Book Review: The Appearing

The Appearing: In the End is our Beginning, by Kristen Wisen
A Brief Review

My initial impression of this book can be summed up as saccharine and simplistic. The Appearing revolves around two teenagers (ages 16 and 17, respectively), their “relationship,” and the significant world changes they experience. It’s a sweet story, but I wasn’t gripped, spellbound, intrigued, or impressed.

My main objection is that I believe Ms. Wisen has overlooked or ignored the technical advancements and innovations of our society. For a book published in 2007, I expected a little more than blatant forehead tattoos. One of the biggest eschatological mysteries is how the famous “666” mark will be implemented. Ink tattoos are a thing of the past – I was hoping for cutting-edge technology using lasers, microchips, retinal imaging, etc. Her scenario is not feasible, in my opinion, and detracts from the overall plausibility and realistic aspect of the book, giving it a light, over-simplified tone.

On the plus side, it’s a family-friendly book (if you don’t mind teenage romance, albeit in a limited, futuristic setting, prompting flashbacks to The Diary of Anne Frank), without overly disturbing images (see Peretti, Frank), crude language, or other negative elements. I would recommend it to young people just starting to take an interest in things to come. It might be a good stepping stone to Robert Van Kampen or Joel Rosenberg.

Morgan Squicciarini
July 2009

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