarted the plans of the Antichrist once before. Now, having already conquered Europe, America remains a thorn in his brother’s side. At the head of a massive invasion fleet, an army of demons, and his sights firmly fixed on New York, he will not be denied again ...

Beset on all sides by adversaries, aided by friends old and new, Sam must stop his brother before America falls. And if that means killing him, then so be it. He failed once before; this time he will succeed - or die trying.

My thoughts:
This is the 2nd book in the Rapture Trilogy, and while I still love Sam's character, this book didn't quite grab me as the first book did. I had to ponder why.

I feel so bad for Sam. I continue to root for him, and feel his confusion over the tug-of-war both sides (demons and angels) seem to be playing. For me, a human, I don't think I like the black-and-white view of the angels...they would seem to condemn someone because of the fault of their birth, not what's in their heart. I'm not a fan! However, I absolutely love that the angels aren't portrayed as perfect (from a human's empathetic point of view). 

I also enjoyed seeing the Watcher come into play, and giving Sam a third option. How interesting! There are some interesting story lines being presented, which keeps the reader wondering exactly how book 3 is going to end.

So, that brings me back to my pondering. What didn't work for me? And if I'm going to be honest, it's the writing itself that slowed the story down. Oh, that and the fact that it's mostly prose with no dialogue. That in itself will slow a story down.

I felt, at times, that I was just watching Sam going through his daily life, doing this and dodging that, without really moving the story forward. The funny thing is, that's what I felt while reading it. However, when I did go back and sort of flip through, I found that that isn't necessarily true. The story starts out with action (Sam gets a new 'partner') and does keep going...but what happens is that there is so much internalization, and much of it repetitive, that I felt like the story wasn't going anywhere. I remember feeling that the story didn't actually start until 1/3 of the way into the book...but that's a feeling and not fact. 

What also slowed the story down was the amount of telling, rather than showing or describing what Sam was feeling. With some good editing, those issues can be fixed and this story would be that much stronger.

Oh, and one more thing...great cliffhanger ending!

I plan on reading the 3rd and last installment of this series, and still recommend it as a read.

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