Customer Reviews: The Rising: Antichrist Is Born (Before They Were Left Behind, Book 1)
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VINE VOICEon March 6, 2005
Even though I am a huge fan of the Left Behind series and feel that it has done much to advance the cause of the Gospel throughout the world, I must admit that I rolled my eyes when I heard that Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye were releasing three more books. I felt that people had waited long enough for Glorious Appearing. I have actually talked to more and more people who liked the Left-Behind series but have felt that it should go quietly into the night.

So I was surprised at the aim and direction of Rising. Jenkins could have rolled out the same script and characters as Left Behind, inserted some forward-looking prophecies by Tim Lahaye, threw a few dozen Bible verses in and called it a day. Instead what comes forth is a reasoned, deep, character-driven, rich novel of intrigue and suspense.

Jenkins takes us through the rather sordid events that surround the conception of the one who will be the antichrist, tapping into a well of mainstream evangelical theories as to the origins of his birth. A dowdy teacher's aid is chosen by the Satan-worshipping organization that is setting itself up to rule the world. At the same time, we're taken through the very average life of one Rayford Steele, who will emerge, post-Rapture, as a hero and nemesis of Carpathia.

I was mildly disturbed and surprised by the detailed events of both Carpathia's conception and the juvenile college relationships of Rayford Steele. For that reason alone, I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 16-17 and even in that, I would hesitate. The book is clean, but some of the subjects discussed are appropriate for adults.

I was also delighted to see that Rising shares the clear Gospel message and takes a poke at the modern evangelical church who inspires and warms the heart but never seeks the salvation of the soul. To me it reveals the deeping longing in the heart of the writer to see more people added to God's Kingdom.

On the whole, Rising is a great prelude to the Left-Behind series, a wonderful read, but not a necessary companion to the twelve brilliant end-times volumes.
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VINE VOICEon January 24, 2007
I had just finished the twelfth "Left Behind" book and was wondering how to feed my ravenous addiction to this series; then I found the prequels and eagerly started reading, "The Rising." It was surprisingly exciting and, I think, the best-written of the books so far. It's all about the childhoods of Rayford Steel and Nicholae Carpathia. Ray grows up in an average mid-west family, marries, and becomes a pilot. Nicholae is born to troubled parents in Romania; with the help of the mysterious Viv Inis he becomes a phenomenally successful entrepreneur with an eye on world domination.

Unbelievable dialogue was Jenkins' weakness in the previous books, but "The Rising" has a lot less dialogue and reads better. The narrative is swift and mesmerizing. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next to young Nicholae - his story was absolutely chilling and would make a terrific movie. Ray's life is more conventional but still interesting and well-told. The book ends with Nicholae, 23, about to enter the political arena; Ray is 32, dealing with marital problems and temptation at work. "Left Behind" fans are sure to enjoy this exciting prequel; it's a quick and satisfying read.
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on October 29, 2005
If you are looking for book 13 in the series then forget it; the series is over. The Rising begins something different. Yes, the characters are the same but in this series we get to meet them as individuals; we see them before their lives became intertwined. And yes, if you've read the Left Behind series you already know how the prequel series is going to end, or rather what it will begin, but to me that added to it. The Rising made me conscious of what I didn't know about the characters. While I agree with one review that parts of this book are indeed mature, I found that aspect to be realistic rather then bothersome. This book still falls in the category of great Christian literature and I think the authors took a courageous step to attempt to illustrate all aspects of life. Besides, anyone familiar with the story of Tamar and Judah?

I look at this book from another perspective. What about the millions of people who have never read any of the books in the Left Behind series? This book, and the characters, will be completely fresh to them and when they read the prequel series, followed by the original Left Behind series, they will probably have a richer Left Behind experience than I did. Hopefully when this series is finished, I will read the review of someone who read all the books in the proper order.
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on March 1, 2005
Marilena Carpathia is a dowdy unfeminine woman who is more interested in the intellect than in looking attractive. She is married to Sarin who, like her, is a professor at the University of Bucharest in Romania. Their relationship is platonic, a mating of the minds, and she is satisfied until the day comes that she wants a child, something Sarin doesn't want. She meets and becomes involved with Viv Ivins, a spiritualist who worships Lucifer.

She tells Marlena that Lucifer will grant her a child if she promises to raise him to worship him. Both Lucifer and Christ contact her; the former promises her the child while the latter offers her nothing but salvation. She chooses Viv's god and gives birth to Nicolae who grows up to be a brilliant, cunning, and manipulative man who promises to worship Lucifer as his god in return for becoming ruler of the Earth.

Readers of the Left Behind series get to see how Nicolae came into being, how Viv entered his life and how Lucifer controlled events to make Nicolae the perfect Antichrist who would obey him. Surprisingly, hearts will go out to Marilena who realized she made a Faustian bargain and lived to regret it. The audience also learns how Rafe Steel becomes the man he grew up to be prior to the Rapture. THE RISING is a fantastic work that only master writers like Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins can produce.

