“A Premature Apocalypse” by Dan Sofer

This is Book III of the “Dry Bones Society” trilogy, in which Dan Sofer continues the stumbling and incongruous progress of Moshie Karlin, resurrected (first book) and newly-elected (second book) Prime Minister of Israel, as he tries to shepherd his country towards the End of Days (hence the title).
In which we therefore must get the answer to the question all of us have been asking all our lives, “Who is the true Messiah?” Well, perhaps some of us have noted the question in passing, anyway. And at risk of a spoiler, I have to say that Soper brings the conflicts and storylines of the trilogy to a satisfying conclusion, but you didn’t really think…
Of course you didn’t. This is humour, after all. But then, I’m sure Mr. Sofer would agree that such questions need to be treated with a certain amount of levity. Why else did he write these books?
As far as enjoyment is concerned, this novel breaks one of my usual rules. It is my observation that the vast majority of books do not improve as they go along. What you see is what you’re going to get.
This book doesn’t develop that way. The first part of the story takes us back into the quirky world of Israel’s religio-politics. For the sake of story conflict and character development, I find this rather problematic. Like a world where the magic is too strong or a disaster movie where any character could be killed off at any moment, a highly uncertain setting gives the writer too much latitude. I can’t really get involved in any one character or plotline because I know that at a whim it could be cut off. Sometimes literally.
However, about a third of the way through Apocalypse the politicking gets out of the way, the flow towards the Final Day picks up and the action gets a definite boost. Characters from each separate plot thread begin to move inexorably towards each other, and the possibility of a cataclysmic (literally) ending looms. From this point the story moves rapidly, the suspense climbs and we are rollicked along to the final, ironic paroxysm, which includes earthquakes, chunks of flying flesh and rains of fish…well, it is the apocalypse, after all.
A satisfying conclusion to a fun and creative series. Read them in order; you’ll be glad you did.
(4 / 5)

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