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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Soul Harvest by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins

The wrath of the Lamb has come upon the earth. The largest and most destructive earthquake ever recorded has just shaken the entire globe. Cities are leveled, mountains have fallen, thousands have died, meteors have fallen from the sky, the moon has turned blood red. God's most severe judgement yet has struck the earth as millions were unprepared. The Tribulation Force themselves is shaken from its effects as they scramble to discover how many of them are dead. Rayford Steele fears that his wife is dead, as does Buck Williams. Neither Amanda nor Chloe have been spotted according to their sources. Something Rayford finds disturbing is that Nicolae Carpathia seems to have known that the earthquake was going to happen, yet did nothing to warn people about it. As the world regroups from this terrible disaster, it is a perfect time to convert more people to Christ, yet the Tribulation Force finds this a hard task when some of their own are missing.

The Left Behind series has dipped to a low point in Soul Harvest because there are many unrealistic plot points. The authors use the earthquake as a tool to kill off unnecessary characters and to create drama about important characters. Nothing very interesting is accomplished throughout the book except for many unrealistic circumstances, thus making it the worst book of the series.

Character development is halted in this installment in the midst of drama and catastrophe. This book reminded me of a B-grade action adventure movie-all show and no realistic plot or good characters. While the situation could have been used to bring out the characters' personalities, it did not.

There are several expendable character deaths, most of them characters who were never fully developed. Yet none of the main characters pass on to eternity-even though Chloe spent a good long time on death's door. Her situation is the most unrealistic because it's so much like a disaster movie that jumps through hoops to keep the central romantic subplot alive even through adversity. By the time Buck finds her, her body is completely battered and torn, yet her-and her unborn baby who no one knew about-are not dying at all. Half the book is spent trying to find her, and the other half is spent bringing her back from death's door. Another problem with the plot is Buck's unlimited GC credit card that allows him to cover any expenses immediately. This becomes a sort of CRT that keeps several characters from spending a few nights in the streets. The sooner this convenient feature is eliminated from the plot, the better.

The wrath of the Lamb could have been a good outlet to change things up in the Tribulation Force-kill off a few key characters, bring out personalities in those that were left. Yet this was not accomplished in Soul Harvest. But now that Buck and Rayford have to leave the GC scene very soon because of their Christianity, the series could take a turn toward more interesting plots. The authors definitely need to pull the series out of this nose dive somehow.

1.5 stars

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