- Countdown (novel series)
First in the series
Author Daniel Ehrenhaft Country United States Language English Genre Young-Adult Fiction Publisher Simon Pulse Media type
Countdown is a young adult novel series by Daniel Ehrenhaft under the pen name Daniel Parker. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the series chronicles the year 1999 in short novels which represent individual months of the year. The series begins with January and follows the lives of its main characters through December.
Daniel Parker is generally believed to be the pseudonym of young-adult fiction writer Daniel Parker Ehrenhaft (to whom the books are jointly copy-written). Ehrenhaft is the author of numerous other young-adult books including The Wessex Papers (2003) under the pseudonym Daniel Parker and The Last Dog on Earth (2005) under the name Daniel Ehrenhaft among other titles. According to Ehrenhaft's website , the author currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Jessica.
As the new year dawns, a reported "massive solar flare" causes power failures all over the globe and adults and children everywhere to melt into piles of "black goo." Only young adults are spared, among them a quartet of drunken high school kids in suburban Seattle, two teens whose fake IDs have gained them entry to a New York City nightclub, a cocky young doctor in a Texas hospital, a pair of tough-talking inmates in a Pittsburgh jail, and Sarah and Joshua Levy who desperately search the ancient scroll of their granduncle Elijah for clues to the apocalyptic event.
New Year's Day 1999 brings a strange solar flare, widescale power outages, and the death of everyone on Earth over twenty years old, leaving desperate teenagers to face the awakened Demon called Lilith.
One month into the new year, teenagers are left to fend for themselves as they realize that they not only need to out-live a plague, but each other as well. The Gods help them to their journey by keeping them together and they must find the reapers cloth and the death's scythe to summon a fallen angel that will help them on their way to survive the in coming prophecy, "a Devil shall be born by the plague and a fallen angel shall rise from the ashes of the devils blood to terminate the devil's plague". the Gods never reveal that the fallen angel's blood is the cure to the plague.
A demon was named "Satanika Dioxide Kuromeru" after his father St. Michael, he was brought down from heaven to save the teenager and of course to bring Lilith back to the Underworld. Satanika's role was short in this part because he was stab in the back by Lilith's sidekick "Azazel". Satanika failed to do his mission to earth and for his punishment, he was descend to the Underworld to please Lilith's God, Satan.
After everyone on Earth over twenty dies, the awakened Demon called Lilith continues to spread her influence, while the teenagers chosen to stop her hope to unleash the power of an ancient encoded scroll.
In a world where turning twenty-one seems to mean certain death by a horrible Plague, the forces of the Demon Lilith and the Visionaries who believe in the Chosen One continue to be drawn west toward a final confrontation.
As the Demon Lilith continues to grow in strength, some of the world's teenage survivors worry about finding a cure for the plague that has killed all the adults, while others try to party themselves to death.
Left in a world with no adults, the teens subscribe to the notion that love will save them. They find out that they are wrong.
Is there a cure for the plague? Some think so and as Lilith grows in power they search for the cure.
Servants of Lilith fight against "The Visionaries" who attempt to decode an ancient scroll to stop her power.
The protagonists attempt to keep the power of the scroll from the demon Lilith-- will they be successful?
As the demon wields ultimate power, one girl tries to save the world through the sacrifice of her own life-- is it all in vain?
The demon has been destroyed... or has she? The Countdown is still on as the teens fight their way towards the end.
What will the future hold? Has the Countdown been stopped? Has the demon been destroyed? Only the final battle will decide.
While the series has amassed a large young-adult following, professional criticism of the book surrounded underdeveloped characters and the author's use of "crass" plot lines.
Symbolism and Position
The series draws heavily upon common literary tropes and characters found in both religious texts and popular fiction, including the apocalyptic concept and the introduction of demonic forces.
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