In a world overrun by demonic creatures and teetering on the brink of Armageddon, a handful of settlers fight for survival on the fringes of human civilisation. David, a young man resolute in his faith, believes that everything happens for a reason. That is, until the day that death comes to their small outpost. It is the first taste of a greater conflict, one for the very soul of humanity, as the powers of Heaven and Hell both rush to claim their due.
Now with his world destroyed before his eyes, David becomes determined to seek out answers and the means to amend their unfair existence. The journal of an archaeologist from the past could be the key to unravelling the mysteries of their current reality, but there is a hard road ahead, and the truth David and his companions seek may not be the one they wished to find. Fire and blood accompany their descent, as their journey leads them ever closer to the abyss, and the final point of no return.
Revelation is book one of Echoes of the Abyss, a series perfect for those who enjoy prickly philosophical questions, religious mythology and existential dread, all knit seamlessly together with blood-drenched horror and heart-thumping action sequences. The Void awaits.
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When I rate a story, a 2.5 star is average. So when I give something a 5/5 it's a 5/5 for a web serial.
Revelation is a dense, weighty, and bloody post apocolyptic zombie story. That's not literally what it is, but that's a really good, spoiler free way to describe it. And even while it's not literally that, it at all times feels that way. So if you're down for supernatural zombies, read it.
Now in a more literal sense, it's still a zombie story with heavy religious subtext and conflict amongst the characters. I would argue that the inter character drama and overarcing themes are where the real meat of the story is.
The author seems to acknowledge this by calling his story a "slow burn." I don't call it that, I just call it good story telling. People who want action 24/7 are going to be disapointed, but that's on them.
I'm dyslexic as all get out and can miss tiny mistakes, but big ones won't get by me. As far as I can tell, there are no mistakes here.
They've got personalities. They've got backstories. They match the story tonally. They never do or say anything that is jarring or out of character. You can understand where they're coming from. And they represent ideas that work well with the story's themes and play an important role in that.
All that I can really say is that I don't love them, but that really isn't a demerit sinc ethat is so rare in the first place.
The story is going for dark and grim and the writing conveys it. Its dense and layered and most importantly, it FEELS like it matches the tone.
But this is also where I give the storya slight ding. As a writer, GreatApe is solid. As a writer/story teller, I think the attempt at art bogs down the story. I think there is some wiggle room between making the story feel oppresive and the writing.
Here, the writer goes a little too far artistic prose and presentation. Just gotta let off that pedal just a hair and let the story speak for itself. I'd call it claustrophobic. If you are getting that sense from the story, great! If you are getting that feeling from the writing, that's a problem.
So yea, overall. Great stuff. You don't see anything like it. Good mood. Creative ideas. And this is a comment I hardly ever make, but it's also the sort of work that really makes you want to see the writer get better. If we look at this as a starting point, he or she could really work some magic if they hone thier craft.
I didn't feel confident to do an advanced review of what seems to be a professional work. Revelation : Lord of the Kingdom of Bone is a very well-written masterpiece and has nothing to do, here, on RR. It should be published as soon as it's finished.
The nigtmarish setup is utterly crazy and reminded me of Dante's Inferno. Writing a brutal novel based of Dante's work is one of my dream. I'm also a big fan of the, rightfully hated game Agony. TwelveGreatApes nailed the gorish and brutal identity of these two universes.
The story is quite complicated with lot of details and decriptive elements. In other terms, it is really smarts and well crafted. This is no amateur work and a lot of efforts have been put into it. I think I really need to re-read some portions because reading Revelation : Lord of the Kingdom of Bone on a computer does really does it justice. I'll probably wait for the ebook to finish it.
I'm more into action-driven stories with colorful characters. Revelation : Lord of the Kingdom of Bone is the complete opposite. It's a slow paced, world-descriptive, philosopical religious poem. Characters aren't the most important part and this brings some fresh air on this Isekai-saturated platform. Don't get me wrong, the characters and their interactions are great. It's just that the bleak setup steals the show.
The religious part adds some flavors and some order in this brutal chaos. Weirdly enough it made me felt that everything is real and unreal at the same time. I lack words to describe it. To be honest, I lack words to review Apes' wondeful work.
Great job. Very good job.
Overall: I'm finding it kind of difficult to write this section of the review, because I don't really have a way to say how impressed I am with this series aside from listing everything that's good about it. RIch world-building, well-written characters, well-executed action and horror, a premise that touches upon some profound subjects - really, when an author hits their stride like this, all you can do is sit back and enjoy.
Style: The writing of Revelation is top-notch. The author does an excellent job with depicting the bleak, dusty setting, really selling its hopelessness and desolation. The descriptive language is fittingly elaborate and vivid; readers looking for punchier, more to-the-point stories will probably find this a fault, but in my opinion it's one of the best parts of this series. At no point did I feel like the author was out of their depth. Everything is written convincingly, be it scenes of horror (physical or existential), character interactions and dialogue, or the rare moments of emotional warmth or levity - not an easy task for a single writer.
