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The Apostates, by Lars Teeney, tells the story of post-apocalyptic America, which has been re-named New Megiddo, under the rule of a far right-wing, uber-religious administration.  All rules regarding term limits and separation of church and state have been abolished by the long serving President, John Schrubb, and his super-zealot religious hierarchy, led by the Reverend Wilhelm Wainwright.  However, there is an uprising brewing.  A band of cast-aside sinners, known as Apostates and believed to be dead, is planning a rebellion.  Funded by an unknown source, the Apostates are a well organized militia with some powerful weapons on their side, but will it be enough to topple a regime hell-bent on bringing forth Armageddon?

Teeney crafts a relatively interesting “what-if” scenario with this story.  The Apostate characters are intriguing enough to follow along with, even if they do have some rather awkward names.  The regime characters, on the other hand, seem to be a group of pretty generic villain stereotypes who tend to make some laughably bad decisions with little to no reasoning behind them.  It creates an odd dichotomy and really makes one wonder how the leading administration has managed to stay in power for as long as it has.

The plot itself makes up for some of the less developed characters, as it is a pretty engaging read.  I wanted to keep reading to find out where it was going, but it too was not without fault.  Being a six hundred page novel, this story obviously has multiple sub plots, and I genuinely felt that a few of them could have been edited out completely.  Namely the one historical plot thread.  I understand that the author is trying to give us an idea of how the situation came to be, and to build a world for the story to inhabit, but I feel like there are better ways to do it.  One would have been to write multiple books about the story, rather than trying to squeeze everything into one.  In the end, it ultimately feels like a collection of shorter novels broken up and put into one big book.

Now, onto my biggest gripe with this book, the mistakes.  There are numerous spelling, grammar, and word choice errors that plague this text.  A few, even a few more than a few, is understandable and forgivable for an independent, self-published novel, but there were far too many here.  I found it incredibly distracting, and it makes the book more difficult to read as a whole.

Overall, the story itself is not bad, and it even has a few intense and gripping moments in it, but the book is in desperate need of a proofreading and editing job to trim the fat and fix all the errors.  If you’re into post-apocalyptic tales, give this one a whirl, but be warned, it’s far from perfect.

The Verdict for The Apostates:
3 out of 5

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

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