The Rising: Antichrist Is Born (Before They Were Left Behind Series #1)

( 67 )


Marilena Carpathia has only one dream: to be a mother. So when a mysterious clairvoyant promises the fulfillment of this dream, Marilena does not hesitate. Through genetic engineering and the power of the prince of darkness himself, Marilena is about to become a chosen vessel, one who will unknowingly give birth to the greatest evil the world has ever known.

Halfway around the world, God’s plans are subtly being carried out too. Young Ray Steele is determined to avoid one day ...

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Marilena Carpathia has only one dream: to be a mother. So when a mysterious clairvoyant promises the fulfillment of this dream, Marilena does not hesitate. Through genetic engineering and the power of the prince of darkness himself, Marilena is about to become a chosen vessel, one who will unknowingly give birth to the greatest evil the world has ever known.

Halfway around the world, God’s plans are subtly being carried out too. Young Ray Steele is determined to avoid one day taking over the family business. Instead, Ray sets his heart on becoming a pilot. . . .

Soon Carpathia’s and Steele’s lives will intersect. And good and evil will clash in an explosion that will shake the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This prequel to the Left Behind novels presents the pre-Rapture lives of all the major series characters: Rayford; Irene and Chloe Steele; Bruce Barnes; Buck Williams; and Tsion Ben Judah. The Rising also offers insights into the events surrounding Nicolae's sudden rise to power. A must-have addition to a must-read series.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780842360562
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2005
  • Series: Before They Were Left Behind Series, #1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 690,881
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.34 (d)

First Chapter


By Tim LaHaye Jerry B. Jenkins

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8423-6193-6

Chapter One

Marilena Titi's union with Sorin Carpathia was based on anything but physical passion. Yes, they had had what the vulgar in the West would call a fling. But as his student and eventually his assistant at the University of Romania at Bucharest, Marilena had been drawn to Sorin's intellect.

The truth, she knew, was that there was little prepossessing about either of them. He was short and thin and wiry with a shock of curly red hair that, despite its thickness and his aversion to haircuts, could not camouflage the growing bald spot at his crown.

She was thick and plain and eschewed makeup, nail polish, and styling her black hair. Colleagues, who she was convinced had been wholly enculturated by outside influences, teased that her frumpy clothing and sensible shoes harkened to previous centuries. They had long since abandoned trying to make her into something she could never be. Marilena was not blind. The mirror did not lie. No amount of paint or spritz would change her, inside or out.

And inside was where she lived, physically and mentally. She would not have traded that for all the patrician the butcher could stuff. In recent decades, a tsunami of progress had transformed her quaint motherland from that with the lowest standard of living in Europe to a technological marvel. Marilena could have done without it all. She resided in the horn of plenty of her own prodigious mind, fertilized by an inexhaustible curiosity.

Perhaps she had been born a century late. She loved that no other Eastern European nations traced their lineage to the ancient Romans. And while she knew that modern Romanian women looked, dressed, spoke, danced, and acted like their Western icons, Marilena had resisted even the fitness craze that sent her peers biking, hiking, jogging, and climbing all over her native soil.

Marilena knew what was out there, outside the book-lined, computer-laden, two-room flat she shared with her husband of six years. But save for the occasional foray by bus, for reasons she could not now remember, she rarely felt compelled to travel farther than the university, where she too was now a professor of literature. That was a four-block walk to a ten-minute bus ride.

Sorin preferred his ancient bicycle, which he carried to his office upon arriving each day and four floors up to their apartment upon his return. As if they had room for that.

But hiding the bike reflected his mistrust of mankind, and Marilena could not argue. For all their decrying of religion, particularly branches that espoused innate sinfulness, everyone Marilena knew would have taken advantage of their best friends given the slightest chance. Everyone, perhaps, but the mysterious Russian émigré who ran the Tuesday night meetings in the anteroom at a local library. After several months of attending, Marilena had not yet formed an opinion of the thirty or so others who attended, but something deep within her resonated with Viviana Ivinisova.

Ms. Ivinisova, a handsome, tailored woman in her midthirties, seemed to take to Marilena too. Short with salt-and-pepper hair, Viviana seemed to be speaking directly to Marilena while gazing at the others just enough to keep their attention. And sure enough, when the younger woman stayed after her twelfth meeting to ask a question, the leader asked if she cared to get a drink.

With her load of books and folders gathered to her chest as she walked, Ms. Ivinisova reminded Marilena of her university colleagues. But Viviana was no professor, bright as she was. "This," she said, nodding to her pile of resources, "is my full-time job."

How delicious, Marilena thought. She herself had never imagined a cause more worthy than expanding one's mind.

They found a nearly deserted bistro a block from Marilena's bus stop, were seated at a tiny, round table, and Viviana wasted no time starting the conversation. "Do you know the etymology of your name?"

Marilena felt herself redden. "Bitter light," she said.

Viviana nodded, holding her gaze.

Marilena shrugged. "I don't put any stock in-"

"Oh, I do!" Viviana said. "I do indeed. Bitter," she said slowly. "It doesn't have to be as negative as it sounds. Sadness perchance, a bit of loneliness? emptiness? a hole? something incomplete?"