Story: It's my opinion that the best stories take very simple premises as a foundation and then lead them in interesting and meaningful directions, and that's definitely the case here. On paper, it's a story about humanity's struggle against an almost alien enemy that seems to exist only to exterminate them (Attack on Titan fans may notice some parallels). But this basic idea is used to dissect some really interesting topics regarding human society and religion. One of the core ideas underscoring the plot is the difficult balance one must find between faith and reason - and the horrible things that can happen when people are blinded by the former and completely forget about the latter. It's quite a dark story that opens up some uncomfortable questions (i.e. does God value virtue over blind faith or vice versa?) and, as such, won't be everyone's cup of tea. Personally, I found these aspects of the story fascinating.
Grammar: Nothing to fault here. If I noticed any typos or other mistakes while reading, I've forgotten about them by this point. Everything is clean, neat and easy to follow.
Characters: Our protagonist David is an extremely well-written character, and I say this because he's kind of annoying. While most main characters seem to be built up only from positive traits (with their negative traits actually being virtues in disguise), David is a person that a lot of people would genuinely struggle with in real life. He has very strong beliefs, which often leads him to be unintentionally dismissive, patronising or insensitive towards others. In other words, he's a very beliavable 18-year-old: a mess of convictions that have little to do with experience. The other characters are equally strong - special mention goes to Father Walters and his wife Mary for being chilling portraits of zealotry - and the author is very good at getting them to act realistically. Even when all manner of supernatural horror is unfolding, you can be sure that the characters will behave in a way that is in line with both the context they're placed in and their inner workings.
Read all the way to chapter 12 in a flash! This is a gritty post-apocalyptic story that is written with surprising skill. I've never been one for the post-apocalyptic genre in this style, but this is an exception. The religious mythology and themes feel properly set up and discussed, being quite an interesting and unique premise.
The story is written in a way that matches the tone it's trying to convey, as well as the overarching theme. The vocabulary is great and I didn't detect any big or even minor grammar mistakes. It is quite artistic, in a way.
The characters feel multidimensional and the author does a great job at introducing them in the first few chapters, even the side ones. There's something beautiful here.
Long story short, it's a great read I'll be keeping up with; also a great source of possible inspiration in terms of description and character building for other authors. You've done a great job, author!
Revelation : Lord of the Kingdom of Bone is a wonderfully brutal postapocalyptic story set in our very own earth spliced together with fantasy elements that border on the Lovecraftian and add more mystery to the world rather than just be there purely for the sake of spectacle.
The fantasy elements are fairly unique but what stole the show for me was execution. Both the world and the characters remained consistent throughout so when the tension was building up I cared about the characters and I was curious to see how they are going to handle the approaching disaster.
The characters deserve a special mention as the protagonist/s and the villains(if you can call them that in what seems to be a pretty grey story) are both entertaining to watch and believable.
When it comes to negatives I can think of 2 and they might be rather subjective:
1. It's a story where the POV changes fairly frequently between a set of characters, and that's something I had to get used to.
2. A few times the story uses sophisticated terms were used for simple things. Most of the time it was easy enough to glean the meaning of the words from the context, but it happened enough that I feel like its worth mentioning
Disclaimer: This review was originally written as part of a Review Swap. This fact DOES NOT affect my rating in any way.
BLUF: A post-apocalyptic wasteland doused in Nightmare Fuel and thoroughly coated with a nice layer of philosophical and religious themes, breaded in brutal, crunchy violence and gore and seasoned with solid worldbuilding and clever uses of foreshadowing and tension. The up-front cost of getting started felt fairly hefty for me, but it paid off resoundingly well.
GRAMMAR: I only counted two, maybe three hiccups regarding grammar throughout the first 15k words, and none of it affected readability significantly. Past that, I didn't detect any other problems or speed bumps.
CHARACTER: Characters are generally highly believable and several of the major ones have considerable, hidden depths to them that are slowly unwrapped later on in the work. It also consistently feels like Apes seriously cares about establishing motives that really help drive the characters during the earlier chapters, and the conflict between characters that crops up at certain points (usually as a frame for the running theme of theism v. secularism) gives a really nice feel to them and makes the character development matter that much more. A few characters fall just a little flat in my opinion, but there's always the more major characters ready to pick up the slack with plenty of change to spare.
Spoiler(Chapter 13 and onward):
I'm just going to take a moment to soapbox a little about my favorite character of the series: Howard Du Bois. The shortest explanation of him is, take a struggling archaeologist and slap a rank or two of the Magnificent Bastard trope onto him. The results are absolutely amazing, resulting in a singular character that could likely carry an entire novella on his shoulders with ease.
