In her book The Last Degree, Dina Rae gives us a fascinating, sometimes frightening glimpse into the inner workings of the secret societies and their evil apocalyptic conspiracy.
This is a very enjoyable book. Normally, I do most of my reading at night, but I’ll admit parts of this book were read in the daytime as the occult and satanic subject matter was keeping me awake.
The Last Degree refers to the highest level of achievement in Freemasonry. As it turns out, at least according to the author, Freemasonry is deeply involved in the occult and is working behind the scenes to implement a “New World Order” under the rule of the devil and his/her followers. Different books from the bible, including Revelations are skillfully interwoven with Freemason mythology and world history to create a seamless apocalyptic scenario.
At first, The Last Degree has elements of a crime story and mystery as detectives and a reporter investigate the murder of the highest ranking Freemason in Chicago. As the story unfolds, Dina Rae expertly adds elements of religion, espionage, war and politics to create a complex and multidimensional world. For this reason, The Last Degree will appeal to a wide variety of readers. Clearly, Dina Rae has considerable knowledge and has done a lot of research in writing this book. Conspiracy buffs will be delighted! From the survivalist compounds in the Smokey Mountains to the intricate details of the Freemason rituals, The Last Degree will keep you in suspense from start to finish. This is a 5 star book that I can easily recommend!
In the Season 2 Finale of TNT’s alien invasion series Falling Skies, A More Perfect Union, the human resistance has an opportunity to strike at the heart of the alien leadership and to disrupt their operations on the post apocalyptic Earth. The ending is a real cliffhanger with the brief introduction to a new alien species…are they friend or foe? Watch the Falling Skies Season 2 finale on TNT’s website by clicking here or on Amazon instant video through the link below:
Hostile aliens now control the planet as Falling Skies enters its second season. TNT has created an enjoyable apocalyptic tv show that follows a large group of refugee survivors as they struggle against their alien invaders. While their intentions are not perfectly clear yet, the aliens of Falling Skies have killed almost all of the adult human population and have made the children into their slaves using some type of parasitic lizard. One of the interesting aspects to this series is that the alien invaders do not consist of one particular type of alien. It seems that there is some type of hierarchy of alien beings that are led by creatures that are similar in appearance to “the greys” that have become the typical portrayal of aliens in our modern civilization. Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), is a former college history professor who lost his wife in the invasion and struggles to raise his 3 children alone in the post apocalyptic landscape while providing some historical perspective and guiding the survivors in their struggle. Falling Skies has plenty of action and while some of the acting is a little overly dramatic, it is your best bet for alien invasion apocalypse and science fiction television this summer.
If you need to catch up on the series, The complete first season is available on DVD through the link below:
The greatest post-apocalyptic tv show ever made, AKA, The Walking Dead ends Season 2 with the farm being overtaken by a massive herd of zombies. Along with the farm, our weary group of survivors must abandon any hope that they had for a semi-normal life. While I hate to see the end of Season 2, (it is basically the only show I watch on tv and it gives me something to look forward to on a weekly basis) the season finale does give us a glimpse of what season 3 has in store and it looks excellent! Among other things, we are introduced to a new “kick ass” character and get to see a sneak preview of the group’s new post-apocalyptic safe haven. As with any good show, we are given just enough information in The Walking Dead Season 2 Beside the Dying Fire to keep us coming back for more. It’s a good thing I’m reading World War Z now or I might be going through some type of zombie fighting withdrawal! 😉 Watch the Season 2 Finale of The Walking Dead Beside the Dying Fire through the link below.
Survivors is a post-apocalyptic BBC television series spanning two seasons from 2008-2010 that follows a group of people struggling to stay alive after a pandemic kills 99% of the human population. I was able to watch the entire series for free when I signed up for a one month trial membership on Amazon Prime. The virus has spared a select few, with little regard to the moral standing of its victims. The main characters, brought together by chance, have diverse backgrounds, ranging from an escaped prisoner to a previously care free heir to a Kuwaiti oil fortune. This small group of survivors struggles to define their moral boundaries in their quest to stay alive. The necessity of violence is constantly in question. Most of the characters are willing to accept that sometimes violence is necessary, at least in the defense of the innocent. On some level, as humans, aren’t we all complicit to the unspeakable acts that have occurred in the defense of the lives of our ancestors? In Survivors, violence is not a forgone conclusion though, as is often the case. Through their hostile encounters with others, it becomes clear that they will need to fight to survive. Survivors is gentler in a number of ways compared to some of the other apocalyptic fiction that I have reviewed. It is “civil” in many aspects. For instance, there are minimal displays of violence. While danger is always present, violence is used sparingly and not gratuitously. The formation of relationships between the characters remains the focus throughout the development of Survivors. I would recommend the Survivors series. While it is not without its flaws, especially in terms of its realism, I found the characters and their relationships to be interesting and story to be very entertaining.
