The Second Coming

1 star1 star1 star1 star0.5 star Adult
Follow three intertwined fates: Paine, a young man hunted by Confederation soldiers on a crusade to wipe out magic; Brahm, the battle-hardened woman that slaughtered his mother; and John, a friar once imprisoned for heresy, now assigned by a woman Pope to destroy the boy he unwillingly fathered.

A war of the gods is coming. And the ones we expect to deliver us from evil are not who they seem. More

Available formats: epub

First 15% Sample: read online
Published by Stonehenge Press
Published: Feb. 01, 2010
Words: 106,900
Language: English
ISBN: 9780986594106
About David H. Burton

Indie author, adoptive father of 3 boys, manager of chaos, science and technology geek, person of the queer persuasion, and purveyor of sacrilege.

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"Beautifully written, dark and eerie vision of an apocalyptic future" - New York Times Bestselling Author, Margaret Weis "David H. Burton is a dark new talent in the genre. This one will make you leave the lights on for a week!" - USA Today Bestseller, Cathy Clamp. Travel to a future of blood sacrifice, demons, witchcraft, and an immoral God that has returned to reclaim his former dominion.

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Reviews

Review by: calebblake on Sep. 07, 2011 : star star star star
Set in a post-apocalyptic earth, The Second Coming is the introduction to an ‘in progress’ series named Words of the Prophecy. Centuries after the Earth shifted on its axis nearly wiping out mankind and unleashing all manner of dark and otherworldly creatures, a long-prophesied event has occurred, one that threatens the remainder of humanity.

Burton has provided a suitably dark world for the reader to explore and he paints it innovatively. There is a real play with mythology and religious history and prophecy. Instead of being completely inventive, the author has used existing lore to cleverly fashion new possibilities. Additionally, the author never attempted to create the blinding (and sometimes boring) light of goodness in any of his creation. The best one could hope for was a grey or darker and this is an approach I can really appreciate.

The characters were hopelessly flawed and even the main protagonists could not be easily cast in the hero role. Again, this is an aspect of a story I can enjoy as I like temptation and struggle. In this story, there are probably three main characters which meet as three disparate story lines eventually intertwine. It’s a fairly typical story mechanism but it does allow us to explore each of these characters in detail as progress on their own journey. There are also several secondary characters which add interest and sometimes smaller story arcs to compliment the main plot. In fact, the overall web of characters in this novel becomes quite complex with all manner of intersecting relationships being revealed over the course of the plot.

The plot, although derived from familiar elements, has a feel that was quite unfamiliar. The unified church of the new world has ties with all kinds of practices otherwise seen as pagan. The evangelical church of the former U.S.A. is viewed as somehow sinister and similarly contradictory in its practices. Elf-like creatures seem to be biblical in origin and the wild and harsh gods of nature do not necessarily represent evil – although everything demands a price. Sometimes, this alien territory was confusing and I wasn’t sure I always understood all the connections being made. Several elements of the tale, I felt, were left incomplete by the end of the book. Given that this was to be a series, I can’t hold this against the author. It’s likely these are to be played out in future volumes.

The prose flows very well and I often found myself picturing various scenes of despair vividly. The story line starts slowly but completes in a rush of pounding action and several fairly dizzying changes in one of the main characters. I’m still not certain that I completely followed the development of Paine, especially towards the end of the book. What he was, what he became was a little confusing in the end, but the author had chosen to make his origins and his destiny quite complex. It will be quite interesting to see how he plays out in subsequent novels.

I have read David H. Burton before and have thus far enjoyed all his stories. He manages to present a world I want to explore, characters I want to follow and story lines that remain interesting and The Second Coming is no exception. I would recommend this to all who like their fantasies dark and desperate.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Krista D. Ball on April 04, 2011 : star star star
Well-written, though it wasn't my style. I didn't finish it (I found that I was skipping large parts of the books because the descriptions were getting too cumbersome after a while), but I won't deny that Burton has a good story on his hands here.

If you don't like the traditional fantasy-style descriptions, this isn't for you. However, if you do like that style, I think you'll love the book.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Ms. Milliscent on Sep. 10, 2010 : star star star
Lavish description and character development made this book an engaging read.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: GraceKrispy on Sep. 07, 2010 : star star star
This was an intriguing ride through the world after "The Shift." It offered a unique perspective on what things would look like, and an adventurous journey to redemption.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Haunted Computer Books on July 18, 2010 : star star star star star
Burton is a magical writer--this novel crosses genres of science fiction, dark fantasy, paranormal, spirituality, and thriller. Engaging characters, solid pacing, and a command of craft all combine for an engaging journey. I can't wait for the sequel!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: brainycat on May 24, 2010 : star star star star star
I'm usually not a big on fantasy books, but I'm always a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories.

