I just finished reading an exciting new release, The Remaining, by Travis Thrasher. The Remaining is the novelization of an upcoming movie of the same name. It's a category I enjoy - Christian horror/thriller, so I was very excited to read and review this book, and look forward to watching the movie as soon as it comes out! The premise of this book isn't groundbreaking - a group of six friends (Skylar, Lauren, Tommy, Allison, Jack, and Dan), preparing for the Dan and Skylar's wedding. After the vows are exchanged, people suddenly begin dropping dead at the reception. It soon becomes clear that this is the Rapture, but instead of their bodies disappearing, just their souls are caught up into Heaven. All of the friends except Lauren are "left behind" and have to try to survive and figure out what's happening around them.
Although the concept is nothing new, the execution does bring some fresh ideas, such as the bodies being left behind and the events of the apocalypse happening very rapidly as opposed to over a period of years. Also, there is no antichrist figure in sight. Although these liberties are taken and it's by no means an extremely accurate representation of what people believe the Rapture and tribulation will look like, it works in the time frame of the movie and book and makes for an exciting, action packed book (and I'm sure, film).
I was so excited to read this that I opened it up as soon as it came in the mail and finished it in less than 24 hours. It wasn't quite as good as I was expecting, but it was scary, thrilling, and a very quick read. It isn't labeled YA, but it feels like it was written at a teenage level. It's a book that my 12 year old would be able to read (if the themes were a bit less scary - maybe in a year or two). This isn't an upbeat book by any means - it's an apocalyptic story and - SPOILER - everyone dies in the end, although they do all end up accepting Christ at some point before death. (end spoiler) It's a book that will keep you entertained and turning the pages, but nothing life changing or absolutely amazing. I have a feeling that the movie will be better than the book, because there's so much action from page to page that there isn't as much depth as I would've liked - and that type of story lends itself much better to a movie than to a book. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a thriller with Christian themes, and am looking forward to seeing the movie.
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.