Hunter After the Fall, by John Phillip Backus, is a captivating post-apocalyptic adventure that takes place 15 years after an all out worldwide nuclear war has devastated the planet and killed the majority of its human inhabitants. After surviving the war and subsequent nuclear winter, Hunter, a former special forces operative, has made a home for himself in a long abandoned gold mine nestled into the side of a mountain. The rich detail in which Backus describes Hunter’s rocky mountain home creates the sense that Hunter is truly returning to being one with nature. Hunter’s lifestyle is similar to those that lived throughout North America for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. Much like the wolves and bears that roam the area, Hunter is deeply connected to the mountain wilderness. He is able to sustain himself from the abundant resources that the rocky mountain ecosystem provides. Hunter is content with his life until the arrival of Elise, who is the daughter of Hunter’s former commanding officer. Elise is sent by her father to find Hunter and to seek his help in the defence of their community of New Eden, which is in danger of being overtaken by an army of bloodthirsty invaders. In an effort to repay his former commanding officer for saving his life in action, before the nuclear war , Hunter is quick to offer his assistance. The story follows the many adventures of Hunter and his counterpart, the strong and beautiful Elise, as they fight to save New Eden. In Hunter, the first book in his After the Fall series, Backus combines a unique blend of Native American shamanism and post-apocalyptic action that makes for a very thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining story.
The Old Man and the Wasteland, written by Nick Cole, follows a man as he searches the wreckage of the post apocalyptic world for “salvage”.
The story is set 40 years after a nuclear attack which has destroyed modern civilization. References to the attack indicate that it was carried out by terrorists and that most of the cities in the US have been destroyed. The characters have minimal information about what happened to the rest of the world, however, the lack of foreign intervention implies that the rest of the world has suffered a similar fate.
The story is told through the Old Man, whose most treasured possession is Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea which is frequently referenced throughout his inner dialogue. In a quest to restore his injured pride, The Old Man travels far outside of the known territory near his village and enters “The Wasteland”. While I can’t comment much on the references to Hemingway’s book, which I haven’t read, The Old Man and the Wasteland is an interesting story with a number of original, or at least renewed ideas. For example, the Old Man stumbles upon messages or hieroglyphs, that survivors have welded into underground steel culverts, as a guide for future civilizations. My favorite part of the story involves a modern tank versus a “Horde” of primitive, bloodthirsty cannibals which, in itself, makes this book is well worth reading.
Quite frankly, if it weren’t for the apocalyptic theme in this movie I might have never watched it. That being said, it did capture my interest in an odd way. You might be inclined to walk out of this movie during the first hour or so due to its slow nature, however, I think it is worth watching in its entirety. While I don’t normally comment on specific actors, Melancholia, which is written and directed by Lars von Trier, warrants some mention of the main cast. Kirstan Dunst plays Justine, a young, pretty, mentally ill woman who gets hopeless bogged down in depression and is borderline psychotic. Charlotte Gainsbourg does a remarkable job playing Justine’s sister, Claire. Kiefer Sutherland, taking a dramatic turn from the role of Jack Bauer, plays Claire’s husband, John, a wealthy and uptight amateur astronomer who owns the mansion and surrounding golf course where the story unfolds. Unlike in some other apocalyptic fiction, Von Trier does not rely on the “emergency alert system” or media elements to describe the cataclysmic events as they unfold – it is told almost entirely through the characters with minimal reference to any outside description. Melancholia, it turns out, is the name of a newly discovered planet, which scientists believe is going to come very close to earth in its trip through our solar system. It suffices to say that there is a slight “margin of error” in the scientist’s predictions. Melancholia is more like a work of art than an action movie. It is not blunt. It certainly has some depth and is thought-provoking. While I would not recommend this movie to anyone that has a low tolerance for slow-moving movies, Melancholia does have some unique, indefinable rewards for those that are willing to invest their time and attention.
