Title & Author: The Second Coming: A Love Story, Scott Pinsker
Genre & Publication Date: Paranormal/Theological, June 6, 2014
Book Description: “Two men claim to be the Second Coming of Christ. Each claims the other is Satan in disguise. But only one is telling the truth. In “The Second Coming: A Love Story,” the devilish new novel by Scott Pinsker, the culture war between Red America and Blue America turns shockingly real when two self-declared saviors appear on earth. The first “messiah” attracts legions of liberal and secular-progressive followers with his message of New Age brotherhood, quickly becoming the darling of the left. The second “messiah” preaches fire-and-brimstone traditional Christianity, gaining a grassroots army of conservative worshipers ready to battle to the death. It’s finally happened: Red America and Blue America are headed for Armageddon!”
First Line: Early one pre-solstice morning, mere minutes before the bustle of traffic still-borned nature’s sounds, two arch enemies stood at the crest of universal nihilism.
My Take: This book was provided to me by the author for review.
As the book description indicates, this story, at its core, is a “What if” scenario: What if Jesus did come again as foretold in the scriptures, only the devil did the same? How would humanity figure out which one is the true Christ? But I found that, though the book is about the demons on the outside, it is equally about the those we battle within ourselves as well.
You can really tell the author has done his homework on the subject matter which I believe speaks to his respect for the source material. While there isn’t a lot of “Die Hard” type action, there is still plenty of tension between the players…and oh yeah, there’s also the overarching threat of impending apocalypse with the souls of all mankind hanging in the balance. What I really enjoyed was how I continued to question which of the two messiahs was the real one. This really drew me into the story because I could truly empathize with the poor saps on the ground trying to puzzle it out.
The character development and interaction was awesome. I really felt like I knew these people, their flaws and their torments. I found myself going through a variety of reactions depending on the character. Some I wanted to offer a hug while others I just wanted to punch in the face. Yet in both cases, I could see where the character was coming from and a sense of how they got there. As usual, the person they were was formed on their experience with the world around them, for good or ill. Definitely a testament to how we, all of us, reap what we sow.
The Magical: Dazzling dialogue! Each character had a distinct personality and voice and behaved true to their way of thinking. Even the two Christs sounded different from each other, while still maintaining a messianic tone. This is easier said than done in novel writing. Excellent job.
The Mundane: Interspersed in the chapters was a retelling of parables. While interesting, I found it to be rather jarring as it often interrupted the scene and at first made me wonder if those separate events were happening simultaneously.
These excerpts also don’t give many clues as to what they’re about for those unfamiliar with the gospel. This is just an assumption on my part based on people I know, but I think many aren’t aware that Satan is referred to as The Morning Star in the bible (Luke 10:18. Point of interest, Jesus also refers to himself as The Morning Star in Revelation 22:16. The Good Book does raise an eyebrow now and then.). Without this foreknowledge, the current format these sections take in the book may make the juxtaposition of the two stories inaccessible to some readers and that would be a shame.
Summary of Thoughts: For the God loving among us, let me assure you that this book is not a slam against religion but a portrait of mankind’s complex relationship with faith. Currently it’s just $3.16 on the Kindle and definitely worth the time and money. Eerily realistic, I could envision the events described actually taking place if this scenario happened in the real world. An unsettling thought, let me tell you. I can only hope that if Satan did try to pull off a con like this, he’d show up sporting a goatee so we could tell them apart, you know, like evil Kirk.
Many thanks to author Scott Pinsker for providing a copy of the book to review!
Curious what others thought? Check out Amazon’s reviews here
To learn more about the author and his work, explore his website at The Second Coming Is Here