Rapture is coming; it's not quite here yet, but it's coming. In the meantime, we're treated to a complete day-by-day telling of the world's biggest apocalypse since Revelation, in the form of daily journals kept by sixteen-year-old Jordan Dooling. While we may not have salvation yet, we do have endless zombies, ferocious creatures who seem to have been ripped straight from creepypasta, an eldritch dimension bleeding its way into our own through floating "Doors," The Blues Brothers that can create entire worlds inside your own head, politics thrown out every window possible, a being that will either control you or rape you in ways you'll really wish weren't possible, and we may or may not have the slender man, too. And don't forget the spidercats.OH GOD THE RAPTURE IS BURNING is an apocalyptic novel written by DJay32 told through daily journals. It features young Jordan as he, British girl Donnivan Rand, American boys Daniel Finnegan and Eric "Bones" Taylor, and American girls Rauri "Fentzy" McGanna and Anna Rhodes try to make heads or tails of this rather ridiculous rite of salvation slowly coming into play. The story has been called a dark comedy with "almost Pratchettian" elements, but it's more frequently called "incredibly disturbing;" the Rapture logs are renowned for their horror. It's a part of The Fear Mythos, so that's probably for the best.The epic takes place from 11:59 PM on May 20th, 2011, and it finishes on the morning of October 23rd, 2011. It spans an overture, four acts, an intermission, and an epilog.You can find the story here, and there's a really convenient table of contents here. You can now download them in a free PDF here! The Rapture Logs have complementing art by Cadet, Logic, Wiratomkinder, The Visitor, and Rappu. The story also has a character sheet.
So open up that notebook; let’s find out what Jordan wrote next.
— The intermission, "No Rest for the Rest of Us"
Tropes present in the story include:
Action Girl: You'd be hard-pressed to find women in this story who aren't.
INDISEN. Jordan thinks he finds out what it is in "Rael's Exodus," but "The Battle of Dominiere" starts to turn that on its head. "Obfuscation" only distorts it more, and then "Topography Genera" lifts the wool over his eyes... only for Act IV to have him question the details again and again.
''Obfuscation," introduced with The Musicians in Act II, increases in significance throughout the logs.
"DRAW A STAIRWAY FOR MY GOD AND ASSEMBLE ALL MY FAITH."
The word "eldritch" comes up frequently, almost as if it has some deeper meaning.
"What did Doctor Cloud discover in the Genera?" is a question often asked by The Neonate of Act IV.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Becoming supernatural or "eldritch" and what that actually means are significant motifs in the story, especially towards the end. Doctor Cloud's experiments cause him to become a reality-breaking monster called The Anathema. Rosa Syclus becomes The Harlequin by means revealed to be The Ecclesiarchway. And at some point, Bones becomes a god named Thoth. The Neonate of Act IV spend a lot of time debating what it actually means to be a 'Fear,' and an answer isn't explicitly given.
Never act flippant about The Ecclesiarchway to his face.
Never talk about The Harlot around The Beast. In fact, just plain walk on eggshells around that guy.
Big Bad: It looks like The Beast matches its name by being this throughout the story, though each act tends to have its own series of arcs focusing on Fears.
Act I gives us The Harlequin for the first half, running the show.
Act II has The Ecclesiarchway and The Musicians, though The Musicians are more of The Dragon.
Act III revolves around the seemingly-incompetent "new Fears" of The Neonate, and the mysterious actions of The Anathema who seems to be behind their arrival.
Act IV focuses on the "new new Fears," their odd philosophies and perspectives on things, and the reasons why they're here all of a sudden. The Beast actually stops being a Big Bad here and becomes a sort of protagonist working against the Bigger Bad that is Rapture itself. And then The Ecclesiarchway just plain plays with the concept of the trope, as he wants to be a Big Bad.
Anna was tortured horribly by the Fears, becoming an Axe Crazy girl with a lack of restraint. And she talks about the sweet smell of blood a lot. But whether she's truly crazy or just Obfuscating Insanity is unknown yet.
Act IV: Pirkle Vainamoinen often says peculiar things with little context or much in terms of explanation.
Companion Cube: Tiger Stripes. As long as Jordan has his guitar, he refuses to let go of it and speaks to it often.
Darker and Edgier: The opening logs focus almost entirely on the comedy. The logs following it are also very comedic! And then the protagonists reach Blackpool, and we're treated to a few quiet and stagnant entries with some comedy thrown in. And then comes the troper meet-up, and the story just goes downhill from there.
Deus ex Machina: In the opening log, Jordan is completely prepared for the end of the world at 11 PM. And then, at 11, his guitar controller falls from the sky. A literal gift from the gods in an otherwise-atheist tale.
Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: August 13th, Jordan runs into The Ecclesiarchway, controller of all the zombies, and one of the smartest and most formidable eldritch abominations the universe has ever seen. And they have a dance-off.
This is arguably one of the defining tropes of the story. At least half of the eldritch abominations depicted in the story are in, at minimum, an uneasy truce with the human protagonists with some, like Tiresias and Salmacis, in open alliance. Even those typically depicted as a real threat (the Ecclesiarchway, the Harlequin) can be quite accommodating under the right circumstances, at least to the heroes. They don't appear to be nearly so gracious to anyone other than the heroes, though.
Disc One Final Dungeon: In the opening logs, Jordan's certain the world's gonna end at 6 PM. And then 6 PM comes and he remembers time zones and thinks it's gonna happen at 11. And then 11 PM comes aaaand it turns out we're not even a fraction of the way done with the story.
Throughout the first 'week' of logs, just about all the Fears make some kind of appearance. For instance, EAT/Salmacis and her Camper are in London, and The Ecclesiarchway is spotted on the day Jordan starts heading to Spain.
