Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Watch as My World Ends
AUTHOR: Kayla Bain-Vrba
PUBLISHER: Less Than Three Press
LENGTH: 22,000 words
RELEASE DATE: March 29, 2017
An angelic soldier during the Apocalypse, Nathan defied God and had his wings ripped out. He has found unhappy refuge in a small community run by a tyrant and sells his body to keep food on the table. He has suppressed all emotion and lives day to day, struggling to survive the Apocalypse and hoping for it all to end—until he meets Dakota, an angelic hit man bent on spiritually saving them both…
Publisher note: This story was previously published in the Something Happened on the Way to Heaven anthology by Less Than Three Press
I’ve sat and struggled with the review with this one and even now don’t know if I’ll adequately get my words down on paper. In general, I found that I liked the story; I’ve read quite a few post apocalyptic novels but they usually focus on a natural disaster, epidemic, or zombies as the source of disaster but the author went in a completely different direction and focused on the one thing I wouldn’t have thought of: The Rapture. Anyone remotely religious or who at least grew up in that sort of household is probably familiar with this concept, that God calls all those worthy up to heaven while a war is fought on Earth between Angels and Demons and those humans left behind have to survive in this environment, now turned wasteland, for seven years. Anyone left is celebrated in some fashion, or saved or something at least along those lines. Not being particularly religious myself, I do at least understand the setting the story takes place in and I found that interesting enough on its own simply because it was different.
Now, this isn’t going to be a story for everyone; there were parts of it I rather liked and others that I could’ve done without but you pretty much have that in anything you read. I found Nathan to be an interesting character study; a ‘fallen’ angel who was punished for questioning God’s orders when he didn’t understand why they were killing humans instead of trying to save them only to find himself living amongst them. He finds sanctuary, of a sort, and ends up selling himself on the street in order to survive; partly because he doesn’t have any where else to go and partly because he feels he deserves to be miserable as this is his punishment from God. Nathan was all sorts of a mess, from his situation to the trauma of losing his wings and the only way he gets by is by closing off all emotion and trying not to feel. I liked seeing him interact with Dakota because the other angel made him feel for the first time in way too long and that brought life back into him despite the horrible nature of his current existence. Reading about Nathan was kind of like riding on a rollercoaster; he had ups and downs and his situation took quite a few turns before coming to the inevitable end.
I felt the writing was good and, like I said before, I liked the story in general. There was never a real sense of happiness in the story though, even when Nathan and Dakota really began to get themselves together, but seeing Nathan finally realize that he was worth more than the toy he’d been made into was worth it all. I think my biggest complaint is that I was never really grabbed by either the story or the characters and that just made it an okay read for me in the end. If you like post apocalyptic stories and are looking for something different than the norm, this could be for you. On the other side of things, however, if you like a concrete happy ever after and are bothered by fact that Nathan is a basically a badly used and abused sex worker, you may want to steer clear.