Comparison of The End of the Age and Fury of the Fifth Angel

SPOILERS AHEAD

I could not help but compare the two of these in my mind as I read Fury of the Fifth Angel, and I believe there is value in this, so here are my thoughts having read them both back to back.

The End of the Age does a better job of laying out the progression from one disaster to the next, explaining how each one sets the stage for the next one, much like falling dominoes. The argument is made even more compelling by its direct correlation to prophecy, particularly given the lack of scientific knowledge available to John the Apostle when he wrote The Revelation. That is not to say Fury of the Fifth Angel does not lay out a similar picture, but it does not work out the steps in the same level of detail.

On the Other Hand, Fury of the Fifth Angel spends more time on the subject of why we should expect to be hit by a meteorite, regardless of what The Bible says. More time is spent discussing the geologic record and what we have managed to deduce from it, plus what we are managing to learn about what is out there in space. We are sitting ducks in a shooting gallery. We have been hit before. We can expect to be hit again.

I found it particularly interesting that both books would operate on the premise that the government would keep the impending disaster a secret from the general populace. The End of the Age didn’t spend much time developing the reasons for this, but Fury of the Fifth Angel did, and in a remarkably credible manner. In fact, Fury of the Fifth Angel presented the government in the most positive light possible. (They’re honest, hard working folks who really do have the public interest at heart.) Yet, it still developed the motives and rationale behind maintaining secrecy. The most persuasive point is the consideration of how the masses are likely to behave if they know that their world is going to end within the week. The thin veneer, called civilization, peels back pretty quickly when death is imminent.

The two books present remarkably different perspectives on the government of the United States. As I just mentioned, Fury of the Fifth Angel operates on the premise that our public servants are, indeed, there trying to serve the public. There are a few bad eggs, but the majority are dutifully trying to take care of their responsibilities and do so in an honorable fashion. The End of the Age offers a more cynical view. Those who have the power are in the business of getting what they want by threatening others with the dirty laundry they could air, if they don’t get their way. Deals are made for the sake of personal ambition. The needs of the country are a distant second. And that is before the coup of evil.

In contrast to the perspectives on government are the perspectives on the population in general. In The End of the Age, destruction of all that we call civilization is a matter of divine justice, but in Fury of the Fifth Angel the premise is developed that we don’t need much of a push to achieve self-destruction. The disintegration of society requires nothing more than the loss of electricity, and that can be obtained through little more than fear. With just a few small meteorite hits causing some localized damage, the fear of what could happen if a nuclear reactor were to be affected prompts the shutting down of that portion of the electrical supply. Add to that a glitch in the natural gas fired portion, already strained to its limits trying to make up for the loss of nuclear power, and all of a sudden the grid starts to collapse. That interconnectedness isn’t such an asset in that scenario, and with the power off, those who are already on the fringes of society start to show their true colors. Fury of the Fifth Angel doesn’t stop there. The big hits do come and bring the massive, sudden devastation that one would expect, but the picture of how little it would take to get us back to acting as savages is disturbingly clear.

The End of the Age goes through the entire disaster, all the way to the point of the rapture, while Fury of the Fifth Angel only gets the reader up to the point of the first wave of devastation. I expect once the sequel is out that picture difference will balance out. There is not much prepping detail in either book, but Fury of the Fifth Angel has at least set the stage such that an education in that category could be offered. As it stands, both of these books offer insights into what our world could look like in the event of a meteorite strike. The End of the Age would be my choice given that it more thoroughly works through the scope of problems to be faced and is a much cleaner book to read.

— Harry, SurvivalBlog Book Reviewer

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