What if judgment was the power to do as you please? When an extraterrestrial entity begins voraciously subsuming all life on earth, nihilism becomes a prerequisite for courage. Joshua David’s Seed: Judgment marries “The Thing,” “Resident Evil,” and “Mad Max” to generate a post-apocalyptic tale of frenetic intensity. From a fortress in the Nevada desert, young-yet-hardboiled Sal leads a team of power-armored special forces against the body-snatching Seed entity that’s decimated the globe. But the unexpected arrival of Jess, a manic pixie Joan of Arc, upends Sal’s death-wish existence and, perhaps, humanity’s odds of survival.
Frequent and prolonged battles carry the bulk of this narrative, at times elevating overwrought prose into something nearly hypnotic. There’s a beauty to the brutality, a dance in the destruction. Less coherent is the story’s spirituality, which fluctuates between a vague deism and cryptic, Eastern-ish ruminations about energy fields, perceptual power, and the illusion of physicality. The plot mechanics remain grounded and engaging, but the novel aims for higher themes, and toward this end, struggles to achieve target lock.
Best for: Young adults seeking a gritty, dystopic thriller that explodes with cinematic action.
Discern: Strong bloody violence throughout, some drunkenness, some mild cursing, sexual innuendo and references to lust, a couple is implied to engage in extramarital relations yet with a token nod to expectations of fidelity.
Joshua David is a retired law enforcement officer with an undergrad in economics and graduate work in American colonial religion. When he should have been working toward academic publishing and serious professorships, he was instead tinkering with apologetics, working to combine classical idealism with Christian theology. He lives in Prescott, Arizona with his wife and two young sons, and enjoys time on the gun range, a jiu-jitsu mat, or under a bench press.