Swan Song by Robert McCammon is a chilling story that takes place following an all out nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union (The book was released in the late 1980’s, near the end of the Cold War). The earth is plunged into a nuclear winter and is a complete wasteland, devoid of plant life. The story is told through a number of unique characters ranging from a New York City “bag lady” to a pro wrestler and changes perspectives frequently as they struggle to survive. Good verses evil is a strong element throughout and the evil is certainly abundant. The bad people in this book are really bad…like Stephen King bad…in fact, one of the characters is the devil himself. Swan Song delves a little more into “supernatural” territory than I like and it is also a little on the long side but it is definitely exciting. While Swan Song wouldn’t be at the top of my list of good apocalyptic fiction, it is certainly worth reading and will provide hours of entertainment.
The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 7, Pretty Much Dead Already. “The Barn is full of walkers”. Now that everyone knows that the barn is full of walkers, a choice must be made: Do the survivors live in denial and pretend that they are safe within the confines of the farm and ignore the fact that there is a barn full of bloodthirsty zombies living in their midst? Or do they blow open the barn doors and accept the ugly reality of their situation? An interesting choice, perhaps reminiscent of the choice we all are facing with the world as it is today. By the end of this episode, the choice is clear, although it is far from a unanimous decision.
The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 6, Secrets explores the dynamics between a number of characters in this group of survivors in the post-apocalyptic, zombie infested world. Human relationships sure do get complicated, especially when secrets are kept and this show holds nothing back. Shane sets the tone for this show when he reminds Dale that the world is no longer a place to make casual threats when he says “…if I would shoot my best friend, imagine what I would do to someone that I don’t even like…” Tailgaters beware: if civilization ever deteriorates to this point, we all better be careful with our words and actions.
Season Two of The Walking Dead forges ahead with the post-apocalyptic tale of survivors in a zombie infested world in the fifth episode, Chupacabra. This episode starts out in a flashback where they show a few of the main characters looking over the Atlanta skyline as bombs explode and gunfire is everywhere. It is clear at this point that the world has drastically changed forever. If you missed this episode follow the link below to watch it now.
In this episode, Daryl offers a Cherokee Rose to Carol as a symbol of hope and geeks of the world celebrate as Glen hooks up with the nice looking country girl Maggie after an especially awkwardly, funny scene in a small town pharmacy. The Walking Dead “walks” a fine line in balancing out the drama with some humor and action. As I am sure most zombie fans will agree, a zombie apocalypse is served best with a good amount of humor. Thank you AMC for another fun episode!
The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a dark story about a man and his son on a quest for safety and hope in a post apocalyptic world.
The cause of the disaster remains a mystery throughout the book and there are only some brief, non-specific references to the event itself. Whatever the cause, much of the world is set on fire and the smoke and debris blocks out the sunlight causing everything to die.
Having watched the movie prior to reading the book, I was surprised to see how closely the movie follows the story. The darkness in The Road is vivid and relentless. In fact, the smothering effect of their environment is much more impressive than the raider-cannibals that are a constant threat. The Road is based entirely on the struggle of the man and his son. While they are physically striving to get “south” to a safer,warmer place, mentally and emotionally they are trying to keep “the fire” of goodness and hope alive. Unlike many of its counterparts in the genre, The Road is a very well written novel and has a great deal of depth and substance. It is clear that The Road surpasses most of the other books that I have listed here in terms of its literary merit but I also found it to be a little more bleak and less inspiring than some of the other books that I have read recently. Perhaps some of what draws me to this type of fiction is a fascination with the human will to survive and our ability to adapt to and prepare for difficult situations. The dark, lifeless world that Cormac McCarthy creates in The Road leaves one wondering if survival would be a good option which is perhaps his driving point.
The Passage is an ambitious apocalyptic novel written by Justin Cronin that begins in the near future and spans almost one hundred years into the future. It is similar to Stephen King’s The Stand in that a virus that is being engineered in a secret government lab is released into the world. The government is working with a newly discovered virus trying to create “super soldiers”. This virus is unique in a number of different ways and takes on a life of its own through the death row inmates that are used as “guinea pigs” in the experiments. Obviously, the plan to create these “super soldiers” goes awry and the virus actually turns the victims into powerful, vampire like creatures that feed on the blood of other humans and animals. These vampire like creatures are responsible for both the spread of the virus and the destruction of the human population. The Passage is a haunting story that definitely left an impression in my mind. It is difficult to forget the armored steel passenger trains that are built during the crisis to transport survivors to safety. The Passage is a long story that is well worth the time. While some of the creations in The Passage are not new, Justin Cronin’s depiction of vampires versus survivors in a post apocalyptic world is entirely unique and satisfying.