I am so glad I picked this book up. It's intriguing, well thought out and has better characterization than I've come to expect from Major Published Authors.

I sincerely hope there is a sequel in the works. There's more than enough material in this book to flesh out a Robert Jordan-esque epic, but fortunately David is much more judicious with his words and is quite enjoyable to read.

I don't have anything to add about the plot, setting etc that hasn't been said already. I must say the setting lends itself to an RPG, and once I'd finished the book I mused upon the idea for a few minutes. I will be incorporating some of the memes into an ongoing modern/horror/alternate history/apocalyptic campaign of mine.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Pam on May 14, 2010 : star star star star star
I absolutely loved this book! I love books with witches, demons, ghosts, supernatural, occult, the boogie man ... you get the idea. It's not easy to find good ones these days with all "teenage vampire in love" books on the market.

I found this book to be a meaty read, meaning it has a lot of good stuff in it, a lot going on to to keep your mind busy, and an unpredictable ending. Although the boogie man wasn't actually mentioned, I'm sure he was lurking around somewhere.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Gary Friedman on May 10, 2010 : star star star star star
As someone who has stuck almost exclusively to non fiction books, I was not sure how much I would enjoy this book. Well after finishing the book I can say it just an amazing book. You literally felt as if you were transported to another world with such great details paid to the descriptive elements of the book. This respect for detail from Mr Burton really played a key role in why the book was able to draw you in so deep. Add to this a plethora of unique and diverse characters plus a plot that ...more As someone who has stuck almost exclusively to non fiction books, I was not sure how much I would enjoy this book. Well after finishing the book I can say it just an amazing book. You literally felt as if you were transported to another world with such great details paid to the descriptive elements of the book. This respect for detail from Mr Burton really played a key role in why the book was able to draw you in so deep. Add to this a plethora of unique and diverse characters plus a plot that is multi-layered and you have a real winner here. Even better is that this is the first book in a series. I for one will be buying the next book as soon as it is released.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Matt Brown on May 09, 2010 : star star star
This made for a good read, I could barely put it down in many parts. Having been a reader of SciFi/Fantasy for over thirty five years I liked the subject matter and thought the plot was original. That being said I thought the story line was a little under developed. It would have been nice to have had more of a formal description of the current "world realities". I also thought the character development was a little thin and not always logical. Like the author was figuring it out as they went, which is fine, but once you have it you need to back fill to give weight. All in all I did enjoy the book and look forward to the sequel.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ronda Tutt on May 07, 2010 : star star star star star
WOW!!!! There are many words to describe this book. Excelent, Powerful, Exciting, Thrilling, etc... The story was creatively written, I felt like I was at the scene and experienceing everything around me as I read.

Most Fantasy reads it takes a couple of chapters to get into the book before the story picks up and runs but not this story - it captures you by the time your done with the 1st page.

Paine and Lya's story is awsome. There is so many things that happen in this story that it would take too long to explain but take my word for it. The story is well worth the read.

All the characters were created wonderfully, some of my favorites were Diarmuid and Brahm, and of course my favorite WOLF was FANG.

If you like a fantasy story with every immaginal paranormal creature in it whether they are good or evil than this is the book to read. Witchery, Sorcerery, phantoms, ghost, souls, ghouls, angels, demons, romance, etc... it has it all.

I look forward to the next book in this new series
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Carrie Schroeder on April 20, 2010 : (no rating)
I wasn't sure what to expect as I sat down to read "The Second Coming (Words of the Prophecy)". In fact, the extent of my fantasy reading stopped at Harry Potter, and maybe a bit more adventurous, "The Lord of the Rings". I saw a trailer for this book and the words "What if God was immoral", splayed across the screen. I had to check this out.

I have never been a religious person, believing in many different "classic scenarios", and sure enough within the first part of this book, I knew once again, that my beliefs would truly be broadened. I was transported into a post-apocalyptic world, as the creative writing made me feel present in the dark, secretive world of "what if"?

Although the story is one that keeps the reader glued from the first words, it's the brilliance of the characters that truly make this journey feel personal. They are all beautifully warped, and one instantly falls in love with the way that they manaouver through their internal struggles and their surroundings. As each new character is introduced, I found myself conflicted as to who was my favourite. The most notable of these characters have to be the women. Whether good, or evil, they are portrayed as self sufficient, strong minded, ass kicking individuals, yet at the same time, the naivety of their internal wants and struggles are brilliantly executed with such grace.

Everyone is hiding something and only the reader is treated to the true diversity of these characters which truly helps one adapt the "where you go, I will follow" attitude.

