Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Edge of Apocalypse" Review

Since I received a copy of Thunder of Heaven (the second book in this series) to review, I decided to get the first book from the library to read. My husband, Wesley, actually read both of these books, too, so he helped me a lot with the reviews. (Can you tell Wesley has been helping me with book reviews a lot lately?! Thanks, honey! Anytime you see a Tom Clancy reference, it is from him!)
Edge of Apocalypse is coauthored by Tim LaHaye, one of the two guys who wrote the Left Behind series.  He has studied the scriptures about the end times and is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on the end times.  This series is about the time and events leading up to the rapture and the impending apocalypse.
Set in the near future, America is different from what we know today.  A dustbowl in the Midwest dwarfing the dustbowl from the ‘30s, a virus killing off most of the livestock, OPEC has decided to stop selling oil to us, and our national debt is skyrocketing.  TV, radio, and newsprint have all been converted to the Internet.  And, in an effort to try and control the downward spiral, the government has decided to take drastic steps.  They have passed laws inhibiting personal freedom, allowed UN peace keeping forces to maintain a presence in many places across America, and taken control of the media.
It is in this environment that we meet Joshua Jordan, a former Air Force pilot who retired and became a defense contractor working for the Pentagon.  He has developed a new, controversial missile defense system called Return-To-Sender.  This system shoots a laser at incoming missiles and resets the trajectory to send the missile back to the point of origin.  When North Korea sends two nuclear missiles towards New York, the government asks Jordan to use his untested system to save millions of Americans.  However, global backlash against destroying the North Korean battleship with two nuclear missiles, the U.S. government decides to blame Jordan instead of praising him.  During a congressional hearing, he declares that he is not going to turn over the plans to his missile defense system for fear that they will be sold to foreign nations.
With the president being manipulated behind the scenes, public opinion turning against him by the controlled and biased media, federal charges facing him, and a global cabal which has sent an assassin to steal the plans, Joshua Jordan and his closest and trusted friends must decide what the right course of action is: save their own skin, or do what is best for America.
This series is a cross between the Left Behind series and a Tom Clancy novel.  It was interesting reading a Tom Clancy novel and having Christian themes mixed in.  It was unnerving at first, but eventually I got used to it and actually enjoyed the combination of the two genres.  Where the Left Behind series starts with the rapture and then regales the readers with the global events that happen afterward, this series comes from the perspective of many of the signs of the end times happening before the rapture.  This was an interesting and even scary point of view.  With the other series, these changes happen suddenly and drastically.  However, with this series, the changes happen very slowly and subtly and appear to be for the best.  Even scarier was seeing how some of these changes talked about in this book have already started.
There were a couple of things that I didn’t like about this book.  The biggest one is one that I have already mentioned.  Some of the changes listed in this book have already started.  But, instead of making the changes more generic, the authors point out how they started and who started them.  I realize that President Obama has made some policies that the authors might not agree with or even are concerned might lead to serious problems in the future.  However, I felt a bit uncomfortable with how the authors portrayed our current leadership.  Disagreeing with our appointed leaders is one thing, but attacking them is another, and it sometimes felt like that was what was going on.  The same point could have been made using fictional characters instead of real political leaders.
The other thing that I didn’t like about this book is that I was looking forward to the happy ending.  In Tom Clancy novels, the good guys always win.  However, in this book, you know that the series is heading toward the rapture and Armageddon.  Ultimately, it is most likely that America won’t exist when that happens, or at least shortly thereafter.  So, reading about how our political system is being manipulated and where we are headed is frustrating knowing that there is likely not a happy ending coming in the near future.
Overall, this book was really good.  I love reading Tom Clancy and really enjoyed the Left Behind series.  This book, and the subsequent books in the series, combine the best of the two book styles and blend into an excellent story.  At times, the book felt like the authors were trying to make a political statement, but the story was still very good despite that.  If you are a fan of Tom Clancy style books and the Left Behind series, then you will definitely enjoy this book. 
We will give Edge of Apocalypse: The End Series by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall … 4 BookWorms.

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