In mid-Act III, Jordan briefly meets a woman named Jessica. She comes back in Act IV. A lot.
Easily Forgiven: Forgiveness comes up a lot in the logs. Some characters are forgiven faster than others, though whether each case is because of specific reasons or whether it's a sign of a looming character flaw is up to the reader to decide.
Enemy Mine: The only thing the Fears fear is the coming of the Rapture, which, we're told, would be just as devastating to what remains of the human race. Many are willing to work with Jordan and company in the hopes of preventing it from happening.
The Faceless: The Beast. Does he even have a face? Only few characters know, and one of them has been driven insane. He has never been accurately described by any character besides the aforementioned insane one, and that description was basically "He doesn't look like the slender man." Whether this was reverse psychology or anything isn't seen until Act IV, which is an act filled with all kinds of faceless imagery.
Fanart: Inverted! D Jay explicitly asked artists Cadet and Logic to be the official Rapture artists when both expressed interest in drawing art related to it. As yet, there's yet to be any actual Rapture fanart.
Act I's White Jester arc got so much praise that a second one came in Act III.
Cockroach Jesus was originally just an Ensemble Dark Horse, a one-time character for the opening logs. He's increasingly becoming more and more important to the plot now due to the sheer popularity of him.
Fate Worse than Death: According to The Victims: “Inevitably, all fates past the twenty-first of October would be eternally worse than death."
The Federation: The Rise Against Fear organization can be considered this, with sister branches in Spain and, inevitably, other countries.
Filler: Inevitable. This story takes place over the course of five months, and every day (sans one at the start) is chronicled in often minute-by-minute logs. Technically, none of it is explicitly there to fill space, as the story is just about the apocalypse and every log chronicles that, but.. c'mon, it shows from time to time.
In Act III: The Anathema building something big foreshadows the coming of The Neonate.
The Ecclesiarchway calls the Neonate's plan to prevent Rapture "absolutely nothing."
In late Act III, Jordan runs into a series of stone passageways with seven doors for the Ciphers, seven doors for the Knights, and then seven doors for the Beacons.
Free-Range Children: The protagonists' parents aren't often mentioned. Fentzy's were killed, Bones' were as well, but few other characters get explanations. It's just assumed they're all dead because it's the apocalypse.
Jordan's looking for a weapon. He finds a dog. "no, that'll never work." He finds the dog again. "no, that'll never work." He looks further, finds the dog again. "Jordy, stay focused, you can't kill someone with a dog." Cut to him finding Eric again. "hey, hey eric, hey I brought a dog. 8D"
Hand Wave: How can Jordan write so damn fast? He claims to have just gotten good at it thanks to all the journal-keeping.
The Fears go by a number of titles, as well, usually reflecting their status as both characters within the Rapture Logs story and their part of the larger Fear Mythos shared universe of which the Rapture Logs are a spin-off:
Salmacis was the Greek water naiad who raped and became one with the demigod Hermaphroditus.
Tiresias was the Greek blind prophet (who happened to live once as a man and once as a woman to settle a bet between the Gods).
Xanadu was the Chinese city commonly associated with paradise. It was Charles Foster Kane's estate's name in Citizen Kane, and in Rush's "Xanadu," it was the name of a fabled lost location said to bring immortality, only to trap people within for eternity.
Dominiere is named for fake-French of "Last Domino," "domine derniere." The Last Domino is the second movement to Genesis' "Domino," and it's about vivid nightmares caused by a breakup. Much like the hallucinations of The Musicians, and the breakups happening throughout the serial.
Mêlée à Trois: In Sanctuary Francisco, it was a standoff between The Ecclesiarchway, Indisen, and the protagonists in the middle. And then the Masked Massacrer showed up!
Mood Whiplash: It's a comedy story, but that doesn't mean it won't get shockingly disturbing; for example, you'll never know if the sex is meant to be funny or abusive until your emotions have whiplashed.
An Offer You Can't Refuse: With alarming regularity. Any time one of the Fears needs the White Jester to do some of their dirty work, they tend to threaten one of his friends with death and/or torture.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Everything that Jordan doesn't write can be considered offscreen moments of awesome; we have six protagonists and only one of them is telling the readers what's happening.
Oh, Crap!: In "The Battle of Dominiere," the August 1st entry, Jordan's just chillin' around, checking out the Canadian town of Dominiere, when all of a sudden a bolt of lightning zaps from the sky to the ground directly in front of him. And then Anna emerges out of it, brushes the dust off her jeans, licks the blood off her crowbar, and then walks away. Jordan shit bricks.
Shortly after, he finds out that Marble Hornets has actually continued, despite the apocalyptic conditions. "Holy shit. The first minute is just Jay grabbing a shotgun and shooting the Operator in the face. Well, the lack of face." And later, "The Operator will be back, and in greater numbers."
"Holy cock. I woke up in a hotel. I don’t remember anything from the past several days. I mean, I remember being in that city, and running from that.. giant screaming face. And then I went down an alley and.. motherfucker. It was the slender man. It’s like motherfucking Marble Hornets Part 2. What the fuck."
"HELLO, LIVERPOOLIANS! WE ARE THE BEATLES, AND WE'RE holy fuck flying zombies"
"This book contains the secrets of the secretcity," secretcity is a puzzle-based map series for Half Life 1 modification Sven Co-op, and it happened to be the map series various locations in Xanadu are taken from.
Shown Their Work: The protagonists have to walk from town to town a lot, sometimes getting to drive, and these are usually without the aid of rabbit holes to speed them on their way. DJay looked into exactly how long it would take to walk and/or drive between all these places and tried to keep things as accurate as he could.
Sudden Name Change: Due to "creative difficulties" involving the person on whom the character was based, Jane was renamed Anna about halfway through Act III, and all previous references to "Jane" were redacted.