At the end of the world, you should expect to have some problems. Tyranny, intrigue, drought, a biological superweapon, Big Brother watching you – it all gathers into a perfect storm.
In Storm, Logan Langly continues his fight against DOME, his search for answers. He sees more of the big picture than nearly everyone who walks through the streets of the Global Union. But he doesn’t see nearly enough.
Storm focuses less on Logan and Erin than the earlier books, though Logan retains his place as the protagonist of the series. Evan Angler adds a few new characters, expands on some old ones. We get our first real look at Lamson and Cylis; Tyler and Eddie – who had previously impressed me only as a couple of unusually stupid boys – acquire some depth. Lily gets more pages than ever, and becomes more confusing than ever; Dr. Rhyne is both hilarious and stereotype-breaking.
The novel is written in an on-the-street style, with brief paragraphs, many sentence fragments, and a pervasive casualness. There is art in expressions sprinkled throughout the book – such as describing a town as “still, suspended in the thick, stifling air”. You read that, and it sounds like something you’ve felt once. The narrative of Storm, though not strongly detailed, is always flavorful.
It’s with considerable skill that Angler blends the genres of dystopian and End Times fiction. One can, reading the Swipe series, see Revelation playing out, but most of the judgments seem – if I may borrow the phrase – “man-made catastrophes”. The prophecies of Revelation are fulfilled, but not in any obvious way.
And to me, that feels right. Jesus gave us signs of His return, and told us that we would know by them when it was near. But He also said that we should always watch and be ready, because He will come, like a thief in the night, at an hour when we do not expect Him. He promised to surprise us.
What I like about the Swipe series is that it shows that the End Times are likely to be so unexpected that we could, even as Christians, be in them without realizing it. It shows how there may be sighs that those who are awake and wise can read – and still not know when Jesus is coming, only that it seems to be very soon.
Storm is the third book of the Swipe series, and the best yet – the most well-written, the most unexpected and yet the most logical in its story, with the most intriguing ending. It could change the way you think about End Times fiction; it could change the way you think about the End Times.
Evan Angler briefly appears as a character in Storm, getting his story from his characters. According to Becky Miller, “Evan Angler” is a pen name. She said that she had “yet to locate any information about the person behind the pen name.”
So I spent a few minutes trying, and now I have to say: Me, too. The author’s bios of Evan Angler – in the books and on the Internet – are blarney; entertaining blarney, but not a fact in them. On his Twitter account, in interviews he keeps up the pretense of living in the dystopia of the Global Union, and his picture is of somebody wearing a hoodie with his head bowed, the setting sun over his shoulder, so you can’t really see the face …
On reflection, I’m not sure that Evan Angler even exists. But you should go to his site anyway. Because he has the best book trailers I’ve ever seen.