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Manifest Destiny drives American expansion westward, building an early 19th-century society with genocidal brutality. This is the context that frames The Revelator's protagonist: a young orphan named Joseph. Reared on nights spent carousing with drunks and con men, the young protagonist dreams of something more.
He begins to preach. Soon he takes a young wife, to the horror of her father, a butcher. They depart for the wilderness where Joseph's visions, haunted by a dark Beast, take hold of his life. Husband and wife nearly die of exposure, and upon their return, Joseph begins to build his congregation, built on the discovery of the golden plates that deliver the Almighty's message.
As his congregation grows, Joseph builds a settlement, takes multiple wives, and negotiates multiple betrayals and intrigues with his followers, his wife, and even his suspicious and distant son. Persecuted by society at large, and on the U.S. government's watch list, Joseph takes his people further and further west to meet their destiny.
Written in the second person, author Robert Kloss's prophetic voice demonstrates the macabre and gruesome consequences of Manifest Destiny and the conflicted motivations behind the creation of a religion that boasts 15 million members today.
Robert Kloss is the author of one previous novel, The Alligators of Abraham; a novella, How the Days of Love and Diphtheria; and the hybrid genre work, The Desert Places, coauthored with Amber Sparks and illustrated by Matt Kish. He lives in Pittsburgh.