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Tribulation Force
The Continuing Drama of Those Left Behind
By Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

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Tribulation Force: The Continuing Drama of Those Left Behind

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Tribulation Force: The Continuing Drama of Those Left Behind
Large Print Edition
The Left Behind Series - Book 2
By Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
Thorndike Press, (2000)
ISBN: 0-7862-2471-1
Genre: Mystery - Suspense

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - September 10, 2001

Unlike the first volume in the Left Behind series, volume two, Tribulation Force, moves slightly out the realm of science fiction and more into the realm of religious drama. For those that have not read the first book in this series, or for those that need a refresher, this book contains a prologue which clearly outlines the major points from the first book. Despite this overview, I would recommend that you, if possible, read the first book first. This will give you a better understanding of the characters and the transformation that has overtaken them as a result of being left behind after Christ raptured his church. After the prologue, the authors get right down to business, starting the story right where the last book left off, with the formation of the Tribulation Force.

As we learned in the first book, now that the rapture has occurred, the world is now set to be faced with seven years of terror. During which time those left behind after the rapture have a last ditch chance to accept Christ and go to heaven. The members of the newly formed Tribulation Force, consists of Bruce Barnes the visitation pastor that got left behind, and his core group of students, Rayford Steele, a pilot, his daughter Chloe, and Cameron (Buck) Williams, a famous newspaper reporter. Their task is to study and learn all about the trials that have been preordained, and to figure out how best to survive them, while at the same time trying to bring as many people to Christ as possible - before it is too late. And, if Pastor Barnes is correct in his interpretation of the relevant scriptures, death may actually be a blessing in disguise, assuming that you've been 'saved', because the coming tribulation will be horrid, and includes such fun things as massive earthquakes, world war III, plague, famine, and various other forms of death.

In the midst of all this chaos, is of course, Nicolae Carpathia, a Romanian politician who meteoric rise to power in the first novel saw him become head the United Nations, and basically, King of the World. In Tribulation Force, Nicolae begins to truly show he is the antichrist. A fact which devastates Buck and Rayford. Firstly, because Hattie Durham, Rayford's former senior flight attendant is now Nicolae's live-in lover. And secondly, because Buck was the one that introduced Hattie to Nicolae, so now both men feel responsible for her downfall.

Nicolae, as virtual world leader is rapidly, and without much difficulty, instituting his theories of world leadership, including the formation of a single religion for the entire world, total disarmament (except for his forces), and total control of the worlds media. He has also moved the UN to Babylon. And, surprisingly, or so one would think, the members of the Tribulation force find their lives intricately entwined with that of Nicolae. Rayford is selected as the new pilot of Air Force One, a plane that quickly becomes Nicolae's, therefore making Rayford Nicolae's personal pilot. As well, Nicolae is campaigning for Buck to take over a major media outlet, which is owned by Nicolae, something that Buck is loathed to do. Amidst all of this, Buck and Chloe, move closer to each other, and they must face the question of whether love is possible in a world that has only seven years to survive.

The main science fiction elements in this novel surround the events taking place in Israel. In the first novel Left Behind, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins introduced to characters, Moishe and Eli. These two men had set up a pulpit at the Wailing Wall and had begun to witness for Christ. In this novel, it becomes clear that these two men have many supernatural powers. They have declared that it will not rain in Israel for three and a half years, and the rains stopped. When they speak, everyone hears them in their own language. And the best, they breathe fire!

As with the first book, Tribulation Force is a quick and interesting read. The book is well paced, and the story complicated enough to hold your interest without taxing your brain. Along the way the authors provide many 'Sunday School' lessons, not the least of which is the one that 'teaches' why it is so important to remain a virgin until marriage. But be forewarned, this book ends with a major cliffhanger - so have the third book in the series, Nicolae, close at hands so that you can read what happens next in the continuing drama of what will befall those Left Behind....

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