Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
Apollyon: Jerry B. Jenkins & Tim LaHaye, January 19—February 3, 2012
My rating: ♦♦♦◊◊
In what is very much a tale of two halves, Apollyon fails to significantly deliver as the fifth instalment of Left Behind.
The first section is devoted to the events in and around the Meeting of the Witnesses as they gather in Israel to hear Tsion Ben-Judah preach. In the main, very little happens aside from the stand out sequence which sees Carpathia gatecrash.
Much of the remaining Israel sequence is inconsequential, with the introduction of Chaim’s staff rather uninspiring. The ongoing efforts of Tsion et al to convert Chaim are well paced though, and it gives the character depth as we understand his simultaneous acceptance and rejection of the Gospel.
The latter half of the novel covers off the darkness and, towards the end, the titular unleashing of the locusts of Apollyon. Interestingly, the focus during the darkness is more on the political fallout of the latest judgement rather than the anguish of the Tribulation Force which provides an interesting angle. However, its treatment is weak and Carpathia acts out of character.
It is beginning to trouble me that everybody who isn’t saved is pro-Carpathia. Even if the Global Community control the mainstream media outlets, surely in these cynical times there would be an opposition, even an unofficial one? The risk is being run of making Carpathia and the GC too flat and two-dimensional.
As with Soul Harvest, we fast forward through all but one day of the ten(ish) months of the the latter plague, bypassing it all to reach Chloe’s labour. When Left Behind began, it focused on the Rapture with the human drama providing texture; now it’s turning into a soap opera with Armageddon as a backdrop.
An ominous epilogue suggests the sixth run will crank things up a notch. Let’s hope this is one prophecy they’ll spend some time on.