Hello all! I've been mulling over the idea for a new book and I've decided to get some opinions. I feel it could be interesting and perhaps also appeal to a varying audience. Before I invest too much time into it, I'd like to get some general feedback / ideas from you all. I'll be brief and to the point. The details of the general theme and setting are such: It turns out that many of the old-world religions and prophecies about divine intervention and a future Armageddon were true (probably more emphasis will be placed on the book of Revelations, but others will be included as well). BUT... these events reveal a sinister motive and are not the lubby-dubby, good time redemption events that people had hoped for. In truth, an advanced alien race had long ago, through the help of an even further advanced "energy form" called the Alpha, evolved to the point where they had transcended from organic forms to now having bodies made of energy and had essentially become immortal, or close to it. Since their souls / consciousness do not have organic bodies, they can no longer reproduce, at least how we organisms are accustomed to. They can only multiply by taking the souls of humans (because we are their past "organic form" and have their DNA) and transcending the consciousness grown in an organic human body into a high-energy body. These alien beings, whom people now call The Watchers, seeded the earth with DNA long ago - the purpose was to grow a crop of humans whose souls can be harvested at a later time. Over time, they periodically guided humanity, until mankind had finally multiplied across the entire planet - which then kicks off harvest time. Well harvest time came, and the events of the book of revelation turn out to be more akin to an alien invasion. Many of the events unfold as described, some don't, but that doesn't matter too much. The initial "reaping" was swift, and between the reaping and the first war waged against the aliens, mankind has been nearly decimated. The Watchers have established a base camp called New Jerusalem, and for a time, mankind fought against them but to no avail. There still remains a few splinter cells who wage gorilla warfare against them - the protagonist will belong to one of these splinter groups. At the center of The Watchers base camp (New Jerusalem) is a chamber, The Watchers call it "judgement" but it's really the transcendence chamber. The chamber is used to extract the souls from humans. It is essentially an empty, yet ornate, domed structure about the size of a stadium (many extractions can occur at one time). The caveat is that the extraction can only be accomplished successfully if the soul is willing to leave the body, if not, the person just dies along with their soul. If successful, the soul is transferred into an new body composed of energy. Either way, the result leaves empty dead corpses strewn across the floor. Once a person's consciousness is transcended, they lose emotion and become robot like, only wishing to serve The Watchers (having become one of them) - they lose all sense of humanity. The Watchers have declared that humanity has just 1,000 more years to exist (the amount of time needed for another complete harvest) at which time the surface of the planet will be wiped clean. That about sums up the theme and setting... The protagonist finds himself in a time about 10 - 15 years after the initial invasion and war. He can recollect the war and the time before the invasion. His splinter group has finally gotten their hands on a small nuclear warhead retrieved from a missile, perhaps from a downed F-22 fighter jet. They have decided, as a last resort to save humanity, that one person must infiltrate New Jerusalem, enter the chamber, and detonate the dirty bomb. It's a suicide mission. The story follows him has he perilously, yet successfully, reaches his final destination. As he enters the chamber, he discovers that The Watchers knew his motive all along and had essentially allowed him in. Once in the chamber, something mystical happens, he becomes enlightened to all truth in the universe and he can clearly see the true history of humanity and The Watchers. The story ends as he's being elevated into the air, the extraction process having been initiated on him. The book leaves the reader with some intense questions: Were The Watchers really sinister aliens bent on stealing human souls, raising us like cattle for slaughter, or did they actually create us to receive an amazing gift? Did the protagonist get transcended or did he die? Is immortality worth losing our humanity? This theme and setting seems quite flexible as many elements of religion, prophecy, and theory can easily be adapted and explained. What do you think? Too absurd? Interesting? Flexible enough with common folklore to be rational? Do you like the plot? How would you introduce the story? I've thought of a couple ways. The book starts in the present post-apocalyptic time, while the invasion and backstory are dished out as memories and in conversations. The book starts pre-apocalypse (immediately before the invasion while everything is still normal), then, immediately after the invasion has occurred, jumps forward 10-15 years to a present time post-apocalypse. The book is all a reflected memory, while the "present" is in the chamber. Please let me know your thoughts. I apologize in advance about the length, I tried to be as brief as possible.