Mercury Falls by Robert Kroese

Mercury Falls was one of the first books I started reading when I got my Kindle — over a year ago! It is a 370 page humor/fantasy/magical-realism piece. It’s actually a little hard to pinpoint the genre, because the book does so many things.  There are a few other books in the series, which has no true intended order. I believe I got this book for free, which is why I read it first.

Mercury Falls

Mercury Falls centers around the coming Armageddon and certain PAIs (Persons of Apocalyptic Interest). The two big main characters are Mercury, a wayward angel who does pretty much what he wants when he wants for reasons only he knows about; and Christine, a journalist working for a reputable newspaper, traveling the USA and writing about end-of-the-world cults and their doomsday predictions. Her boss and owner of The Banner, Harry, has had the lifelong ambition to be the first newspaper to correctly document the pending apocalypse. This is why Christine has been sent to interview most anyone who claims they know the date of Armageddon.

The novel follows Christine’s travels around the US, and eventually to the Middle East, and all the attempts to either support or negate Armageddon made by humans, angels, and demons alike. Her plans go astray when Karl Grissom, a 37-year-old who still lives with his mom, is named the Antichrist by a competition based on a popular young adult series. Hilarity and fast-paced calamity ensue.

Though it took me an insane amount of time to read this book (I started it in early 2012), it was actually pretty enjoyable. Kroese portrays Heaven as a huge bureaucracy that in order to get anything done has to step on so many toes in its other departments that nothing ever gets done. None of the angels really know who “the big guy upstairs” is, where humans go when they die, or what the plan after Armageddon is. Half the fun of the story comes from the fact that disgruntled angels act pretty much like humans.

My favorite character is Mercury himself, the best–and really only–anti-establishment angel out there. I could never really guess his motives or which side he was on, whether it was pro- or anti-Armageddon, as the book calls it. He really throws everyone for a loop when he starts building snowmen instead of ushering in Armageddon like he’s supposed to be doing. Although the plot did move along quickly in this book, it was really the unique characters and creative Heaven that Kroese created (portals, a planeport limbo) that made the book so much fun to read.

Once I got over the initial push, about the first 100 pages, it got interesting and amusing and hard to put down. The contrasts of Christine’s apathy towards religion, Harry’s fanaticism, and Mercury’s mischief of minor miracles make this semi-religious book extremely lighthearted. Once I got into it, Mercury Falls was an easy, quick read. I’d recommend it if you want a humorous look on Armageddon.

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