Harriet Klausner
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on April 14, 2012
Regardless of whether you are a Christian or not, I hope the whole world will read the "Left Behind" series, but only starting with the original first book.

"The Rising" is basically the story behind how the antichrist was born and raised. Also we get some really excruciatingly boring background info on Rayford Steele, a character who takes the lead role in the entire series. What makes this a 1 star review is exactly what another reviewer wrote when they said "Too Much Evil". The book was not only boring but at times infuriating as we get to watch a spoiled-brat antichrist child drive even the saintliest of nun's to hard liquor. If I had to get down to it, even that would not have been so bad, if it weren't for the real lack of hope this book leaves you with. There was one good moment at the end when one of the characters actually decides to follow Jesus, but that came across as an after-thought, like "Maybe we should toss in some Christianity, so we can sell it as such."

This book is a big disappointment. It did not give us anymore info than we could have guessed about from reading the original series. After all, we could have guessed the antichrist was a little horror as a child and must have grown up in satan worship. We could have guessed that Rayford was into flying as a child, and probably acted like every other non-Christian young man in the world. Even how he met his wife was snoozeville! The info it DID give is such that I find hard to believe any Christian would really want to focus on, like satanism. The only remotely interesting thing it did mention was the events leading up to the antichrists existence involving some genetics manipulation. If you read the original series and liked it, I recommend holding it in your memory and cherishing it right there.
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on September 23, 2014
I have read this book now 3 times. Twice in hard cover before I was no longer able to read that type of print. Does this say I like the story. If you have read the Left Behind series of books and want to know more about the main characters, this is a must read. Nicolae was born bad and remains that way even when thrown in the burning lake. You can read about His mother and a bit towards the end, if you have not already guessed, you will learn of who his father is also. You will learn of Rayford Steels upbringing and how he met his wife Irene. This gives good coverage of what is to come. Enjoy. I will be reading this again, once I have read the entire series.
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VINE VOICEon May 15, 2006
I absolutely loved the Left Behind series...some installments more than others, of course, but it will always remain one of my favorite series. At first I was excited to hear that they were going to write prequels...a chance to get to see how the characters in Left Behind became who they were, and all that...but after getting a few chapters into the book, I was struck by how boring it all was. Also, it felt like the authors went a little too into detail about some of the Satanic stuff...but maybe that was just me.

Despite my disappointment with The Rising, I will probably continue to read the prequels; one can only hope that it gets better from here.
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on November 5, 2015
I’ve read all of the books from the “Left Behind” and “Left Behind Kids” series, and this is really the only one that I would consider to be quite pointless. It’s not that there isn’t anything useful in it, and it is kind of interesting to see How Rayford and Nicolae were brought up, but it’s usually rather boring and pointless.
What makes the “Left Behind” series so interesting and successful is that they play out supernatural events from the Bible that really will be happening one day. The problem with “The Rising” is that it takes place before these events start. There is virtually nothing in this book that’s prophesized in scripture, and almost no supernatural events other than some demonic items that I would almost classify as witchcraft. There were many times that I would’ve stopped reading if it wasn’t part of the Left Behind series and written by Christian authors. Some of it is also in the category of science fiction, mainly that Nicolae is said to have 2 biological fathers. I also really did not like what happens to his mother.
Of all the books in these series, this one is not the most frustrating or tragic (I would consider that one to be “Armageddon”), but it’s definitely the most boring and pointless. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever be reading this again, at least not much of it.
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on September 12, 2013
I have read the whole Left Behind series. As I see it, LaHaye & Jenkins have written this series of books to describe, as much as humanly possible, what it would be like on earth if the book of Revelations came to pass exactly as written. It isn't Hollywood & the scriptures are not "re-written" to make them into a "better" story. This is like being there for the Rapture & all that follows, as written in the Bible. One of the most powerful & thought provoking series of books that I've ever read, bar none. I would suggest that you research the series and read them in order, as each one builds on the one before. It is the Story from start to finish. The good part is they are all out now. I had to wait as they were written one by one over several years. You can get the first in the series & read them in order one after another. You'll be reading like you've never read before.
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on October 17, 2013
Every book in this series is thought-provoking & eye-opening!
This copy replaces what I lost when I moved back to Ohio. Was so thrilled to
find the last 6 to complete my series as I want my granddaughter to begin reading them!

There's not one book in the entire collection that is not excellently written! Tim Lahaye & Jerry B Jenkins are blessed writers/authors!
They follow the Bible and its prophesy of Christ's return and what may be in the years prior, etc.

( My review will be same for all 6 books I found to bring my series back up to all 16 books! Am still waiting on "The Rising")
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