“Armageddon,” the 11th in the best-selling “Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, debuted at No. 1 on best-seller lists for “USA Today” (Apr. 17), “Wall Street Journal” (April 18), “Publishers Weekly” April 21), and “The New York Times” (April 27). “Armageddon” released April 8 from Tyndale.
Continuing the story of the Tribulation Force, Armageddon finds the faithful Christian remnant, their Jewish counterparts and a few last survivalists, being tracked down and beheaded or shot by the Antichrist, Nicolae’s forces. Ultimately the forces converge around Petra for the final conflict. The Global Community fighting force covers the plains of Israel from Mount Megiddo and the Valley of Armageddon in the north to Bozrah in Edom in the south and stretches east to west almost the entire breadth of what was known as the Holy Land.
This book is filled with the deaths of beloved characters which is not a satisfying read. Not only do a couple of primary characters meet their end in Armageddon, but one of the original Tribulation Force members has been beheaded by the middle of the book and the last two original Tribulation Force members are in mortal danger, with at least one of those dying as the book ends.
The book is filled with intriguing scripture references and interesting situations such as a woman who comes to see the error of her ways and becomes disillusioned with Carpathia’s reign after she has received the mark of the beast. However, Armageddon is choppy in places with not enough transition such as when the remnant moves to Petra and even more with the sequence of events that leads to the last death in the book.
In addition, it appears the Trib Force members have lost their collective minds as one after another stupid, irresponsible mistake is inexplicably made by characters that heretofore were intelligent and cautious.
It will be interesting to see where LaHaye and Jenkins take the series next for “Glorious Appearing” with all but one of the original characters dead and only one of the secondary characters left. The book attempts to develop some of the later additions to the cast of characters, but there is not the same attachment to them as to the original characters. With the loss of so many major characters, there is a loss of “connectedness” to the story line, and other than the coming of Jesus, I wonder how much action is left for a final novel.
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