I read Nicolae: The Rise of the Antichrist (and a lot of other Left Behind books) a long time ago, when I was a senior in high school and lived with Steph’s family. So it’s literally been ten years, exactly, since I read it. It’s hard to critique a book like this, because it does have its strong points and its weaker points. And it’s hard to review an older book, simply because it’s not fresh in people’s minds anymore, and most people aren’t looking for a recommendation on books that were published in 1998. (Sheesh, that sounds like so long ago!)
That said, here is what I will say. I am a Christian, so reading this series for me is part pleasure, part informational. I really think it’s a great series — part fun and part fearful, but fearful in a way to find God. If that is what you are looking for this is your book. There are so many different elements that make this novel so compelling and such a fast year (I read it in just a few days) — there is action (plane chases and earthquakes and chases in general), there is friendship, there is romance, and there is love. It appeals to a wide variety of readers, which is a perk, I think. Too many books like this have a small audience, but there truly is something for everyone in here, all while delivering a message. I also enjoy how the points of view are constantly shifting — we’re getting people’s reactions in real time, instead of only one character or one character per chapter. We know what people are thinking at the same time.
That said, it feels like some parts of this book were way too descriptive for me. I’m not talking about the parts where the Bible is explained. I mean the parts about how the car falls into a ditch, once with Chloe in it and once with Buck during the earthquake, and both times comes out still functioning. I’m talking about the description of the hiding place at the church. It’s written the way a man would describe, which is a silly, trite complaint, I know, but thus far it’s been something consistent about the series. There is a lot of violence, which some people might not like, but it’s basically the end of the world as we know it — violence is part and parcel, if you ask me.