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The Mark
The Beast Rules the World
By Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

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The Mark: The Beast Rules the World

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The Mark: The Beast Rules the World
Large Print Edition
The Left Behind Series - Book 8
By Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
Thorndike Press, (2001)
ISBN: 0-7862-3223-4
Genre: Mystery - Suspense

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - October 11, 2001

The Mark: The Beast Rules the World is the eighth book in the Left Behind Series, and as it opens we are left without any doubts - Nicolae Carpathia is the Antichrist. Swiftly, he moves from being just the dictator of the world to being a god. He demands that all worship him, and those that don't face death. Worse, at least for the believers, Carpathia has ordered that everyone is to bear his mark, either on their forehead or on their hand. In addition to this mark, a small chip will be imbedded in everyone. This chip can be used to track people. It will also act as an implanted, pseudo credit card. Instead of cash, people will simply have their chip scanned. If you don't have the mark and its accompanying chip, it will be illegal for you to buy or sell anything.

The mark is voluntary, sort of. If you decide not to take the mark, the Global Community Forces get to use "...immediate-response mechanisms for the reluctant." In laymen's terms, if you say no, you are sent straight to the guillotine. A device that, before the book ends, turns many believers into martyrs. Because of this edict, the Tribulation Force members, especially those working in New Babylon such as David Hassid, must quickly orchestrate their escape away from areas under Carpathia's control.

The Tribulation Force itself, has, fortuitously, just moved into bigger quarters that can house the influx of members who can no longer function in a world in which everyone must wear Carpathia's mark. Their new safe house is, in essence, Chicago. From the time that Carpathia nuked various cities in the U.S., everyone had thought that when he bombed Chicago that nuclear weapons had been used and that the city was now unsafe. David discovered that this was untrue and hacking into the Global Community computers made such changes as were necessary to ensure that no one ever discovered what he had. Once he was done, no one looking at the data would ever imagine that anyone could survive in the radioactive wasteland that use to be the great metropolis of Chicago.

As new members join the Tribulation Force, and old members begin to make the journey to the new safe house in Chicago, the authors attempt to convert Hattie Durham, and by extension, those readers who have not yet 'seen the light'. As well, some members of the Tribulation Force, following what seems to be an unending death wish, retrace their steps back to Israel, a country from which they just escaped from in the last book!

In my review of The Indwelling I stated that I felt that Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins were "...becoming overly repetitive with their story lines." This point is amply illustrated in The Mark. When Nicolae Carpathia was resurrected, he called down fire (i.e., lightening) to kill those who did not worship him. One of the missing after this event is Annie Christopher, David Hassid's lover. In a reply of Rayford Steele and Buck Williams searches for their wives, Amanda and Chloe after the global earthquake, David must search for the missing Annie, not knowing if she is dead or alive. Same story, just different names.

While The Mark was not, in itself, a terribly engrossing novel, it does set the stage for the possibility of some real, hold your breath drama in the books yet to come. When this book opens, the story is forty-two months into the tribulation and three days into the great tribulation. During those forty-two months half the population that remained after the rapture, has died. For the most part these deaths have been violent and punitive. Now that Carpathia has been indwelt by Satan, the pace must surely quicken, the tribulations must get even worse, and the trials that the Tribulation Force must face and conquer are destined to become progressively more severe. In addition, the authors warn that Satan will now take out his rage on the Jews, who had, up till this point, been protected from his wrath. The last sentence of this novel, if the authors hold true to its dictates bode ill for the characters, but good for those readers that like a suspenseful read, " ...the battle of the ages between good and evil for the very souls of men and women would burst from the heavens, and all hell would break loose on earth."

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