“The Armor of God” & “The Unfinished World” (a full recap / summary)
“The Riven God”, book three of “The Armor of God” trilogy, is upon us. As it was released four years after the last book, many readers have asked me to provide a short summary that recaps the events of “The Armor of God” and “The Unfinished World”.
This is it.
Remember: this is meant to recap the books for people who have already read them to refresh their memories for “The Riven God”. It is not meant to substitute the experience of reading the first two books, as many, many, many details will not be included in this summary. If you haven’t read the first two books, I would recommend reading them before “The Riven God”.
Naturally, big SPOILERS ahead!
THE ARMOR OF GOD tells the story of Ezra Blanchard, and it begins in the city of Roue. This is not just any city, but the last bastion of humanity—a dome surrounded by the endless wasteland created by the Laani, an alien virus that decimated life on the planet centuries before.
Ezra, a young antisocial man, discovers that his blood contains a very rare property that will force him to enlist in Zenith, a secret branch of the Roue Armed Forces. Akiva Davenport, a young man with whom Ezra forges a friendship quickly, and Jena Crescent, whose strange beauty immediately catches his attention, join him, as they also possess the very rare property in their blood.
The group soon meets Vivian Poole, a cynical young girl who is also newly enlisted in Zenith, her new home, a separate dome from the city of Roue. The group of recruits learns of the existence of the Creuxen: powerful bio-robotic mechas which are able to fight the Laani virus on a microscopic level.
The Creuxen are a mystery even in Zenith, since nobody knows their origins and they can only be piloted by a very specific person. Four of these powerful machines are the new inexorable destiny for Ezra, Akiva, Jena and Vivian.
Among all Creuxen, there exists the legendary unit called Milos Ravana, or The Armor of God. Though this Creux is incredibly powerful—much more so than any other in Zenith—it is said to be cursed, as it has been responsible for the deaths of many soldiers and scientists who have attempted to pilot and study it. To everyone’s surprise and horror, Akiva discovers that he is the one destined to pilot the Armor of God, which could mean his death.
Ezra soon meets his own Creux: Besoe Nandi, also known as the Minotaur. Through many ups and downs, the group begins their training to pilot their respective Creuxen, all of which are capable of being reduced to a microscopic size to battle against the alien virus so it can be studied and eventually erradicated.
After months of training, the first synchronization test with the monstrous mechas goes fatally wrong: after an explosion, four members of Zenith die, including Susan Higgins and another pilot, Alice Nolan, both of whom had developed a close friendship with Ezra.
Still recovering from the tragedy that killed two of his friends, Ezra manages to synchronize with the Minotaur and discovers that there is a spirit within the Creux, and that it must be tamed and understood in order to control the microscopic but powerful machine.
Ezra’s life grows even more complicated when Zenith’s director, Dr. Yuri Logan, is replaced by a new director: Tara Blanchard, Ezra’s mother, who has secretlyh worked for Zenith for many years.
Although at first Ezra is not at the same physical or mental level as the other pilots, he slowly begins to develop his talents. His bond with the Minotaur grows stronger with every synchronization, and the Creux becomes his friend and protector. Eventually, Ezra and the others manage to pilot their Creuxen in small missions, where they are miniaturized to battle against monstrous units of the virus within human bodies.
As part of his training, Ezra takes psychological consultations with Dr. Yuri Logan, who reveals that the Laani, the virus which they fight, has transformed all life outside Roue into gigantic monsters that still roam the planet. This revelation reinforces Ezra’s motivation to continue training so that, someday, humanity can find a cure for the virus and take their planet back.
As the training continues, Ezra, his relationship with the Minotaur, his mother, and the other Zenith pilots and teachers becomes stronger. A complex web of relationships is forged and broken as time goes on and Ezra becomes accustomed to his life in Zenith, discovering that not everything is as it seems, and that the complex—and the Creuxen—could hold some very dark secrets.
During one fateful microscopic battle, Ezra loses control of the Minotaur. After accidentally breaking what he thought was a human organ, Ezra discovers with horror that Zenith had lied to him: the Creuxen were never miniature, but gigantic war machines. He and the Minotaur had broken the dome that protects Roue, exposing the existence of Zenith, the Creuxen, and the monsters that threaten them, to the citizens.
This unexpected turn changes everything Ezra thought he knew about the Creuxen and Laani. After Ezra’s mistake, Ronald Heath, the very popular governor of Roue, begins a campaign to dismantle Zenith and the Creuxen, which he and his people see as a threat and not as their salvation.
