Book Review: The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

Millions of people suddenly vanish and frantic "survivors" of the disappearances begin their search for their friends and families, as well as answers to what has happened. Among them are pilot Rayford Steele, his daughter Chloe Steele, and Bruce Barnes, who begin to discover that the Rapture has taken place. Meanwhile, a young journalist, Cameron "Buck" Williams, follows an unknown, but charming, Romanian politician named Nicolae Carpathia, who quickly attracts millions of followers - seemingly overnight.

The books in order are:  The Rapture, The Regime, The Rising, Left Behind, Tribulation Force, Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, Soul Harvest, Apollyon: The Destroyer is Unleashed, Assassins, The Indwelling, The Mark: The Beast Rules the World, Desecration, The Remnant, Armageddon, Glorious Appearing, Kingdom Come. 

Well, this is quite the undertaking, reviewing 16 books at once!  I read this series for the second time last year and if affected me more than the first time I read it. 

The Rapture, The Regime and The Rising are prequels to Left Behind and came out after the first 13 books were released.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the three prequels.  They allow the reader to get to know Rayford's raptured family much better and the descriptions of heaven were outstanding.  The prequels also contain a parallel story about the conception and childhood of Nicolae Carpathia, which I found to be downright creepy. 

The entire series is based on the book of Revelation and the end times, just in case you didn't already know that.  The 13 books starting with Left Behind are fast reads packed with action, survival against all odds, the new Christians hiding their beliefs from the evil regime, and love.  Through it all the Christians remain steadfast in their faith. 

The series made me cry, usually at least once per book.  I know that they are fiction, but they are very moving and I would be surprised if someone could get through all 16 books without being affected. 

Just One Gripe:
Make sure you're all stocked up on Kleenex because you're going to need them.

The Best Thing About This Series:
Reading these books made me want to be a better Christian---I think that's the best compliment you can give a work of fiction.

Appropriate for a younger audience:
Maybe.  Parents, make your own call on this.  Read Left Behind and then decide.

Characters:  5/5
Plot:  5/5
Setting/Imagery:  5/5
Originality:  5/5
Ending:  5/5
Total Score:   25/25


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  1. When I was in middle school, I went through and read all forty of the "Left Behind: the Kids" books and really loved them, and it was amazing how much they affected me. I tried reading the first of the "adult" ones not long after that and I just couldn't get into it; I thought the characters were really boring. Reading this, though, maybe now that I'm older I'll go back and give these a second chance. :)

  2. I would try them again. I was much more moved by them as adult than I was as a teen. They are great!


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