In his newest novel, author Steve Alten has penned a disturbing and thought provoking journey straight into the depths of darkness. Grim Reaper is a loose retelling of Dante’s Inferno set to the backdrop of a devastating plague outbreak on the island of Manhattan. The story follows a war veteran tortured by his past as he tries to traverse the streets of a dying metropolis in order to save his wife and daughter with the only known cure for the terrible disease. The only catch is that the cure possesses a side effect of vivid hallucinations that cause the landscape of Manhattan to shift from an urban jungle into the various circles of Hell described by Dante.
Grim Reaper is a truly epic novel that combines so many elements of so many genres that it is difficult to describe in only a few words. It combines the spiritual and the political, action adventure and horror, military and supernatural thriller. And it does a great job with each. It’s a book that has a lot to say about life, death, politics, war, religion, and the nature of man to destroy himself.
While a genre bending novel like this won’t be for everyone, I would highly recommend it to anyone with an open mind who enjoys action with a taste of the supernatural. Grim Reaper is one of the best books I’ve read over the past few years, and I read a lot. My only two items of warning are that the tense of the book can take a bit of getting used to and that the first hundred pages are a bit slow. But stick with it because once the action begins, it grips you and doesn’t let go.
Click here to read a recent interview with Steve Alten regarding Grim Reaper: End of Days.