It's a story of conflict, good versus evil (which Burton strategically lets the reader decide), but the who and what are good, always keeps you guessing. In a world where such chaos exists, this plainly to me, is the everyday journey of ones struggles and desires to find where one fits, and the cost that it takes to get there.

This truly was a second coming for me as a reader as my world was turned sideways, and I was brought into a world of in-between and the distance that the author help me wander. It will make you as a reader realize that there is a greater importance of the why and who, you are.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Sandra Gilbert on April 20, 2010 : (no rating)
An excellent read. I love how he wove so many belief systems and myths into a coherent story.

I am really hoping there is going to be a sequel, I really want to know how it all turns out.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kiki Howell on April 19, 2010 : star star star star star
The language of David H. Burton in this story was at times poetic, and at time prophetic. The words, always descriptive would one minute make me feel like I was there, a part of the action, and then the next drive home an image so bluntly that I would be shocked out of my flight into fantasy. It was an amazing ride.

The characters were deep, all rich with back stories, driven by differing motives, while omitting just enough to keep me on edge constantly wanting to know more about them. My only even semi-criticism, and maybe just my own failing rather, was with the vast multitude of characters. There were so many names, and often secondary names given to the same characters. Add to that the connections between the characters which kept developing, plus all of the names of the creatures, and they were at times hard for me to follow. Again, I say me, maybe another reader would have no problem with this at all. It did not distract me though from the enjoyment of reading Second Coming. It is just no easy read, and I would guess no easy write. As an author, I am in awe of Burton’s craft, his abilities to create such a tale. I would love to know if he had all of the twists and turns plotted out before writing it, or if a story such as this one just came from him imagination as he wrote.

The paranormal elements were again a combination of old and original, and the magic was dead on and amazing even to one who has read novels in the genre. But always, it remained gritty, dark, edgy and yet I found myself praying for things to work out in certain characters no matter what they did or how they transgressed!

The world building in Second Coming was amazingly original and absolutely believable for an apocalyptic world. The setting was a new world over renamed places I know of in my own world. The mentions of old ways tie it all together with the new, creating a viable existence. The writing conventions were well thought out, well written and always made the setting easily seen in the mind’s eye.

To say the plot was layered would be a grave understatement. Talk about a mix. Burton intermixed flawlessly myth, the Bible, and his new take on them both allowing for more than one hero and villain, and therefore a multitude of conflicts and possible resolutions. Only once the layers started to really overlap, I found myself wishing, hoping, guessing… As a paranormal writer, I can only imagine that this extent of world-building can only come from a great amount of research, of thought and of planning. It leaves definitely leaves you thinking… If my review seems vague, I am sorry. But, with this book, I dare say too much lest I spoil any of it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Carole Wade on April 13, 2010 : star star star star star
David Burton is definately going on my favourite authors list, great book, couldnt put it down.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Peg Dudek on April 13, 2010 : star star star star star
How can you go wrong????? Demons....witchcraft....the paranormal....all good stuff. Very well written.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Heather Manning on April 03, 2010 : star star star star star
WOW! David H. Burton is going on my favorite author list. First, he strikes me as someone who is highly intelligent. I think he has studied the Bible and knows a lot about other religions because he pulled so many events together that made me think a lot about Revelations and how Christians expect it to happen. What we expect the tribulation to be like. I have a friend who has explained to me that she believes that Adam and Eve were not the first people on the Earth, but were the first that God created in his image. She believes that Lilith existed. One of the examples she gave to me was in Genesis 1:28 where God told Adam and Eve to go forth and replenish the Earth. How could you replenish it if there was nothing there? She gave me quite a few scriptures that supported this theory and I still don’t know what I think about that. I’m not a biblical scholar and I don’t have all the answers.

That is what this book is based on though. The fact that before Adam and Eve there was the Firstborn who disappeared from the Earth until after “the shift”. Then they returned and they were just as confused to find us here as were them. And doing what humans tend to do, they fight what they are afraid of, that which is different from themselves. You, yourself, might be one of the rare people who doesn’t do this, but if we are honest and look into ourselves, we see it every day. Not everyone goes to war and physically fights people over their differences, but there are other things that happen because of this behavior, racism and homophobia come to mind first for me.

There is so much going on in this book that it’s hard to come up with a sentence or two to describe the characters. There are so many characters that are intricate to the book. From Paine and Lya to Little Doe, Brahm, Friar John, Puck, other characters that we get a glimpse of and then at the end of the book they either come back or their appearance in the book is tied to the story in such a way that they were essential.

When I hit next page for the last time on my Kindle and finished the last sentence, I said, WOW out loud. My husband asked me what? This book. This book – wow.

Amazing. Amazing story teller. I think with the way the book ended that there will be a sequel to it. At least I’m really hoping that there will be a sequel to it and I would love to read it!

