15 November 2010

Left Behind: Desecration

Read all my reviews of the Left Behind books!
1. Left Behind, 2. Tribulation Force, 3. Nicolae, 4. Soul Harvest,
5. Apollyon, 6. Assassins, 7. The Indwelling, 8. The Mark,
9. Desecration, 10. The Remnant, 11. Armageddon,
12. The Glorious Appearing, and 13. Kingdom Come

So blah blah blah the oceans turn to blood and all sinners are covered in sores, but hey, who cares? There are exciting stories about international flights to spin! Seriously, it may seem like I'm exaggerating, but just about every chapter has a character engage in a long colorless conversation or hop on a plane - while glossing over major disasters.

Still, compared to the last book, a lot happens:

David Hassid dies, the latest in the author's strange habit of killing each technically-adept character as another appears on the scene. Hattie also dies, victim to the companion trend of killing off female believers for a cheap emotional ploy. Chaim becomes Moses-reborn, with really labored parallels, and evangelizes the Jews, who all see how foolish they've been for 2,000 years and convert except for a few. These few are persecuted, while the converted all go to Petra and live there, surviving massive military attacks thanks to earthquakes that wipe out the godless enemy.

Meanwhile, a new character flies to rescue two other new characters, but you don't need to know their names since they serve only to insert in a scene of torture and murder and then immediately vanish from all relevance. And Chloe goes for a walk in Chicago and finds a group of believers who had been hiding out for months in one building, afraid to go out because they had heard on the radio that they had been hit by a nuke.

Yeah. Seriously.

It's not enough that no one outside the city questioned the fact that no radiation showed up on their monitors and there were no signs of it, but people living in the city for months don't leave their building, either.

"Most of us stayed, sleeping in here, watching, listening, studying, praying to get Jesus, and all of a sudden, World War III. Chicago's toast. We've got one TV and one computer hooked up. First we hear it was not nuclear; then the next wave is, and we expect to die of radiation poisoning. It doesn't happen, but we don't dare test the atmosphere outside. We knew if it was fullblown radiation, we were not protected just because we were inside some basement, but we figured we were safer in than out. Till now."
Yeah. That seems reasonable. Sure it does.

Of course, there's more gun fetishism. The authors love them some fancy phones and guns.

George handed Rayford a weapon more than four feet long that weighed at least thirty-five pounds and had a built-in bipod. Rayford could barely heft it horizontally.
"Carry it nose up," George said.
"I won't be carrying it at all," Rayford said. "What in the world kind of ammo does this thing take?"
"Fifty-caliber, Captain," George said, digging out a clip of four six-inch bullets. "They weigh more than five ounces each, but get this, they have a range of four miles.
They also mention offhand that the entire goddamn ocean has turned to blood, killing all marine life and hundreds of thousands of people, but that only merits four or five sentences in the whole book. The discussion of this amazing gun lasts for half a chapter.

Also, it turns out the Antichrist is kind of a dick now that he's been possessed by Satan. Go figure.

"Where would you shoot them?" Carpathia was speaking quickly now, his delivery liquid, as if savoring the mere thought.
"In the heart or in the head, Potentate, for a sure kill."
"Yes! No! You have how many rounds in your personal side arm?"
"Me? I'm carryin' a semiautomatic handgun with a nine-round clip."
"Use it all!"
"Start with the hands. First one, and when they grab it, the other. As they scream and dance and turn and try to flee, shoot first one foot, then the other."
"I see."
"Do you? As they lie howling and others abandon them in fear, you still have five rounds, do you not?"
"Yes." Hut sounded terrified.
"Both knees, each shoulder. Particularly painful. Make them change their mind, Hut. Make them say they love me and that they are sorry they opposed me."
At some point he switched from being arch-manipulator and sinister unknown to being comical and goofy in his over-the-top, mustache-twirling villainy. When told he can watch a missile strike live in his office, he seriously says, "Do not tease" before squealing in glee. They actually and literally have Lucifer Morningstar, Satan and the Father of Lies, author of all evil and older than the stones themselves... squealing.


Buck had long since chosen to believe it and had to fight a grin. Resting apparently none too comfortably beside him was the most unlikely leader of a million people. He couldn't wait to see how God would manage this.

Yeah, we don't feel any drama or tension either, Buck.

Thinking about his eyes reminded him of his ears and George's desperate admonition to plug them somehow. How close had he come to deafening himself? Rayford rolled to his side, ripped a strip from his shirttail, tore it in half, and forced a bunched-up wad of material into each ear. As he was settling in again, hoping he had not affected the aim, his phone chirped.
It was Albie. "You going first or what?"
Sure, let me put in my earplugs and then have this phone conversation. Makes perfect sense.

The blast stunned and deafened him. Without even the sensation of sound now, he slowly rolled his head, retrieved the toppled rifle, and looked through the lens. He feared he had permanently
damaged his eardrums, but his vision had not been affected. In his periphery the big chopper continued past, and across the way both soldiers slumped, motionless, a cloud of rock dust rising behind them.
Killin' for Jesus. Praise him. Screw that whole "turn the other cheek" thing, he probably was kidding.

"I will keep my remarks brief," Chaim said, "but I will be asking you to make a decision that will change your destiny. If you agree with me and make this commitment, cars, trucks, and helicopters will ferry you to a place of refuge. If you do not, you may return to your homes and face the gruesome choice between the guillotine or the mark of loyalty to the man who sat in your temple this very day and proclaimed himself god."
Yeah, that seems like a fair choice.

So anyway...

  • Annie - Dead.
  • Leah - Abrasive believing nurse. At high risk of death.
  • Hattie - Dead.
  • Verna - Dead.
  • Loretta - Dead.
  • Chloe - Annoying believing wife and daughter and "CEO" of a keep-her-busy trading company.
  • Amanda - Dead.
  • Hannah Palemoon - Native American nurse and a believer. Probably safe because of ethnicity.

  • Donny Moore - Dead techie.
  • Ken Ritz - Dead techie.
  • David Hassid - Dead techie.
  • Zeke - Alive techie in Chicago. At high risk of death.
  • Chang Wong - Alive techie in New Babylon. Probably safe because of ethnicity.

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