The latest installement from the Arkane series by the very talented J.F.Penn continues the blood boiling adventures in the world of religious symbols and religious extremism. End of Days is another race against the clock to save the world from the real danger of being taken over by religious conspiracies, this time by reviving another millenarist prophecy according to which when the time has come, a serpent will devour the Earth.
Such beliefs are often part of the daily media reports and the resurgence of myths and symbols in the everyday life is not always just a new-age, spiritualist answer to the human needs. Misused, religion turns into a deadly weapon when human lives are nothing in the front of the prophetic urges or obsessions.
The mission of the secret Arcane Religious Knowledge and Numinous Experience Institute (ARKANE) headquartered secretly in London is to take out from the public circuit symbols that might be the vehicle for religious extremism. Every installment of the series is a new adventure in avoiding to get closer to apocalyptic endings, thanks to the brave Israeli-born agent Morgan. This book - the 9th - can be read without being familiar with the previous ones, and references to previous episodes are smoothly inserted into the story. I also loved the non-lecturing way in which very important cultural and historical information are inserted into the story, which makes the reading even more relevant, as you don't feel you are just a student at a cultural/anthropology class.
As usual, the pace is getting faster and faster until the end of the story, and the religious histories documented in-depth are wisely used to create an unforgettable page turning story. From Bagdad to Jerusalem, the Appalachian Mountains or Egypt, the reader is becoming part of a dangerous hunt to recover the 7 seals representing serpents to be used at the 'End of Days'.
The book ends mysteriously, with the decision of agent Morgan to focus more on her personal life, and I am looking forward to see how J.F. Penn decides to continue - or not - the adventurous Arkane stories.
If you want to read more reviews of the Arkane books, you can have a look here.
Rating: 4 stars
Disclaimer: Book offered by the author in exchange for an honest review
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