99 of 113 people found the following review helpful
The Remnant -- some great material yet remains!,
This review is from: The Remnant: On the Brink of Armageddon (Left Behind) (Hardcover)
For those who think I'm one of the millions of die-hard Left Behind freakazoids who believe that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins simply can do no wrong, I beg to differ. I was sorely disappointed with book 9's abandonment of everything I had liked about the series' preceding volumes. All of a sudden, every single character sounded the same; they made the same kind of wisecracks even in the most stressful apocalyptic situations -- archangel appearances, oceans turned to blood. Everything went too fast. Nothing was described -- just dialogue, action narrative in a somewhat-stilted style. What the heck did Petra look like anyway? Most readers have never actually been there, after all. ...
(In retrospect, I think what threw me most about book 9 was its sudden expansion from four to five principle viewpoint characters -- Rayford, Buck, David, Leah, Tsion -- to well over a dozen. But that may be just because I'm a picky reader and I want everything to be perfectly consistent. ...)
But I have to give a full five stars to The Remnant. Somebody, perhaps the archangel Michael, must have gotten to the author(s) and voiced all of my same concerns about the series' declining literary quality. ...
In The Remnant, the cast of viewpoint characters grows even more, and half of the thing is devoted to the (attempted) rescue of one believer hostage. But still, everything is much better.
Of course, the book does begin somewhat predictably. After all, if all these millions of people are trapped in the canyon-walled ancient city with no hope at all, no way out except by a miracle, what do you think is going to happen? Probably a miracle. Noteworthy, though, to "secular" readers: don't think the authors "cheat" with miracles. This book has more of the miraculous than any of the previous -- and yet it seems to stay plausible!
But my major beefs about the series' preceding novel are all but eradicated. The characters act differently, and seem to speak in different ways. They don't all sound like the author this time -- and now they aren't as handy with awesome comebacks during stressful apocalyptic situations, such as being at gunpoint.
The Global Community forces, especially Leon Fortunato, are not buffoons -- now they've received intelligence injections, they're big and scary, formidable foes.
When things happen, they're described! Finally, we "see" the oceans/blood from the air. When freshwater rivers turn to blood, we see them ... we know what people are wearing, what their hair and skin looks like ... we "feel" the heat from the scorching Fourth Vial Judgment. The author(s) actually use italics, capital letters -- the narrative gets excited about things. When people die, you feel the hurt this time.
So way to go, authors. And readers, get this book -- if you put down Desecration halfway through, don't continue to be disillusioned: just retrieve it and finish it quickly, then pick up The Remnant and prepare to be pleasantly amazed. As far as I'm concerned, the series has now redeemed itself -- and it deserves its popularity.