Cover of METL: The Angel Weapon by Scott Wilson. A boy and a girl in old fashioned clothes look at a moon-like object in the sky with a large red X on it. The boy has matching Xes on his palms.

About the Book

Title: METL: The Angel Weapon (METL #1)
Published: 2018
Series: METL

Cover Story: Little House at the End of all Things
Drinking Buddy: Medium
Testosterone Level: Bang Your Head
Talky Talk: HAL 9000
Bonus Factors: The Meaning of Life, Technology-Free Society
Bromance Status: Travel Buddy

Cover Story: Little House at the End of all Things

The rustically-dressed children remind me of a more innocent, bygone era, but the gigantic error message in the sky is creepy. Is the planet temporarily down?

The Deal:

Two hundred years ago, humans learned too much. Delved too deep. Learned what man was not meant to know.


Humanity slowly rebuilds, now eking out a medieval-level existence. The use of technology is a capital crime. Even the possession of metal objects is forbidden. Of course, it’s impossible to eliminate all evidence of the past. The giant artificial moon, METL, is evidence of that. But anyone caught with objects from the past is immediately arrested by the church police, while their children become Nobodies: orphans in a group home, hoping for adoption.

Thirteen-year-old Caden is a Nobody. He takes care of the home’s horses, avoids bullies, and guards his most prized possessions: a faded photograph of his father and the remote control to a Sylvania Superset Television.

Then, one evening, a glowing red X appears on the surface of METL, which begins to rapidly approach earth. A crash course. If that weren’t bad enough, red Xes suddenly appear on Caden’s palms (mother warned me about that). In a world where technology must be destroyed, Caden is shocked to realize that he may not actually be…completely organic.

And then a giant robotic spider shows up. Purporting to be sent by Caden’s father, the spider cheerfully informs Caden that he is humanity’s only hope, because as things stand, Caden is on track to end the world.

Riding away from the orphanage on horseback, with his friend Annika behind him and arrows whizzing by their ears, Caden sets off to…damn it, why did the spider go and self destruct? What now?

Drinking Buddy: Medium

Two pints of beer cheersing

Caden is about as together as any thirteen-year-old with no parental guidance or life experience. All he wants to do is track down his missing father. And maybe prevent the end of the world. He’s more concerned about his horse than his own well being. Same with Annika. She knows her mother is out there somewhere and just wants to rescue her, in spite of the hordes of crossbow-wielding soldiers after them.

But all in all, they’re just a couple of likeable, inept teens, trying to make their way in the world. Which may be ending. And one of them might not be fully human.

Testosterone Level: Bang Your Head

The problem with many dystopian novels is there is a lot of angsty talking, philosophizing, and internal monologue. Not in METL. The book starts with Dom, the orphanage bully, attempting to break Caden’s legs with a sledgehammer, and it just ramps up from there. Horseback chases, underground explosions, evil labs with human experimentation, armageddon weapons, masked assassins, and hidden superpowers. This one’s for the fans of 1984 who skipped over Goldstein’s book.

Talky Talk: HAL 9000

This is where we get into the whole ‘unreliable narrator.’ All evidence says that Caden is some sort of ‘creation’ of his father. The glowing hands. Strange memories. The unearthly powers that manifest when Caden is under great stress. The robotic voices only he can hear. He’s not human, right? But he’s just a derpy kid who wants to live his life and find his family. So’s Annika. Are they just a couple of kids fighting against a cruel society? Or is Caden really the doomsday weapon? And how does he feel about that?

Good writing, with a few continuity errors. METL is approaching the earth so rapidly that it either should have hit ages ago, or it’s so colossal that it should be sucking the earth into itself. And I’m sorry, but if you’re in a basement and take an elevator up ten floors, you’re not still going to be in the basement.

Still, there was an annoying computer, a one-eyed arms dealer, and assassins called The Apostles. So that’s a win.

Bonus Factor: The Meaning of Life

Cropped movie poster of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

Caden and Annika are told that the fall of man came about when humans discovered The Meaning of Life. Not some vague good thought, but that actual secret of life, the universe, and everything. So what was it? How did it cause civilization to collapse? Do we get to find out what it is in the sequel?

Bonus Factor: Technology-Free Society

A lake surrounded by greenery and the Colorado Rocky Mountains

Caden’s society is pretty much back on a stone age level. Even metalcraft is forbidden. A man is publicly executed for possessing a calculator. But of course, that’s not something one can entirely suppress, and there’s a thriving black market. But it was technology that brought about the fall of man. Dare Caden encourage society to steal the Apple again? Or the Chromebook?

Bromance Status: Travel Buddy

I look forward to following this series all the way to the end.

Literary Matchmaking

The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1)

Let’s get back to our roots with the classic ‘I don’t know who I really am or if I’m really human, but I may have doomed the world’ YA novel with James Dashner’s The Maze Runner.

The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine #1)

Or Dashner’s lesser-known book about a not quite human hero, The Eye of Minds.

The 13th Continuum (The Continuum Trilogy #1)

In The 13th Continuum by Jennifer Brody, we find another world where technology is verboten.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free e-copy from the author, but nothing else. Rumors are treason.


Brian wrote his first YA novel when he was down and out in Mexico. He now lives in Missouri with his wonderful wife and daughter. He divides his time between writing and working as a school librarian. Brian still misses the preachy YA books of the eighties.