Original Books

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Desecration by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins

As the risen Nicolae Carpathia tightens his grip on the world by required everyone to receive a mark of loyalty to him or face death, the Tribulation Force, scattered around the globe, settles into their hiding places. Chaim Rozenweig feels called by the Lord to openly oppose the Antichrist, so Buck follows him to New Babylon to witness Nicolae desecrate the Jewish temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar. The bowl judgements have become, now that everyone bearing the mark of loyalty to Carpathia is suffering from severe boils, allowing the Trib Force to launch Operation Eagle, a plan that allows many Christians and Jews to escape to Petra, a rock fortress in the Israeli desert. Many have no other choice now that the Great Tribulation is in full swing, since earth's days are running out.

The series takes a slight dip after its first five star mostly because of a cheesy end. While there are a few good elements, they are not enough to offset the end, which is clearly trying too hard to be suspenseful. However, Desecration does not miss the Elite List.

The characters seem to have settled into a groove at this point in the series. While Buck is still traveling the world with Chaim, he seems to have hung up his cape in that he has discontinued his late-night rescue missions. Rayford is one of the most active and useful characters now, which is a change from the first half of the series, when Buck was a more active character. The biggest problem remaining in the character department, one that has lingered throughout the series, is the magnitude of the cast of characters. There are so many characters that when one dies, they are hardly missed because the authors introduce a handful of new characters in every book. Each character could have been much better had the authors chosen one or two leads from the beginning and focused primarily on them throughout the entire series. Characters have been the most constant problem of the series, and it would be refreshing to see it fixed before the end.

The desecration scene and the relocation effort to Petra are are handled well enough, but they are not the highlights of the plot. Rather, several mistakes made by characters lead to more interesting circumstances. There is one key character death, but that character is not missed because they had become highly unnecessary. Chang Wong seems to be able to do whatever he wants as the Trib Force's palace mole. The sooner this is cut off, the better. But this is not the worst problem with the book. The worst problem is the end, which tries way too hard to make the end suspenseful. An original follow through of the end in the next book would create countless key character deaths, but everyone knows the authors are not going to blow up a majority of their characters. Thus, this ending is an unnecessary and somewhat desperate attempt to make the reader keep reading.

All in all, Desecration is an above average novel with a few problems. However, with the series winding down, the authors need to step up the originality in order to keep the end of the series from being a bore.

4 stars

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