Schumacher, Anna. Children of the Earth: An End Times Novel.
3Q * 2P * S Schumacher, Anna. Children of the Earth: An End Times Novel. Razorbill/Penguin, 2015. 368p. $17.99. 978-1-59514-752-3.
Reluctant prophet Daphne continues to doubt herself. Much of her doubt is due to her love for Owen, one of the Children of the Earth who plans to use special mental powers to raise the God of the Earth. This same being is the evil demon that Daphne sees in her visions. In the meantime, the God-given oil gusher and Pastor Ted, now a popular TV evangelist, are attracting more Children of God to Carbon County, Wyoming. Both Daphne and Owen futilely try to resist their destinies as the prophesized battle between the Children of the Earth and the Children of God begins.
Previous events are briefly summarized, but the characters' trials and transformations will have more impact for readers already familiar with them. In this battle between New Age hippie types and Christians, good and evil are depicted more ambiguously than might be expected in a retelling of the Rapture. Individuals on both sides have secrets, use questionable methods, and believe they are acting for the greater good. Mind control and ritual sacrifice lead to the deaths of many familiar characters. Viewpoint characters shift suddenly, and plot points are introduced and then dropped, making for a disjointed text at times. Though the main viewpoint characters are seventeen and eighteen years old, they are all out of school and dealing with grown-up issues of marriage, infidelity, and full-time jobs on top of the impending end times. --Elizabeth Matson.