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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Apollyon by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins

In the wake of the wrath of the Lamb earthquake, Nicolae Carpathia has rebuilt the world along with his own state-of-the-art city, New Babylon. The Tribulation Force has been forced into hiding in the underground bunker of a deceased friend. Hattie Durham joins them there after being kidnapped by Buck from an abortion clinic, yet she has brought with her a strange disease. Buck soon finds himself torn between his very pregnant wife Chloe and his very unsaved friend in Israel, Chaim Rosenweig. In the midst of all this, the next trumpet judgement hits in the form of poisonous locusts instructed to torment those not bearing the mark of Christ for nine months. Buck finds himself caught in Israel when their resident physician Floyd Charles finds something wrong with his unborn child. In the midst of all this uncertainty, the Tribulation Force must prepare for a future when they can no longer be seen or heard.


is a slight improvement from Soul Harvest if not for any reason other than the fact that the authors finally learned how to write a realistic Buck Williams Rescue Mission. Actually, several of these take place in the book, which suggests that the authors cannot come up with anything better to write, yet on of these such incidents they actually end realistically. The series has not reached its full potential yet, but it is getting there.

It's hard to know what to expect out of a series' characters in its fifth installment. They did not take any steps forward or backward, yet remained the same. Tsion is still the most under developed character. Buck, Chloe, and Rayford are still their usual selves. Hattie is still an interesting character. One character in particular became ambiguous when the authors decided to do something unexpected with him. When a series is five books deep, the characters should be superb because they consistently show off their personalities. However, Buck is consistently used as a stunt-rescue man yet has not developed any conclusive personality. Chloe has settled into being a nothing-character ever since her earthquake injuries. Rayford in the only one with a varietous life at this point. I think the biggest problem with the character department is the number of characters. There are too many for any of them to be given personal attention. The authors do this to cover a lot of bases since this is a virgin series idea, but it isn't working.

The locusts are a Hollywood-ish plague because the believers can basically do whatever they want during the span of this plague, but one cannot contradict the Bible. There aren't really any key character deaths in this book for that reason. The authors are trying to create a romantic subplot between two characters in the underground bunker. This needs to be stopped because one of the characters has already had way too many romantic interests. Introducing the issues with Chloe's baby was unnecessary unless the authors were actually going to use them originally.

Basically, Apollyon is an average novel, yet an improvement from Soul Harvest. The authors need to continue improving like this to bring the series out of its nosedive.

2.5 stars

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