Rapture: Apocalypse Gates
Written by Daniel Schinofen
Narrated by Andrea Parsneau
“…Your reaction was to save me, again. You have been my hero…twice now.” He met her conflicted gaze with his mostly emotionless one.
“I’m no hero Gothy. I’m a very flawed person, deeply scarred, and broken..
We all are, to some degree, hero…”
Lit: Apocalypse Gates, is a third person narrative following around the anti-hero antics of “Alvin”, who goes by the delightful moniker; Al. Having awoken after some time, Alvin is greeted with a snarky A.I. named “Scott” in a room otherwise devoid of comfort. Steel to sleep on, a toilet to piss in, that’s about it. Scott takes time right away to explain in pretty good detail, the predicament Alvin is faced with.
Having his brain removed upon death, and sold away as part of a debt owed by some unknown force/being; Alvin is understandably confused. He takes no time in coming to grips with his new situation however. Immediately upon his exit for the “tutorial mission”, Alvin comes across a few zombies or what this game calls “shamblers”. Easily dispatching of these would-be assailants he carries on to succeed with more and more missions. Ultimately he finds himself in “Open World Mode”, where the characters you meet in the beginning chapters, flesh out their backgrounds and really grow.
Honestly, I liked the book right from the beginning. The initial meeting of Alvin and Scott (who becomes Jarvis later) is a classic comedy duo routine. Goof on one side, snarky/witty counterpart in opposition. Alvin himself is a very “rough around the edges” personality. We find out more about his past later on which explains his motivations and attitude in the beginning. He isn’t so much a “heartless psychopath”, as much as a man who just “knows what he wants” and “stands for what he believes in”. For a scenario like this, that attitude is king.
The world Alvin is dropped into, has just suffered an extremely catastrophic event; “The Rapture”. At least that is how it is best explained in the plot from a pretty well done “plot reveal scene” between Alvin, a soon-to-be zombified priest, and a couple of greasy spoon employees. Soon after Alvin is reunited with a set of survivors he saved from the first half of the book.
This survivalist duo “Bill” the gruff, handlebar moustache wearing ‘nam vet; and his daughter Susan. A buxom and beautiful redhead. Believe me, those details come up more than once in this story. With the help of Bill and Susan, Alvin is able to start up his first opportunity at “Settlement Building”…
RPG: I really enjoyed the flow of Daniel Schinhofen’s base building and introduction to those game mechanics in the book. Sometimes a borrowed base building idea is more clunky and should be avoided in a book. This one works well however. Reminding us all of the great base building games, that one in particular….”nuclear winter…something?”
The citizens of this newfound campground/compound drag up leftover bits and bobs or whatever detritus is lying around: old cars, slain monsters, houses(eventually?) Feeding them into this massive scrapping building, which can then be turned into stuff, to make more stuff. You’ve played video games, I’m sure, you get the point.
What I really enjoyed was the approach from Schinhofen with his characters. They just get it. Its post-apocalyptia madness man! It just got real! They all, thankfully, immediately understand. I’m all for “real people”, but sometimes, “real people” are just badasses. Usually also a bit crazy, but hey, no one is perfect. This attitude is shown by nearly every person in the book, makes sense. If it IS after the rapture, then who is left except “the sinners/weak of faith”?
With that being said, there is hardly any unjustified deserves dished out between MC (main character) and random people in the book. Alvin and Co. Are a full crew of awesome adventurers. Seeking solace in a word otherwise forgotten.
My biggest cons: there are quite a few explicit sex scenes that come out in the back half of this book, that, I’m going to be honest; made me blush. Andrea Parsneau, hats off to you for those. Unfortunately, there was a voice that just did not sit right with me from Andrea; Jarvis. It is minor however. Good attempt, but, a swing and a miss.
Audio: narrated by the ever talented Andrea Parsneau, the otherwise entire cast of characters is met with full believability. More often than not, though author and narrator weaving their magic together, the listener is able to fully imagine whomever would be speaking. You can really picture: Alvin, Bill, Susan, or even “meth dealer” from her voice alone. As always her performances are mixed and mastered to perfection with very little occasions of “not being able to hear” or “mixed too high”. Well, a couple of “high notes” but I won’t ruin those for you.
Summary: I am very glad to have had the opportunity in reviewing this book. It is vastly different from most LITRPG out today, but, is already a pretty solid hit for me. Daniel Schinhofen and Andrea Parsneau are a wonderful combination of literary and oratory presence; that makes you feel warm and cozy; secluded in a pillowy cocoon of love and righteous murder. Spend the credit. Buy this book. You won’t regret it.
Especially if you like: radscorpions, sarcastic flavor texts from pop ups, long winded butler robots, Monty Python jokes, driving a Vega, c-b radios, Fanny packs of unlimited storage, goth chicks, lots of descriptive sex, anti-heros, and most of all…The Mustang Boss.
If you enjoyed this review, please; like, comment, and share!
If you know of a great book, or are an author/narrator by all means; send a message. One of us will be ready to chat, maybe we have your book in the works as we speak!
Apocalypse Gates 1…