I find it difficult to give a rating to Age of Apollyon that will be meaningful to others. The pieces I found well done in the novel were stunningly good, and the pieces that fell short missed by quite a bit. I wanted to give it four or five stars on the one hand, and two on the other. So I’ve given it three stars as a compromise with myself.
In this novel, categorized as Christian speculative fiction, author Mark Carver has created an interesting character in the protagonist, Patric – a man who, although he belongs to the Church of Satan, neither believes nor disbelieves in the deities in whose names a dark religious war has erupted around him. Patric credibly vacillates in his views as he is played as a pawn by an unknown force. Carver is masterful in his use of setting and description to create at times chilling and at time ominous tones for the novel.
On the other hand, the story stops short of a complete and satisfying plot. It is unclear at the end whether the protagonist has changed over the course of the story or remains nothing but a pawn. I was also disappointed that the twist at the conclusion of the novel was predictable as the only outcome that made sense of the world Carver had created.
The craft that shines through in this first novel, however, is promising for future tense and riveting works from this author.