#Dystopia at its Best: The Last Light Falling (The Covenant #1) by J E Plemons


 

The blurb reads,

If your fate has already been chosen for you, would you change it? Fifteen-year-old Arena Power blindly accepts her destiny in a world filled with tragedy, chaos, and a lingering wickedness that will tempt every man’s soul until the last days on Earth. Set in the United States in the year 2053, America, like most of the world, has undergone catastrophic earthquakes, famine, and an economic collapse, which has rendered the nation hopeless. It has turned to other nations, like Russia and China, to help restore what was once a world power. Unfortunately, the new America has grossly caused civil unrest that will eventually be the precursor to a much bigger war of biblical proportions.
Orphaned at the age of nine, Arena and her twin brother, Gabe, have learned to rely on each other through the toughest times. Not only do they share the same birthday and the tragic loss of their parents, they both have a birthmark on the back of their necks in the shape of a crucifix. This is only but a small sign of the destiny that will follow. On their fifteenth birthday, they receive a mystery letter and key from their estranged Uncle Finnegan. This key will unlock their fate, and it will be up to a priest, who has vowed to protect them since birth, to unfold the layers of their destiny-to undo the evil that has spoiled the world, and to help unleash God’s wrath upon those who have turned from Him in the last days of history.
Last Light Falling weaves righteousness with evil, treachery with truth, and shows just how far the will of man can survive on faith alone. Arena and Gabriel’s fate will determine that course of history for which has already been written. They were not born to save the world; they were chosen to prepare it for the final days.

 

 

 

 

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Note: This book has graphic scenes and strong language. It is not for the faint hearted. You need some temperament to read this book. It has strong religious themes and considers themes like murder.
Last Light Falling begins in 2053, with believable world conditions as they could exist at that time. The story begins on the main characters’ fifteenth birthday, twins Arena and Gabe Powers, whose parents were killed in a tragic car crash six years ago. The book is told from the POV of Arena Powers.

This book made me think about a lot of issues which are plaguing our world today.

1. The availability of fossil fuel. The first two world wars were fought over politics, international alliances and a fight for supremacy. Each nation can claim to be an economic superpower because of the industries it claims on its soil and the fuel it can consume. But what happens when oil and coal vanish? Will that mean a new world order? With the third world countries surviving the effects of pollution before?

2. Arena debates a lot about Government policies. I feel very taken care of by my own Government but I am always hesitant, knowing that at the highest level, the value of one life, vis-à-vis saving millions, is not a high price to pay. The way the Government treats the poor and those who rebel makes me wonder what will happen once the world is running drastically low on stocks of everything that makes it tick. It made me wonder about the millions of people who would have to lose their lives, simply because there are too many people to be taken into the ambit of a country’s then economic resources.

3. I found religion to be linked quite strongly to the whole theme and I could only surmise that the author is someone who is a deeply religious man. Many wars have been fought in the name of God and many will continue to be fought. It is scary to imagine incurring the wrath of the Almighty, however many Gods and Goddesses we believe in.

4. I felt there was a lot of violence in the book. At some point, it was a little scary to read that a 15 year old had progressed to killing people. But then, I thought of so many places, where there was civil unrest in the world. I thought of places like Afghanistan, where people could get shot for existing. Or places like South Sudan or even Congo, where Blood Diamond is a common term. Israel and Palestine with their much debated fight. Or take any civil unrest. The world is a violent place. This book took me to a world where people had to fight to survive. It is different when you are thinking in terms of getting a job, buying a house or a car. The equation changes when you have to fight to survive.

5. My heart went out to Arena and Gabe when they were adopted by Myra and Daniel. It is such a genuine and a loving gesture when someone adopts a child who isn’t their own blood. It is the ultimate sacrifice you can make towards the world because you directly ensure someone is given a better life. The world has many such orphans and people who need a loving hand over their head and it was heartening to read about how openly Myra and Daniel accepted the twins.

6. Reading about curfew, and the credit system for food made me realize how the Government regulated us, as humans. A curfew could be a measure to control the population from an imminent danger or an air strike or it could be a measure to make sure a dictatorial rule was imposed. It made me wonder whether we were going to progress to a world where people were mere puppets waiting to have their strings cut off.

7. The world, as we know it, is fragile, sensitive and has an expiry date. All things come with a time bomb on their head. It made the effects of global warming so much stronger in my mind. The imminent apocalypse and the collapse of the nations is something I wish I never have to see. However, the irreversible effects of climate change are already being seen in parts of the world. There are cracks developing in every theory which rubbishes global warming. I only hope the continuous addition of dystopia to the reader’s bookshelf makes this point VERY CLEAR to the readers and they work towards making a better world.

8. I felt the end was a cliffhanger. There was so much that I wanted to read. When the twins break into a Maximum Security Prison, I had my heart in my throat. It made me wonder how life was. It pushed people to the extremes so often in terms of living a life in a shell or becoming a vigilante. It affected me, thinking about why God had wanted the twins to continue a gory mission and deliver mankind to its final death.

9. The book also made me wonder about how much our Government kept us under surveillance. On a normal day, I am sure there is some department of the Government tracking our every move. And to think about the level of intelligence required, it threw me off and I thought of every country, and how they went about gathering their intelligence.

This book, as is plainly evident, gave me a lot to think about. The end was a cliffhanger. I was so hooked to the book. Inspite of it being full of murder and gory scenes. I wanted to find out what happened to Arena because it was so refreshing to see a heroine who packed punch. And with panache.

I would ask you to check this book out because it encouraged me to think a lot, and I love books which make me think about a wide variety of issues.

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