STORY: Oh man, does it get complicated(in a good way). The setting is a very cool one, with supernatural 'zombies', a post-apocalyptic wasteland and a small settlement struggling to survive against the odds, with a somewhat dystopian government in the background, smoothly weaving a splash of geopolitics into the worldbuilding. There's also a pervasive theme of philosphy and the conflict between theism and secularism, adding hidden depth to the situation as a whole.
The core story is one portion societal infighting, and two parts being locked in a desperate struggle for survival against a supernatural threat with increasingly grim outlooks-at least, that's how it goes in the first arc. This plot is executed extremely well with clever uses of foreshadowing to help build up creeping tension and a sense of looming dread, which explodes with a massive revelation regarding the possible origins of this apocalypse and a satisfying conclusion to the first arc. Without spoiling too much for what lies past the first arc, the worldbuilding gets pretty wild, and thankfully drag is almost completely eliminated in the second arc.
Spoiler (Chapter 13 and beyond):
In the second arc, Howard gets a far deeper backstory rife with character development, but more than that we begin to get a picture of how the apocalypse started and what's really going on behind the scenes with God and his playthings. Folded into this exploration is a shockingly deep degree of worldbuilding revolving around the history of God, his angels, and the infighting that occurred during said history, as well as the accuracy(and lack thereof) of varying accounts of God's actions, adding a dash of anthropology that grounds the otherwise fantastical with a modest degree of realism that makes it feel all that more... real.
STYLE: The worldbuilding is folded seamlessly into the narrative, as Apes makes sure not to throw too much information at the readers at once, as well as telling us enough to make the setting very interesting, gradually dripping more and more information onto the table creating a picture that increases in detail as time goes on. Prose is solid, and has a degree of "elaboration" to setting details that felt overwhelming at first and seemed to muck up pace considerably, but for whatever reason the flow improves dramatically past the first 4 to 5 chapters or so. The story also makes good uses of foreshadowing to build dread, writing tense and brutal scenes blending action and horror (usually of the "dear god would you look at ALL THESE DEAD BODIES" variety, and quite effectively without feeling hammed up) to keep the pressure up once it DOES get going, and even managing to smuggle in two flashback chapters without shattering the overal pacing or flow. Many scenes feel like they were ripped right out of a metal album cover, and that's exactly what I came here expecting and looking for.
Spoiler (Chapter 13 and forward):
In the second arc, we start to get a LOT more flashback scenes further ironing out Howard Du Bois's backstory, to the point that it feels like they might actually outnumber normal chapters. Fortunately, however, Howard is an excellent character and the plot to these flashbacks is more than enough to help him truly shine. In addition, considerable amounts of theological worldbuilding occur that help out MASSIVELY. While I'm sure there'll be a few readers that don't like this diversion, I personally absolutely love Howard's chapters, and Apes being able to get away with folding in this many flashback chapters just shows how skilled he really is.
An extremely engaging story that makes its readers deeply think and feel. That is Revelation : Lord of the Kingdom of Bone. I'll start this off by saying this story is grim and not everyone's cup of tea. Regardless, the flawless execution of this post-apocalyptic story makes it something no one should miss out on.
The style of this story is pretty unique. It's written more like a book than a web serial and completely nails the style it has set to take. Like many have said, this is a work that could, and should, be published as a printed series.
Coming to the more important part of the styling. Intensive research, practice, and editing have clearly gone into creating this masterpiece of literary writing. Every single word written plays a part in developing the setting, making all the descriptions beautifully arranged and realistic without ever feeling wordy.
The story. One might think it's just a masterfully written post-apocalyptic story, but that is hardly the case. While the action and thrill come out in the part with the zombies, this story is set up to be much much more than that. The political and religious aspects were the most interesting parts for me. Especially since this story focuses more on the world itself rather than specific characters and their actions.
The realism of the world and settings make the main story thrive even more. The small and unique details of the fantasy world make enrich the story and make it all the more interesting.
From whatever little expertise I have when it comes to grammar, everything is solidly written and grammatically accurate.
I believe the characters are where the author's skills shine brightest. It isn't easy to write a bunch of characters in such a setting, focusing on each of them differently. Many times when this is done, the characters tend to be flat and unmemorable. The author has clearly wiped the floor with this issue.
Each and every character in Revelation : Lord of the Kingdom of Bone is not only very memorable but very well fleshed out in a short amount of time. The characters are fluidly developed without interrupting the plot progression in any manner.
As mentioned earlier. This story is a beautiful work that every person must read at least once. I can't wait to see where it goes. A masterpiece.
