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Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

The Indwelling

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The Indwelling: Jerry B. Jenkins & Tim LaHaye, January 6—19, 2014
My rating: ♦♦♦◊◊

TheIndwellingThe Indwelling spans just a couple of days in the immediate aftermath of Nicola Carpathia’s murder, and marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation – the point at which things go from rather bad to actually quite awful.

To have an entire novel dedicated to the few days between Carpathia’s murder and his funeral should have been an absolute gift, giving us an intense and dramatic instalment. Instead, The Indwelling is crying out with missed opportunities.

We return to Left Behind with Carpathia – Antichrist, leader of the world, arch villain – dead on a live TV broadcast with our regular heroes as potential suspects. And in their infinite wisdom, the writers start off not there, but with Leah hanging around for ages in a prison waiting room hoping a guard might let her visit Hattie. And so begins what is largely a complete non-event. Given the significance of Carpathia’s murder, it is disappointing that the reaction from the GC, the public and the Trib Force is largely overlooked.

The unmasking of the killer is awkward too. It’s made obvious to us long before the dots are connected, and even then there’s no dramatic reveal, more of a gradual understanding. The penny drops slowly and quietly for the characters, and it’s an anti-climax.

Away from New Babylon, and Tsion’s dream sequence is also clunky and odd. It’s placed strangely within the narrative and interrupts the flow of action. The initial scenes are inoffensive, but the dialogue between Tsion, Gabriel, Michael and Lucifer is contrived and uncomfortable.

While the plot and writing are weak, the character drama is still good. Rayford’s on-going leadership and personality crises come to a head in a satisfying way, while Chloe embarks on her own remarkable development as she straddles motherhood and faith. It’s at the grittier end of the scale and well worth the attention it was given. Although it came out of the blue, it’s an interesting grey area that will hopefully be explored further.

Chaim continues to be an interesting character, and he manages to provide theological challenges amongst the lightweight truisms from the others that verge on platitudes. He exemplifies the crucial difference between belief and acceptance, and throws up some challenges for co-stars and reader alike. He even manages to lighten the mood now and again.

Increasingly, Left Behind is becoming populated with one-dimensional clones who hover around the core Trib Force. More than once I was left scratching my head trying to work out who people were and where they came from. Especially outside of the States, the hangers-on seem to have no personal relevance but instead serve as plot devices with birth certificates (even if they are probably fake). More needs to be done to flesh out the supporting cast, or streamline the roll call.

There are, however, exceptions. The brash pathologist was a terrific guest star, and Guy Blod has perhaps become the greatest ever Left Behind character. Hilariously pompous and gold dust with David Hassid, he was a shining light of The Indwelling.

Although this instalment turned out to be more of a transition from Tribulation to Great Tribulation, and from Carpathia to Indwelt Carpathia, there remains promise for a strong follow-up.


One comment on “The Indwelling

  1. Pingback: The Mark | Simon's Bookcase

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2014 by in 3 star, Left Behind and tagged , .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare