The Grim Reaper: End of Days
Variance, Oct 10 2010, $25.95
At the top secret bio warfare lab at Fort Detrick, microbiologist Mary Klipot develops a more powerful derivative of the Black Plague. She hears a voice in her head who she believes is God. Following the commandments of her God, Mary deploys her creation Scythe on the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, Manhattan to launch the End of Days. At the same time Mary launches her death elixir. World leaders including the American president meet at the United Nations. Her attack is devastating forcing the Federal government to quarantine Manhattan, incarcerating over three million people on the doomed island including those at the U.N. demanding release under diplomatic immunity.
When 9/11 occurred, Patrick "Shep" Shepherd quit Major league baseball to join the military. He deployed four times over the subsequent years, but now just over eleven years since the Towers were destroyed and thousands died, he has no family, no left arm, and allegorically no life as he suffers from PTSD at a Manhattan VA hospital. He not only learns of mad Mary’s mass murderous scheme, he plans to obtain the vaccine to inoculate his estranged wife and daughter. Shep and his therapist Virgil Shechinah march through plague ravaged "Nine Circles of Hell" of what was just yesterday Manhattan.
Combining the Kabbalah and 9/11 conspiratorial beliefs with a strange love of bio chemical weaponry inside a modern day version of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Steve Alten writes an intriguing convoluted twisting thriller. Shep and Virgil are heroic on a mission of goodness to travel through a Manhattan turned into the inferno as they learn that to reach Heaven they must confront sin. Although some of the “cantos” are difficult to comprehend as the Kabbalah and 9/11 paranoia remain mystical, fans will enjoy Mr. Alten’s twenty-first century take on the fourteenth century classic.