First published back in November of 2010, US author John Prescott’s debut full-length novel ‘Pray’ forms the first part of his epic post-apocalyptic trilogy dubbed The Revelation Chronicles.  The novel started off with a limited regional release which also contained an additional prelude to the second instalment in the trilogy entitled ‘Hell’ (2012).  This preview was only included within this initial limited print run.

DLS Synopsis:
It
’s 2016 and the United States, Canada and Mexico have merged to form one powerful and oppressively-controlling super-continent named the North American Union (‘NAU’).  Ex-Army officer Trez Sleighton is taking stock of his life in the quiet Colorado Mountains when a sudden sound of a colossal trumpet reverberates all around him.  Within seconds he witnesses a plane hurtle to the ground nearby, crashing in an explosion of flames for which there could be no possible survivors.

Elsewhere, Roxi Parks has just come off her shift as a nurse at the Virginia Beach Asylum, when her car is attacked by a rampaging werewolf.  Others in her immediate vicinity are falling victim to these terrifying bloodthirsty beasts, as she narrowly escapes the savage killing spree.  The last thing that she recalls before this chaotic mayhem was unleashed was a hauntingly beautiful trumpet sound ringing across the landscape.

In Atlanta, Georgia, widower Rick Adams hears the same awe-inspiring trumpet, and now the world seems to have gone crazy.  The news broadcasts are reporting that huge proportions of the world’s population have suddenly vanished, seemingly at the sound of this mysterious trumpet.  Alone, he cowers in his home as anarchy begins to break loose on the streets outside.

With the sudden mass disappearance of so many children and loved ones, the world is in a state of shock and utter panic.  One man comes forward to bring order once again.  One man who declares his goal to create a new world of peace without war or oppression.  That man is the much loved Hollywood superstar Samouel Gallo.  And after a little persuasion, the world suddenly accepts him as their world leader.

But the world has changed dramatically since the sound of the almighty trumpet rang across the globe.  Werewolves are roaming the landscape in packs, killing and mutilating as they go.  And behind the charming waxen face of the much-loved Samouel Gallo lies a far darker secret.  This is more than world domination.  The revelations of the bible are finally being realised.  The Anti-Christ is among them, deceiving the once great nations to his powerful will.

A select few who still hold their faith in God are being drawn to the small town of Shaleford in Colorado.  There Trez Sleighton, together with Gene Stinson, are preparing for the seven years of Hell on Earth that the Bible has foretold.  In the nearby Rocky Mountains, Trez and his followers will take refuge and begin their battle against the powerful forces of evil.  The journey to Shaleford will be a tough one, thwart with danger for these select few who are drawn to the town.  The world is now a battleground of beasts and angels.

Whose side will you take is now the ultimate question…

DLS Review:
For a debut novel, ‘Pray’ (and the final trilogy it falls within) is certainly an ambitious project.  For a relatively new face on the scene, you can’t help but feel apprehensive at the epic nature of the story before first embarking on the lengthy journey.  But within just a few pages, your worries are quickly put at ease.  Prescott’s writing flows with the skilful grace of a true wordsmith from the very outset.  The storyline ensnares the reader almost instantly with the quick-fire plot setting and the perfectly warming characterisation that is instantly brought to the immediate surface.

Of course the novel has its influences.  With ‘Pray’ it appears more so than most, but this is certainly not in any detrimental way to the enjoyment of the tale.  Think Robert McCammon’s epic ‘Swan Song’ (1987) mixed with the heavy religious premise of Stuart Laws’ ‘The Lucifer Wars’ (2005).  Throw in a thick slab of Stephen King’s classic novel ‘The Stand’ (1978), with the coming of the Anti-Christ aspects from David Seltzer’s ‘The Omen’ (1976) and even a smattering of the modern-day angels from Gregory Widen’s film ‘The Prophecy’ (1985) and you’re coming close to the goliath plot that forms ‘Pray’.

Characters do seem to have been almost pulled directly from these influences and subsequently superimposed within this new and exciting premise.  Once again, this doesn’t take away a single bit from the joy of the novel.  Instead it simply draws on these somewhat familiar character strengths and unique personalities, fitting them snugly into the enfolding storyline.

And this brilliantly energetic and mile-a-minute pace is where Prescott really succeeds with the novel.  Not once does he let up, or take his eye off the goal.  Although elaborate and layered with many interweaving subplots, Prescott skilfully keeps the tale on a tight leash; cramming in the action whilst playing out a monumentally thrilling and dramatic tale.

The beasts are savage and unrelenting.  Not even a whisper of a ‘comic-book monster’ underplays the tenseness of the constant threat.  Prescott achieves a perfect balance between bloodshed and suspense at every opportunity.  Barely a page goes by without the reader’s heart racing and the constant need to push back from that precarious perch adopted on the edge of your seat.

The ending is perfectly in harmony with the necessary levels of drama required for such a monumentally epic tale.  Prescott holds nothing back with his visualisation of the holy war at hand, truly encapsulating the almighty power being unleashed across the pages.  You can’t help but feel goosebumps prickling across your flesh as the novel consumes you with its hauntingly familiar characters coming face-to-face with the evil that is upon them.

The novel ends with a perfect set up and cliff-hanger for the next book in the trilogy entitled ‘Hell’ (2012).  The reader is left gasping but quietly satisfied at this exquisitely executed finale. 

This is absolutely and unquestionably a monumental achievement for this fresh new author.  An outstanding first instalment to what will no doubt become a trilogy that will be loved by many over the ensuing years.  Prescott is without doubt my most important and exiting find of the year.

I await with great anticipation his next release.

“We need to find some Bibles, as soon as we can” – Blanche Donaldson

The novel runs for a total of 474 pages.

© DLS Reviews


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