The Remnant is a post-apocalyptic story set in a world where religion is outlawed thanks to a cataclysmic nuclear war. The Earth is now ruled by the ‘World Federation’—an atheistic organization that blames religion for the ‘Final War.’ The novel follows Grant Cochrin—husband, father, and Christian. Grant and his family are some of the few who have chosen to practice religion and, as a result, they are sent to a labour camp due to the Federation’s no religion policy. The Cochrin family is content with their ‘jobs’ and ‘security’—until Grant meets a person who tells him that there are Christians who gather in ‘the wilderness’ outside the Federation’s safety zone. The Cochrin family, along with a few others, break out of the camp and are on their way to this mysterious church. This is where the story actually begins.
What seems like a fairly straightforward post-apocalyptic road story slowly turns into a commentary on religious fraud, sensationalism, control, and manipulation. Grant discovers this community of believers and meets with its leader—a self-proclaimed prophet. He is puzzled when he sees the different worldview of this prophet as compared to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. When I read this, I was surprised at how similar the story is to my own ongoing spiritual path. The Sermon on the Mount was my very first look at Christ’s teachings, and it is Grant Cochrin’s only remaining possession from the Bible. Grant knows nothing of Jesus apart from the famous Sermon, and so did I.
Wolverton builds his story with a steady, if somewhat subdued, pace. There’s enough excitement to keep the reader invested. Grant’s team meets some pretty interesting characters in the wilderness—some of them are downright hilarious. There are numerous funny moments despite the post-apocalyptic setting. And then there are moments that will make the reader think. All in all, Remnant will resonate the most with pilgrims, and I’m sure there are plenty in this world.
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