Book Review: The Judas Syndrome April 1, 2011Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Joel and his friends are on the verge of graduation and excited and optimistic about their futures. But when they return from a camping trip in the remote woodlands to find themselves faced with a post-apocalyptic world, their daily lives acquire burdens and terrors hitherto unexperienced.
The Judas Syndrome is an unforgettable portrait of survival against the odds. Joel, the protagonist, is an average teen whose dreams of entering college in the fall have disintegrated with the rest of the civilized world. Experiencing a barrage of sinister premonitions prior to a camping trip, Joel struggles to shrug them off as nothing more than anxiety over the newest cyber-terror, the Grimm Reaper. For months the Reaper has been inundating the airwaves with threats of mass destruction if world governments do not adhere to his plethora of ridiculous demands. Finally, he does more than just threaten.
The deed done, the Reaper’s threats now realized, Joel and his small band of friends find themselves alone in a dying world. Their families are all dead and gone, and Joel’s family home is now their stronghold. Faith and faithlessness are investigated as his ongoing visions prepare Joel for the realization that the worst is far from over. Prisoners to a darkened sky and toxic earth, the group fights to survive. Through battles staged on their hallowed ground, through loss and victory, the group meets the Pilate to their Judas, unwittingly setting in motion – the Judas Syndrome.
There must be a balance between books and their endings. Some must end happily and others are destined to go the darker route, such as The Judas Syndrome by Michael Poeltl. We are introduced to your average teenagers that are carefree and optimistic about their futures. In an attempt to put off summer jobs and escape the gloom brought on by threats of the apocalypse, the group of teens gather for a camping weekend. Upon returning home, the teens are forced to discover that the threats came true and the world has fallen victim to nuclear attack. It is clear to see who the main teenagers are as they are forced to grow up and plan for their survival. Joel is deemed the leader of the group although he never saw himself as the leading type. Other main characters are Connor, Sara, Eric and Jake. Most of the other teens in the group stay as secondary characters. I am certain that the secondary group will have their time to shine in the second book to this series. There is a lot of drug use throughout the book and at first I figured it was just kids being kids. I expected drug use to be the furthest thing from the kids minds while they are trying to survive so I was surprised that not only was it an important part, but the leading cause of Joel’s insanity spree. The reader should expect that beginning with the title, this book will have to end on a sad note in order for a more positive message to shine through. Friendships and inner turmoils are put to the test…the Judas test. I am curious to see where the survivors lead in the second installment. There was mild adult language, heavy drug use, and somewhat bloody descriptions, so this book is better suited for an adult audience.