As things become more complicated and Zenith is threatened with being shut down, Ezra learns of Lys, the alien that fell on the planet centuries ago. Lys is about to come back from a slumbering state to annihilate the few remaining humans, and the only way to fight back is to find two missing parts that will complete Milos Ravana, The Armor of God. No one knows for sure where the other two pieces are, but the people of Zenith suspect that the search must begin in Kerek, a distant city that fell to the threat of the Laani decades earlier.
Several pilots prepare to escape Zenith with their respective Creuxen before Governor Heath takes away the opportunity to do so, but the night before his departure, something terrible happens: Akiva disappears from Zenith with Milos Ravana, and Dr. Yuri Logan is found dead. Moreover, a traitor within Zenith has warned Governor Heath about the mission to leave Zenith and find the missing components of Milos Ravana.
When trying to escape, the traitor’s identity is revealed: Tessa, a Creux pilot with whom Ezra had begun a romantic relationship. Tessa murders two soldiers, friends and mentors of Ezra, but hearbroken he manages to escape with the Minotaur, leaving behind Zenith, his mother, and the truth about Tessa.
A new adventure begins. Ezra and three other Creux pilots set off to explore a devastated and dangerous world in search of Akiva, Milos Ravana, and the last hope for humanity.
THE UNFINISHED WORLD begins where THE ARMOR OF GOD ended: Ezra, Jena, as well as his friends, the huge Garros Parks and his partner and leader Erin Perry are on their way to Kerek. The team of Creux pilots search for Akiva, Milos Ravana, and the two missing pieces of The Armor of God.
At the same time, we follow Vivian Poole, who has been left behind in Zenith after the others’ escape. Tessa, who was revealed as a murderer and traitor, has framed one of her victims for treason and is considered a hero within Zenith.
On the way to Kerek, the group of pilots reach small islands in the desert where the Laani disease seems not to have infected at all; they are green, lush, full of life, and miraculous spaces for them to rest. Many days after having left Zenith, the team finds a particularly large island, and discovers that the Laani monsters do not dare approach it.
Exploring the island, they find a Creux buried exactly at the center of it—a Creux that bares a great resemblance to Milos Ravana, and whom they name Lazarus. After digging Lazarus fom its earthly prison, Erin discovers that she is able to pilot him, although they decide not to do so, as it seems dangerous. Erin concludes that there is a Creux at the center of each of these islands, and it is their energy that prevents Laani from infecting or even coming close.
As the journey continues, Garros, Erin and Ezra begin to act strangely, and realize that the constant contact with the energy at the heart of their Creuxen has affected them psychologically.
Back in Roue, Governor Heath’s campaign continues. When the day to vote in favor or against the existence of Zenith comes, the citizens of Roue decide to close Zenith for good. Vivian, who had only known happiness through Zenith and her Creuxen, Rose Xibalba, falls into depression. Shortly after, however, Vivian discovers that Tara Blanchard, Ezra’s mother, has secretly continued Zenith’s operations from her home, and that she plans to send the remaining pilots to Kerek.
After many battles, Ezra and the team arrive at Kerek. The city is ruined and empty, but near there, at the base of an enormous mountain, they find Milos Ravana. The four pilots discover an entire city called Clairvert hidden within it. There, they find Akiva.
Akiva explains that Dr. Yuri Logan asked him to leave Zenith as soon as possible, and confirms their fears that Lys is about to return and decimate what is left of the human race. The team also meets Clairvert’s president, William Heath, who turns out to be the brother of Ronald Heath, governor of Roue.
They learn that Clairvert was formed by the few survivors of Kerek’s fall, who found a miraculous space within the mountain where the Laani monsters cannot enter. And though the people of Clairvert are safe there, they must deal with a mysterious disease that causes some of the citizens to go crazy. Those who fall before this madness are exiled.
William tells them of a communication system between Roue and Clairvert that, days before, had been mysteriously deactivated, and asks for their help to reactivate it. This, however, means venturing into a labyrinthine network of caves within the mountain—one that is brimming with monsters.
Ezra, Erin, Garros and Akiva pilot their Creuxen through the maze. Erin and Ezra almost lost their lives, but they manage to reactivate the communication system. Upon returning, they discover that Lazarus arrived in Clairvert, even though no one is piloting him.
