But what is The Salvation War
? Quite simply, it's a first draft of an exploration of the ramifications on society, both human and otherwise, should a literal interpretation of the conflicts of the Biblical end times take place.
Plus, a periodic burst of win
TSW isn't really built like a conventional story. It's one part war documentary, one part narrative, and one part theological and technological essay. Throw in some nuclear warfare, technical weapons descriptions, dark humor, pop-culture references, a healthy dose of religious skepticism, and the occasional bitchin' guitar solo, and you get The Salvation War
: a story of war between technology and religion that makes absolutely no apologies for the concepts that it either raises or skewers.
If you're looking for a true dramatic narrative, you're looking in the wrong direction. TSW deliberately and extensively defenstrates quite a few dramatic conventions. Beyond the initial shock of humanity finding itself at war with Heaven and Hell, the question of whether or not humanity will win the war is never in doubt. There's no climactic final battle in Armageddon, and while there is one in Pantheocide, it isn't to decide the outcome of the war, but rather to decide how much damage gets inflicted on the losers. Rather, the drama of the series comes from the interactions and reactions of Earth, Heaven, and Hell as old power structures, dogmatic beliefs, and ancient religions get overturned quite violently, along with humanity struggling to adapt to the new cosmology.
That's not to say that the story is without its flaws. One of the predominant ones is the relatively poor quality of the writing in some parts, along with characters that often seem to be delivering lectures rather than having conversations. This is excusable, however, mostly because we're looking at a first draft that has never been properly edited. Some of the author's biases creep into the story as well.
Ultimately, TSW requires a specific taste. One looking for drama will likely be disappointed, but one looking for an exploration of the ramifications of the scenario presented, along with occasional blast of pure freaking awesome
, will not be disappointed.