Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
The Mark: Jerry B. Jenkins & Tim LaHaye January 1—7, 2015
My rating: ♦♦♦◊◊
If The Indwelling marked the end of the first half of the series, The Mark set the scene for the end. Carpathia is now possesses by Satan, the mark of the beast is enforced under the threat of death and no less than four characters are executed in the series’ most harrowing scenes to date.
The tone change is stark. No longer is Leon an uppity comedy character; everything has gotten very serious she it looks set to stay that way.
The bloated cast mishandled at the beginning of The Mark with many of the newcomers – Zeke, Abdullah, Ming, Chang et al – possessing no distinguishing attributes making their inclusion quite dull. However, Jenkins & LaHaye strategically place their characters at the denouement and it’s clear each has a function, at least for now. It’s a series that’s never really made up it’s mind, but here we see a heavy emphasis on plot driven writing.
The acceptance of Carpathia as a deity by the globe is unconvincing. While the plot development is of course tied to Revelation, Jenkins & LaHaye did a masterful job early in the series of a convincing ascension through the political ranks for the antichrist that it’s disappointing the latest rise to idol status wasn’t more believable.
Hattie, Chaim and David are rewarded with some of the most interesting material, along with Jim Hickman. Viv Ivan’s also has a bigger part that finally justifies her role.
While The Mark is hit and miss, it feels the opposing forces have put their affairs in order for a thrilling and tense ride over the remaining instalments.