Richard Burton. Skyhorse/Arcade (Norton, dist.), $24.95 (448p) ISBN 978-1-61145-706-3
Evoking the Christian-oriented suspense of the Left Behind series, Burton’s unusual first novel turns on the question of whether the child of virginal 17-year-old Kate Skylar is the Messiah or the Antichrist. Even after having an abortion, Kate gives birth to a baby boy, Ethan, who’s immediately snatched away by her ruthless grandfather, “Papa” Jim Osborne, CEO of a “faith-based” prison company, the Oz Corporation. Jim also heads Conversatio, a secret organization dedicated to preparing for Christ’s Second Coming and opposed by a rival covert society, the Congregation, run by the Vatican as a continuation of the Inquisition. Believing Ethan to be the Antichrist, the Congregation plans to destroy him using the supercomputer Grand Inquisitor. Meanwhile, Ethan’s life mimics Jesus’, as he performs miracles, preaches, and eventually undergoes tribulations as those around him are tortured. Unlike The Da Vince Code, this religious-themed thriller will appeal mostly to those who share the faith on which it’s based. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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