I will say, if you enjoy books like the DaVinci Code that question what I would call standard beliefs, you will really enjoy this book. It’s not like the DaVinci Code in it’s story at all, but in the way the DaVinci Code created such an uproar in the religious community.

I’m going to say it again – wow! What an author!

Thank you to David H. Burton for providing me with an e-copy of The Second Coming. It was an amazing book!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Barry Huddleston on March 26, 2010 : star star star star star
The world has shifted on its axis and plunged civilization into a new dark age. Demons and the undead prowl the land and chaos reigns. The power of bloodcraft and witchcraft is contested by witch hunters.

“What if God was immoral.” Demiurge?

Paine and his twin sister Lya live in a rural village. The pair practice magic that soon brings the attention of the Witch Hunters. The Witch Hunters kill Paine and Lya’s parents and drive the twins into the country. In time the twins learn much more about themselves.

Man, this is a dark and powerful story. There must be some creepy things wandering around in the dark corners of David Burton’s mind. Oh yes, I liked it.

“The man screamed as they swarmed him. He recoiled from their touch and raised his
cross once more. It was futile. Each soul dove within him, taking their life’s pain and misery
with them. The Hunter bent over, convulsing. The crossbow tumbled from his hands,
misfiring and knocking over the oil lamp. The glass shattered and the oil spilled across the
wooden floor. He gripped the silver cross holding it forth once more, but it seared the
Hunter’s fingers and the scent of burnt flesh fouled the air. He foamed at the mouth. The
Hunter slid down the wall and writhed on the floor. The cross slipped from his fingers. His
body tensed and convulsed. He choked on his own tongue, and then finally went still.”

(I give it 4 1/2 demons out of 5)

Received this book courtesy of David H. Burton, for review purposes.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Archelle Baker on March 22, 2010 : star star star star star
I loved this book and couldn't put it down. Like another person said, indie books are hit-or-miss but this one is 100% hit. Can't wait for the next one!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Daryl Brayman on March 20, 2010 : (no rating)
I heard about this book over at mobile read and decided to give it a go. Was I surprised, I usually find indie books a little hit and miss. The Second Coming was defiantly hit. Although it is a little more fantasy like than I usually read, I couldn't put it down. I ended up reading it in two sittings. It reminds me a little of Stephen King's "the Stand" Or Robert MacCammon's "Swan Song" The post apocalyptic earth with the emergence of magic, jealous gods and a plot that never let up just wouldn't let me put it down. The only down side is that it is such a new book, which means unless Mr. Burton produces like James Patterson, I'm probably in for a wait before I see the next instalment. I would defiantly recommend this book, even if your not a big fantasy fan the writing and plot will make it worth your while.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jim MacLachlan on March 19, 2010 : star star star star star
I've read a fair amount of fantasy, adventure & horror over the years - enough that I don't often find something really new that I like. I did this time - it was both unique & thrilling.

An excellent dark fantasy or horror fantasy that sets the background in a post apocalyptic world based on our current one & the Christian myth, adds in some others, & stirs the mix into an intriguing mystery-adventure. It is not for the faint-hearted. All of the characters are flawed, most badly enough that they're not all that likable, but the reasons for this are revealed - slowly. Against my will, in many cases, I was drawn into sympathetic agreement with their plight & their actions. Revelations were logical, redemption plausible & plights were chilling. The action was well described & the scenery was awesome. Wow! What a trip!

Usually, if I don't like or can't identify with one of the main characters, I put a book down. I couldn't this time. The writing was too good & the plot too intriguing.

I was very surprised that a self-published novel (it is, isn't it?) read as if it were professionally edited. One of my biggest turn-offs is poor punctuation, logic flaws, rambling text & 'favorite lines'. (Pieces of text that don't quite fit, but are kept by the writer because they like them.) All of these are typical of self-published novels. I didn't find any here. The writing was tight - sometimes requiring close reading or I would miss an important point - Perfect! That's the way it should be, but often isn't, even in commercial publications.

As I write this, the book is available only in electronic format for a couple of bucks on Amazon (or write the author). I hope to see it in paper format, someday because it is complex enough that I wanted to flip back & forth a few times to double check names, which I find hard to do in electronic format. If it does come out in paper, I will buy it & likely re-read it when the sequel is released & I read that (hurry up & write, David!). Definitely a keeper & a book I'd like to add to my collection.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jemma Dean on March 18, 2010 : star star star star star
Pulled me in from the very first page, found it really hard to put down. Each Chapter wrapped around me into a world of unexpected delights. David H. Burton is one wicked writer, dipping into our dark thoughts creating a piece of beauty. This book is a MUST read!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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