Heaven’s on Fire

Twenty years ago, the Human Experiment was a highly classified government program that was hoping to create the perfect human being. In the beginning, the experiment appeared to be on the right track. It successfully produced an alpha subject named Simon with god-like powers. Unfortunately the kid grew up to be a grumpy superhuman who decided to declare war on humanity.

Simon is now single-handedly pushing the hands of the Doomsday Clock toward midnight. In desperation, the government turns to Special Agent Robert Death, a paranormal heavyweight who commands the fury of both Heaven and Hell. (Death, by the way, is his birth name, not a goth affectation.) As he explains, “Sin and faith are my powers. God saved me and Lucifer tainted me.”

And thus the author has constructed a sizzling scripture-inspired comic book smackdown. “I am a god,” says Simon when he finally meets Agent Death face-to-face, “and you are my Lucifer.” For dialog like this we love superhero fiction.

Death has enough preternatural power to banish the man-made god to Hell, but he needs a little help to get the job done. To that end, he enlists a telepath, a technopath, a psychometabolist, a shaman king, a woman who controls gravity, and a teacher who would rather use his mind control ability to rape co-eds than save the world. Yes, it’s a funky bunch—especially the pervy professor. His purpose in this adventure is a tad iffy to say the least.

Without question Simon is a badass and someone needs to smite him down, but Robert Death’s internal struggle is really what this book is all about. Life is never going to be easy for him. “I’ve seen God,” he tells his cohorts at one point. “I know the love of his son and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. I have also beheld Lucifer in his twisted and sick glory.” Unlike the rest of us, his soul has felt the purity of Heaven and the evil of Hell. The weight of these two worlds will haunt him forever.

[The Human Experiment / By Eric S. Brown / First Printing: December 2010 / ISBN: 9780615433080]

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