Glorious Appearing: The End of Days (Left Behind) - Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins

When you imagine reading a fictional novel, do you dream of reading verses taken straight from the New Testament? Do you like seeing characters stretched to unholy, unbelievable and cartoonish extents? Do you like your heroes to be shielded from all harm and for there to be absolutely no tension in a Big Final Battle? Do you like romance thrown in awkwardly, making Anakin and Padme's romance from "Attack of the Clones" look sexy? Do you like reading repetitive lines upon lines that repeat the same thing over and over again in a repetitive fashion?

Then this book is for you!

After stretching out the franchise to ungodly lengths (it was rumored this series was to be SEVEN books to coincide with the 7 years of Tribulation), Jenkins and LaHaye decided to end this atrocity. (But in case you were relaxing in your chair, thinking they could do no more harm to the English language and literature, be warned - they decide to reanimate their zombie of a story with more sequels and prequels than you can wave a turkey at. They must have taken lessons from George Lucas!) So they took the Epilogue they've held in storage, vomited a bunch of Bible verses in it and wrote the same scene from each of their 3 billion characters and came up with this fart.

Honestly, this series should have ended many, many books again. There just isn't enough plot to fill this book and really hasn't been since "Assassin". And that's the God's Honest Truth. That's not me nagging at the atrocious writing (they've never had that great skill, but these latter books make the earlier ones look like gold), the terrible characters (probably the only thing worse than LaHaye's and Jenkins' lack of writing is their inability to create a decent character to give a damn about), or the abysmal storytelling (I know the Bible already "dictates" "exactly" what will happen at the end, but has NO ONE heard of artistic licensing and a little thing called DRAMA?! And not that bullsh!t "let's flip POVs right before something "exciting" happens to make you wonder whether the main character will get out alive - which, duh, of course he will"). This is just really not that good.

Instead of giving us tension, a STORY, they drag out the same sequence they have been the last 5 books - meager plot, lots of switching POVs, and enough Bible verses that there ought to be a Bibliography or something for citation. Oh, sure, they were able to squeeze a little of story out of who dies--Rayford or Buck? (They had to keep with Bruce's "One of the Four Trib Force Members would likely survive the 7 years" even though statistics doesn't work that way.) And yes, they were able to scrounge enough plot (and that isn't a lot) to write the end battle - which given that our Real True Christians aren't even susceptible to the enemy's attacks blows any tension out of the water. But honestly, most of the book is just Bible verses that they scrounged during devotionals and regurgitated - in between switching POVs of the ENTIRE cast of "Good Guys" saying in rapid succession: "OMG, Jesus! Jesus iz da coolz! Jesus is speaking in my language! JESUS!"

And the final meeting with Jesus? If that is what going to "heaven" is like, I want to opt out. Blasphemy, yes, but this is NOT what I envision meeting my Lord and Savior to be. I do not imagine standing amongst a bajillion other people listening to God recite names all day - and on top of that, somehow everyone in the world can hug him at the same time and STILL feel like an individual. (This must explain the Quiverful movement.) It's underwhelming, it's disappointing, it's absolutely awful.

I read this series a long time ago, back before I knew good writing and was a more stringent Christian (you know, fundie evangelical and that rot). And I knew, even then, it wasn't the best of writing and characters (I absolutely HATED the treatment of Chloe throughout the novel), but I enjoyed it for what it was. The earlier books were exciting and interesting in places, and well, we all have to start somewhere.

To have this series end like THIS is crushing. I wonder why I even bothered. This book could be used for torture in Guantanamo Bay. There are a billion things I would rather do than to read this book or this series again, such as:

+ Eat nails
+ Listen to the Mother's Song from Earth's Children
+ Read another Anita Blake book
+ Sit in traffic for 2 hours
+ Have constipation for 3 days
+ Have my foot run over by a stampede of elephants
+ Get my tongue pierced
+ Have a colonoscopy
+ Have a tooth extracted
+ Have all my teeth extracted
+ Watch paint dry
+ Walk around with sand in my underwear
+ Walk around for an hour trying to find a bathroom when I REALLY need to go

I think you get the drift...don't read, unless you REALLY like to snark and have a few IQ points to burn.