A Phoenix arises.
REBIRTH is Michel Poeltl’s second book in THE JUDAS SYNDROME trilogy. The author has been careful to give enough back-story to make it understandable by itself, but is best read after the first in the series. That way, one gets a vivid picture of the transformation undergone by the characters—from carefree teens on a pre-college camping trip to survivalist adults in a post nuclear-holocaust world, with extremes ranging from, Sara, now a fiercely protective mother, to Earl, degenerating into a Hitlerian rage. The growth of Leif, the son of Sara and Joel, is another major theme. Leif is destined for greatness, but how and in what direction is not yet clear.
The supernatural themes lightly touched on in the first book have become prominent and are well woven into the story.
This is not a sunny and cheerful tale. The basic premise of a world devastated by atomic weapons triggered by terrorists, is all too possible. Like most apocalyptic literature, the story is in many places dreary and depressing. However, a clear thread of hope runs through REBIRTH, and the ending, like that in Star Wars, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, would suggest there is more to come even if you didn’t know it was a trilogy. – Zvi Zaks