Well told, but disagree with the theology
This book (and really the series) is relatively well engaging - if it wasn't I wouldn't have read ALL of them. However, I have beef with it's theology. If you believe in pre-tribulation you will probably love this book. As that's not what I believe about the end times, I wish this book didn't espouse that view. If the book leads people to Jesus, though, I say it's a job well done.
I have very mixed feelings about this book.
I'll begin with some of the good - these guys know their bible! There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that they could answer any question that I could throw at them. Their interpretation is very close to mine, and that helped me to see their explanations clearly, too. One of the characters, Buck, becomes a very interesting character before the end of the book. Bruce begins to be a true character before the end of the book, too, and that propelled me towards reading the next books in the series. Chloe gives an inkling that she might be interesting later on, and she does become better, so please hang in there and read the next book. I'm very glad that I did.
Now for the bad - these guys are not very good writers. I know that sounds really harsh but it's true. Their writing is sometimes so poor that I could not help comparing it to a high school freshman. Things like "____ said" six or seven times in quick succession are so easily fixed that I can't help but to assume that they (and their editor) don't know that it is unpleasant to the reader's "ear".
The story doesn't flow very well and is quite clumsy, throughout. The characters are thrown together and the connection is so flimsy that I found myself rolling my eyes repeatedly. I mean, it's almost painful to read in some places, since it's so awkward.
I don't know the authors but was a bit uncomfortable with what I perceived as a sexist and classist flavor to the entire book. The women in the book are all supremely beautiful and are a large number of years younger than the men who are chasing after them. That's just not right. The men are really successful, powerful, and wealthy. There's not one character that I can say is an "everyman" or "everywoman" type in the entire book. Bruce (the new pastor) is pretty basic but that's only because he has no personality until the tail end of the book. Even then, he's just a little odd.
The authors fall into one of the traps that turns many folks off who might be "on the fence". They make it seem like if you decide to enter the church, you will need to hug people and that your entire demeanor will instantly change. This is not true. I'll repeat - this is not true. Folks, we are not all cookie cutter people and, just because two of us are believers does not mean that we will act the same. Another thing that might turn off a potential believer is that they mention scanty tithing in the same way that they mention having a lustful heart. If I don't tithe the full ten percent, it won't keep me out of The Kingdom! We should give generously to keep our church alive and well, but it's not something that should be given as a reason for one of the characters being left behind. Also, seriously, it's always a bit creepy when a younger woman is hooked up to an older man and the author decides to make her the tiniest bit "forbidden". I know that 20 years old is over the legal age of 18 but, really, would it have killed you to make her 21? It has a whiff of the "barely legal" stench that creeps many women out. Yeah, I'm one of them.
I mentioned above that some of the characters become more interesting. Emphasis on SOME. There are a couple who remain annoying and really take away from the story for me.
One more small bone to pick is that the names of the characters are so hokey. I mean, they're pathetic and stereotypical. Rayford Steele (the handsome, successful, wealthy pilot), Buck Williams (the youthful, powerful, successful writer), Chloe (the beautiful college aged young woman), and Hattie (the gorgeous, mid-twenties, ditzy flight attendant), and the list goes on.
So, that's my impression of the book. I really like the series. This is my second time reading it. The first time was alone and this time it's with my husband. I totally recommend reading the entire series. The next book gets much better. Once things start happening, the story stops hiccupping and flows nicely. The events keep you on the edge of your seat so please don't judge the entire series by this one. The authors have provided a flimsy setup but, trust me, it gets so much better!
Let me just start off with something real quick. I am a God fearing woman in live with her faith! So if you read this review and wish to comment, please be respectful. I'm not saying you have to believe as I do, but if you don't agree with words in this book or review, please don't comment just to "Jesus bash". If you would like to comment about this book from a strictly literary sense, then by all mean feel free to do so!!
To me, Left Behind, book #1, not as much fiction as others may think. Left Behind almost like a glimpse into the future. If you read the book of Revelations you'll see what I mean.
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. --Revelation 1:3
I was immediately into this book!
Rayford Steele is like a lot of other red blooded married men. He works, provides for his family, has wants, has worries...he lusts. Rayford doesn't see himself as anywhere near the best father to his two children, Chloe and Ray. He knows he's not the best husband to his wife, Irene, the best Christian, and now he's been flirting dangerously with adultery.
These are Rayford's own accusations against himself and I think because of these musings, created by the sudden realization that he has been left behind is what makes this book so personable. A lot of men and woman can identify with him and his situation.
Left Behind is written from Rayford Steele's point if view as well as Cameron Williams, aka Buck.
I loved Buck's character as well! Again, the normal yet successful journalist, makes it easy for the reader to connect with him. I have a feeling that Buck is going to make a huge transformation in his beliefs in the other books in the Left Behind series.
About halfway through the book, I had an inkling who the anti-Christ was, but this did not ruin any part of the book for me. In fact, the level of suspense in Left Behind was only added to because of it!
The only part if the book I didn't think was aces was, because Left Behind was written from the point of view of two entirely different people, the story kept leaving off on cliff hangers. However, that just added to the suspense and created a page turning frenzy. So no biggie at all!
Left Behind was well written, flowed easily, and I ate it up! I really enjoyed it! After reading Left Behind, I took a closer look at my own relationship with God and took an inventory of myself.
Left Behind was really eye opening! I would recommend to everyone to read this and the rest of the series! I know I look forward to book #2 myself!
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