Dan Brown, eat your heart out.
I picked this book up back around the millenium, when everyone was quite sure that Y2K would wipe out the world as we knew it and Jesus wouldn’t stand for this new era. It’s kind of hilarious to have come across it again in 2012, as everyone secretly wonders if the Mayans (and Harold Camping, at some point) had it right. (I doubt it.)
Doomsday books fascinate me, especially in pop fiction form like this. We are so desperate, we poor humans, to know, to anticipate, to control anything at all that we’ll take even terribly written duff like this as some confirmation that we have a clue. We don’t! We don’t know what the endtimes will look like, we don’t know why great catastrophes happen, we don’t even really know why the sun keeps going (yes, we have pretty much scientifically deduced it, but until you can build something that withstands 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, good look with proving it outright). Our fiction (that many try to make fact) deserves better than this.
You say there’s a secret code in the Bible that allows us to have a handle on things? Sure, why not! Never mind things like character development (who died? Wait, that was who? Oh, that guy) or exposition that actually makes any kind of sense (that happened how, exactly? I’m fairly certain that Ms. Plot Point was left in a hotel room in California the chapter before we found ourselves in Jerusalem, but she could get around, I guess). Also, there’s apparently no need for an ending that isn’t quite literally a deus ex machina (okay, maybe not ex machina–although it certainly was in the film adaptation of this).
I read this for the lolz, really, and it’s absurd. Crouch does have a few interesting things to say about the wisdom of prioritizing family and friends over fame, but that’s not a new plea. He also has some decent moments of underscoring how freaky the spirit world can be, which is good, because I think we sometimes get complacent about that and forget how much power is there (however you choose to think about angels and demons, it’s a good idea never to deny that the spiritual realms can get pretty intense).
Other than that, though, this is even less than a beach read. Maybe a dentist’s office read. How frustrating we humans must be when we try so desperately to read the last page while the God Who wrote it wants to be fully with us in this moment, wants so much to have our attention on Him rather than how afraid we are of how He’s going to ruin the world.
Rating: 2/5 stars