Personally, I'm a big fan of stories (usually fantasy) that revolve around religious mythology, so I'm immediately taken by this. In stories like this, especially this one because it is steeped in the Christian gospel (or perhaps braised), there is a risk that it ends up devolving into a critique of fundamentalism (as internet fantasy with religious undertones is ought to do). However, seeing the first few chapters I am optimistic this will not become one of those stories.
Even though I have only read the first few chapters, it is clear that the author is well-trained and understands how to write in multiple styles. Their descriptions are vivid, but also straightforward. Their characterization is not on the nose, but subtle. Just enough to make you feel like you know the character (poor Roma), but not so much that it takes space away from the clear imagery in its beautiful and focused rhythms.
Typically, in my reviews, there is something I can criticize. I don't think there's anything in the text to do that with. I do wonder if the series could use a different cover. Something less imposing and red. With that cover I had the expectation that this would be like reading Doom with non-stop blood and gore from page one (which would not be my typical foray, I'm not a gore person at heart). This story is not Doom, it's slower and more solemn I think.
If you liked the prologue, you will like the next 5 chapters. I have liked what I have read, and know I will soon read more.
This is quite a scary post-apocolpytic story! The characters feel scared and desprate, and the ending of the first chapter is quite suspenseful!
The atmosphere is also very well done, everything feels rough, gritty, and with hardly any hope. I recomend giving it a read!
I read up to the third chapter all in about 30 minutes, and it's pretty sizeable, so you know I liked it.
Grammar: Just to get this out of the way, no mistakes seen here.
The author's style is incredibly descriptive and detailed when it comes to environments and action - you never have a problem understanding what is going on or where the action is taking place. The story is told in third-person perspective, and there's a lot of switching between characters who are the focus of action, at least for now. It's handled pretty well, but that's something inherently difficult to write. Especially at the beginning of the story, when these characters have only recently been introduced. I think that what may help with this switching perspective focus is a bit more detail on describing the physical attributes of the different characters. If a reader can clearly picture how these multiple characters look (and you do need a bit of repetition, at least when first establishing the characters, to get people to remember, I think) then it becomes easier to read when the focus is switched back and forth between them.
And one more thing, that I myself have only recently come to understand, and definitely need to pay more attention to myself in my own writing. The author frequently engages in large, long paragraphs. These long paragraphs are gramatically correct, and often stylistically sound.
However: my advice would be, break some of these larger paragraphs up. For whatever reason - and like I said, I kind of just recently realized this myself - these paragraphs, which I think would look fine in print, become difficult to follow on a computer screen. My theory is that it's just the simple fact of how far a book normally is from your face, vs how far a computer screen normally is from your face. I much more often find my eyes slipping, or accidentally skipping lines, in these large, digital paragraphs than they do for large paragraphs in print. I think more frequent breaks helps with this, to make the work more readable in a digital format; and often these large paragraphs can be split once or more.
But these are just friendly points of advice, for the most part the author's style is very descriptive and fun to read, making scenes feel clear and vivid in your mind, to the point where I think with a little editorial tweakiing this could be a professional work.
This work reveals its secrets slowly (which I like), so by Chapter 14, what exactly is going on in the setting is still a little mysterious. It seems the earth underwent some massive calamity that involved seeming physical impossibilities, like an asteroid crashing down to earth and yet simply remaining towering there, and a host of other events that evoke religious apocalyptic prophecy. Now what's left of humanity is besieged by strange creatures called 'Marked'. Many interpret this disaster as religious in nature, but there is some doubt and uncertainty on the part of a few characters about whether this might all be alien, rather than divine, in origin.
So far - up to chapter 14 - it has been a story about the human struggle for survival in this grim, post-apocalyptic space. I will try to avoid spoiling everything, but, at least it seems to me, chapter 14 settles the ambiguity - this is definitely a religiously inspired setting. The writing in the first arc definitely has me intrigued as to where it's going, even if I the pacing is slow and measured enough that I'm still very much in the dark about what the larger picture might be.
I'll sum up my thoughts about the characters as this: So far, at least, this has been very much a story about a world, rather than necessarily about characters in that world.
What I mean by that is, characters feel real, their dialogue is natural - and while we've zoomed in a little bit on a couple of characters so that you know who is probably going to be the focus moving forward, so far the main focus has been the setting over necessarily dwelling on them. As the first arc is the "setup", I think I can predict that this will probably change moving forward and there will be some characters that we spend more time with and get more insight on. But, at least for now, I'm still much more invested in the world than in any of the characters.
An extremely well-written, bleak, religiously inspired post apocalyptic world, the writing quality leaps and bounds beyond the typical fare on RR. It's hard to say yet what the overall story is going to be like, but the first arc definitely got me curious enough to give this work a follow. If you're looking for something different from the gamelit/litrpg/isekai offerings on RR, this is defintiely a very worthy offering, and I hope that stories like this can be successful here.