Ezra begins to fall in love with a young girl from Clairvert, Elena, who was banished from the city after having supposedly fallen to its madness. Ezra discovers that Elena somehow knows everything about the Creuxen, even though the people of Clairvert had never seen one before.
Erin and Garros get married as Akiva and Jena’s relationship falls apart. Later, William shows the team a space behind Clairvert called the Asili, where they find a hole in the ground full of energy, as well as a monstrous stone being whom they recognize as a part of Lys. They begin to understand that the Asili is the source of the energy that powers the Creuxen, as well as Lys’ cradle. At the same time, they understand that the energy of the Asili is what has caused the madness in Clairvert, much like the energy inside the Creuxen has caused a degree of madness in Ezra, Erin and Garros.
Fearful of Lys’ inevitable return, Jena proposes a plan to move the citizens of Clairvert to the island where they found Lazarus. This plan begins despite William’s opposition.
During a small fight with Ezra, Lazarus brutally murders a Clairvert guard and disappears. The team realizes that Lazarus is being controlled remotely by the stone-like creature in the Asili, and soon it manages to smash an opening to Clairvert. The city is invaded by monsters. Many lose their lives in the attack, including William Heath and Captain Farren of Clairvert’s guards.
Vivian, accompanied by Tessa and other Creux pilots, Felix and Jed, try to escape from Roue and Zenith following Tara’s plan. The plan is thwarted by Tessa, who murders Jed and leaves Vivian and Felix in a pit within Zenith with Dr. Lance Mustang, a former member of Zenith. It is revealed that Tessa infected Dr. Mustang with the virus and that he will soon become a monster.
Before dying, Dr. Mustang explains to Poole and Felix that when Lys arrived, the alien first infected three young people who, somehow, are among them and are immortal. Tessa is one of them.
Dr. Mustang slowly transforms into a hideous monster before Vivian and Jed’s eyes. Tara Blanchard, Governor Heath, and Tessa herself appear near the pit. During an intense confrontation, Tara kills Tessa, proving that she is not one of the immortals. Saving Tara’s life, Vivian kills Governor Heath. Despite all the losses, Tara makes sure Vivian and Felix board their Creux and leave for Kerek to join the others.
After a great battle, Ezra and Jena take half of Clairvert’s citizens, including Elena and the body of Captain Farren, to the island. Akiva, Garros and Erin stay in Clairvert to battle the monsters and Lazarus. Lazarus destroys Erin’s Creux, almost killing her. Akiva discovers that a huge obelisk in the center of the city is, in truth, a sword—the second part of Milos Ravana. After many losses, Garros and Akiva manage to defeat the monsters and Lazarus.
Arriving with survivors to the island, which they call Wiege, Ezra discovers to his shock and sorrow that Elena never existed; she had always been a hallucination caused by his proximity and dependence to the Minotaur. This causes him to fall into depression, feeling that he can no longer trust his own mind, much less his Creux.
Soon later, Poole and Felix arrive in Wiege to try to protect the survivors, finally meeting Ezra and Jena.
In Clairvert, Erin tries to recover from her injuries. Garros enters the Asili and has a conversation with the stone monster, which is revealed as Lys—or part of it. Lys tells him that he is a being who has gone from planet to planet absorbing all life to strengthen himself, and that his rebirth is near. Garros turns to find Akiva carrying Erin near the edge of the abyss and, without warning, Akiva throws Erin into the energy of the Asili, killing her, before jumping in himself.
The energy of the Asili begins to amplify and the city is almost completely destroyed. A huge monster appears and Garros recognizes him as William Heath, infected and transformed by Lys. Despite having lost his wife, Garros escapes the city using his Creux, but is defeated by the monstrous Heath. Before he dies, Garros listens to Erin’s voice through his Creux. She tells him that he must go pilot Milos Ravana to save humanity.
Back in Wiege, the survivors see that two enormous beings of light appear from the debris of the mountain which once housed Clairvert. At that moment, a monstrous being that Jena identifies as Captain Farren, transformed, lethally wounds Poole.
As the beings of light awaken in Clairvert, Garros manages to escape and safely synchronize with Milos Ravana. Once inside, Garros hears the voice of his deceased wife speaking to him from inside the powerful mecha, asking him to end Lys once and for all.
Ezra must decide whether to take the dying Poole north to Clairvert or south to Roue, without knowing that her decision could have huge repercussions.
This story ends in THE RIVEN GOD.