Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Release date: Oct. 1, 2011
Publisher: Pear Jam Books Ltd
Source: won - Goodreads First Reads
Series: Rapture Trilogy (#1)
The Rapture has occurred, just as the Bible predicted. The faithful have risen up to Heaven. Those left behind are in a living hell.Now normally I don't think I would have picked up a book like this if I had seen it at the bookstore, but I got the chance to read it through the Goodreads First Reads program. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed it. One thing that made the book so enjoyable was the pacing, which I thought was perfect. There would be some moments of downtime, but an action scene would quickly follow so the story never got dull. And what's even better is that Simpson really knows how to write action. I could clearly imagine the whole scene in my head, which just made the reading experience so much better.
Earth burns, hell-like in its oppressive heat. Every volcano in the world has erupted, and tsunamis and earthquakes continue to devastate the planet. Clouds continually rain ash onto the scorched landscape, sparking fires all around. Plants and animals are dying. Food is scarce. The night sky is devoid of stars, and the moon - when it can be seen - is the colour of blood.
The remnants of humanity fight for survival. Most have fled the cities and now hide in caves deep in the mountains. By night, demons stalk the Earth, capturing the remaining humans and killing them - if they're lucky. The less fortunate are converted to worship of the Devil, and ushered into endless hell.
Eighteen year old, Sam (short for Samael) was raised in the town of Jacob's Ladder, Utah. It is appropriately enough near to a place of natural scenic beauty called Devil's garden. He finds himself alone, unable to rise up with his family because he is half demon. His mother, a devout Christian, was seduced by Satan and conceived his child. She smuggled the boy to an old friend Hikari, a Japanese sword master and demon expert. Since then, Hikari and his daughter, Aimi, have been all the family Sam has known.
Now they're gone, and Sam must set out on the mission Hikari charged him with long ago: to help all the humans left behind. Armed only with his beloved Japanese swords and his wits, Sam wanders the post-apocalyptic world alone, separated forever from everyone he loves. Cursed by his demonic heritage, he must now embark on a quest that will take him across the US to the City of Angels.
There he will confront his destiny. There he must fight to save a friend ... and the souls of the living.
I also normally don't enjoy books that alternate between the present and flashbacks. I often find the flashback scenes to be annoying, because I'd much rather be in the present time with the character instead of stuck in the boring past. However, I actually really liked the fact that Rapture involves the use of flashbacks. I feel like it was a great way to give us crucial information instead of just dumping it all on us straight away. Plus, it gave us more insight into the characters, especially the main character, Sam.
Speaking of Sam, I ended up really loving him. He was an extremely likable guy, and I felt for him through all the tough situations. Another awesome thing about him was that he wasn't perfect; there were moments when he wasn't sure whether it would be better to do the right thing or just give in. Despite his half-demon heritage, he seemed human, just like anyone really.
The only negative thing I really noticed about this book were the few grammar and spelling errors. I don't think they detract from the book, though; in fact, I hardly even noticed them. They were just some minor things that could be fixed. And I know those aren't going to stop me from reading the next book. :)
And for all of you guys interested in reading this book, I have some great news. The Kindle edition is on sale from Amazon for only $2.99 instead of the usual $9.99. So if you're interested in reading it, you should definitely get it now. It's listed on Amazon here.