"The Children's Hospital" opens with the end of the world and builds in directions both pedestrian and transcendental from there. Part tale of and by an unlikely hero of a medical student, part mythic narrative as thought by the recording angel responsible for watching and chronicling events that represent a third covenant of God with the world, Adrian jumps back and forth between his ghosts deftly. It turns out that our world ends under seven sudden miles of water, the survivors those caught on a random night in a very unusual children's hospital. The remarkable order to their situation slowly starts to reveal. The recording angel doesn't try to hide this from you, but foreshadows much of the order that defines the rest of the book fairly quickly. And by the way, Stephen King should eat his pen in envy of Adrian's ability to deliver a thought worthy payoff to a book hundreds of pages after the actual apocalypse wraps up.
Per his interviews, Adrian is a student at 'divinity school' and a fan of 'American religious history.' Christian readers might mind the absence of Jesus, except as a curse word. The one oblique New Testament reference is to Satan, though I still can't figure out if he was in the book. The pattern of the 'Thing' seems like the sort of thing the Old Testament God was always pulling, and that is at least satisfying.
Though this book can't be read as future history, Adrian speaks to our times well. Death is Adrian's other purported obsession, and I believe I think of death a little bit differently now, especially after the stirring last few pages. A hospital is a place that rages against death to the very end. Perhaps it is appropriate that the apparent last moment of sin and death in human history would occur in one. The implications of the end of Adrian's world make his God's divergence from the new covenant seem somehow not so much a big deal, in fact, though I still do not know that I like why his God opens the floodgates.
So why not? Why wouldn't God pick the most hopeless place, filled with the most innocent suffering to turn history again? A children's hospital is filled with sufferers of unnamed, chronic, miserable, even incurable disorders. Another author might pick such a place to discredit a loving, omnipotent creator. Adrian, having spent many nights in such a place himself, tells his story of a terrible and wonderful miracle and the possibility of all loose ends tied.