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End of Days
Dennis Danvers
HarperCollins EOS Books, 390 pages

End of Days
Dennis Danvers
Other novels by Dennis Danvers include Wilderness, Circuit of Heaven, Time and Time Again and End of Days. He has taught creative writing and literature at the University of Texas at Arlington, North Texas State University, Virginia Intermont College, and Virginia Commonwealth University. His novel, Wilderness, has recently been adapted as a 3-part series for British television. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Watch
SF Site Review: The Fourth World
SF Site Review: Circuit of Heaven

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Donna McMahon

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End of Days is one of those books I never would have tried on the basis of its jacket blurb. Words like tired and ludicrous do not begin to describe the plot of yet another novel where the future of humanity revolves around Washington, DC, and the evil villains are a nasty bunch of fundamentalists led by a Madman with a Terrible Secret.

It's the mid 22nd century. Earth has been nuked back into the stone age (except for Washington, DC), but most of humanity (that is, American humanity) doesn't care. They have been uploaded into "the Bin", an orbiting supercomputer where they all enjoy luxurious virtual immortality. In particular, these forever rich and thin folks don't care that dirty, ignorant zealots have taken over the world (Washington DC) and are determined to exterminate all the sinners (that is, everybody who isn't a fundamentalist) so that they can achieve divine rapture.

The Bin is supposed to be invulnerable. But of course it isn't. And of course it will be threatened by Gabriel, the king of the zealots, forcing our heroes into action.

Awful as it sounds, I finished this book. Why? Because Dennis Danvers is a very good writer. He creates compelling characters who draw the reader into their problems, and he pushes the action along at a steady pace (and with a surprising lack of predictability, given the overall inevitable shape of the plot.)

Danvers' characters spend a bit too much time ruminating on topics I couldn't get excited about (e.g. the heartbreak of being stunningly beautiful or living forever), and the end of the book goes over the top of the top (a hero born in a manger? -- give me a break), however like I said, I finished it. This is NOT a fine science fiction novel, but it's reasonably diverting, and it left me regretting that a writer of Danvers' ability isn't producing something better.

Copyright © 2002 Donna McMahon

Donna McMahon discovered science fiction in high school and fandom in 1977, and never recovered. Dance of Knives, her first novel, was published by Tor in May, 2001, and her book reviews won an Aurora Award the same month. She likes to review books first as a reader (Was this a Good Read? Did I get my money's worth?) and second as a writer (What makes this book succeed/fail as a genre novel?). You can visit her website at http://www.donna-mcmahon.com/.


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