The Second Coming

Adult
Rated 4.50/5 based on 18 reviews
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

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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. 7, 2011 :
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 6 months after purchase)
Review by: Krista D. Ball on April 4, 2011 :
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 12 months after purchase)
Review by: Ms. Milliscent on Sep. 10, 2010 :
Lavish description and character development made this book an engaging read.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
Review by: GraceKrispy on Sep. 7, 2010 :
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 7 months after purchase)
Review by: Haunted Computer Books on July 18, 2010 :
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 :
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 53 days after purchase)
Review by: Pam on May 14, 2010 :
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 56 days after purchase)
Review by: Gary Friedman on May 10, 2010 :
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 9, 2010 :
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 22 days after purchase)
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