The Remnant

In 2061, a virus with a nearly 100% infection rate destroyed humanity’s urge to believe at a genetic level. Religious fundamentalism was eradicated, and those rare people who escaped the virus are now considered dangerous. Colton Pierce is an Extractor with the Centre for Theological Control, one of the organisation’s most successful operatives, with an outstanding record of hunting down and capturing those who exhibit symptoms of religious belief. His job is his life, and his only ambition is to rise to the position of Chief Officer and see legislation passed that will allow the CTC to kill the imprisoned, theologically ill. However, when it becomes personal, Colton has to choose between Gus and his job…

William Michael Davidson’s The Remnant showcases a truly unique storyline, where he posits that the urge towards religious belief is genetic, and draws the readers into a world where religious violence has been largely eradicated. The plot offers two very black and white alternatives: the genetically atheist, who hunt down any remaining believers without mercy or trial, and the few, noble and persecuted believers, engaged in a David and Goliath fight against oppression. I found this aspect of the book to be a little too simplistic to really capture my imagination, which is one of the main reasons why this got a three-star rating. I also found that the protagonist was a little lacking in depth; there was no self-doubt or tendency toward introspection that heralded his (very) sudden about-face halfway through the novel. I would have found it much more plausible if the seeds had been there before the key event.

So, overall, while the basic idea of the book made me very happy, and the writing was technically strong, I think that a bit more digging into the gray areas and a lot more foreshadowing could have boosted this from a three-star read to a five-star read.

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