Marilena reached too quickly for her glass and sloshed the wine before drawing it to her lips. Swallowing too much, she coughed and dabbed her mouth with a napkin. She shook her head. "I feel complete," she said.

Marilena could not meet the older woman's eyes. Viviana had cocked her head and was studying Marilena with a closed-mouth smile. "There is the matter of light," she said. "The bitterness, whatever that entails, is counter-balanced."

"Or my late mother just liked the name," Marilena said. "She was not the type to have thought through its meaning."

"But you are."

"Yes," Marilena wanted to say. "Yes, I am. I think through everything." But agreeing would appear boastful.

Where was the European reserve? Why were Russians so direct? Not as crass as Americans, of course, but there was little diplomacy here. In spite of herself, Marilena could not hold this against Ms. Ivinisova. Something within the woman seemed to care for Marilena in a way that both attracted and repelled her. She might not abet the Russian in her attempt to violate personal borders, but she could not deny the dichotomy that the attention also strangely warmed her.

"Your husband does not attend with you anymore," Viviana said.

It was meant, Marilena decided, to sound like a change of subject. But she knew better. It was an attack on her flank, a probe, an attempt to get to the bitter part of her. Clearly Ms. Ivinisova believed in the portent of one's name. It seemed anti-intellectual to Marilena, but then that was what kept Sorin from the weekly meetings.

Marilena shook her head. "He's not a believer."

Viviana smiled. "Not a believer." She lit a cigarette. "Are you happy with him?"


The older woman raised her eyebrows, and Marilena fought to keep from letting down more of her guard.

"He's brilliant," Marilena added. "One of the most widely read men I have ever known."

"Which makes you 'reasonably happy' with him."

Marilena nodded warily. "We've been together eight years."

Viviana slid her chair back and crossed her legs. "Tell me how you met."

What was it about this persistence that had such a dual impact on Marilena? To anyone else she would have said, "I don't know you well enough to tell you about my personal life." Yet despite the direct approach, Marilena felt bathed in some sort of care, compassion, interest. She was put off and intoxicated at the same time.

She allowed a smile. "We had an affair of sorts."

"Oh!" Viviana said, leaning forward and crushing out her smoke. "I must hear it all. Was he married?"

"He was. But not happily. He did not even wear his ring, though the whiteness near his knuckle was still fresh."

Nostalgia washed over Marilena as she recalled her days as a doctoral student under the quiet flamboyance of the strange-looking professor so enamored of classical literature. By her questions, her participation, her papers, he had been able to tell that she was not there to merely fulfill a requirement. He engaged her in class, and the other students seemed content to act as spectators to their daily dialogue.

"He was a god to me," Marilena said. "It was as if he knew everything. I could not raise an issue, a point, a subject he had not studied and thought through. I suddenly knew what love was-not that I believed I loved him. But I could not wait to get back to his class. I threw myself into the work so I would be prepared. I had always lived for learning, but then I burned to impress him, to be considered his equal-not as an intellectual, of course, but as a fellow seeker of knowledge."

It was the wine, Marilena decided. How long had it been since she had been this effusive, this transparent? And with a virtual stranger, no less. Of course, Viviana Ivinisova reminded her of Sorin in Marilena's impressionable days. She was just as drawn to this woman who seemed to know so much, to care so deeply, and who was so willing to open an entirely new world to initiates. How could Viviana know who would respond to things beyond themselves, truths most would consider coarse and mystical, outside conventional academia? What would Marilena's colleagues think? Well, she knew. They would think of her what Sorin now thought of her. His indifference spoke loudly, as did his absence from the meetings after a mere two weeks nearly three months before.

"Did you pursue him?" Viviana Ivinisova said.

"I never even considered it. I pursued his mind, yes. I wanted to be near him, with him, in his class or otherwise. But I believe it was he who pursued me."

"You believe?"

"He did. He asked if I would consider serving as his assistant. I suspected nothing more than that he respected my mind. He had to consider me his inferior, yet I allowed myself to imagine that he at least respected my intellectual curiosity and dedication to learning."

Viviana seemed not to have blinked. "You were not used to being pursued."

No debate there. Marilena barely spoke to males, and not only had she never flirted with or pursued one, but neither had she ever considered such interest coming the other way. Certainly not with Dr. Carpathia. Not even when he insisted she call him Sorin. And have a meal with him. And spend time with him aside from office hours. Even when he became familiar, touching her shoulder, squeezing her hand, throwing an arm around her, she considered him brotherly, or more precisely, avuncular, for he was ten years her senior.

"But at some point you had to have known," Viviana said. "You married the man."

"When I first accepted his invitation to the apartment we now share," Marilena said, "we spent most of the night discussing great literature. He made dinner-very badly-but I was too intimidated to agree when he said so. We watched two movies, the first a dark, thought-provoking picture. He sat close to me, again in a familial fashion, leaning against me. I was so naïve."

Viviana's eyes were dancing. "Then came a romantic picture, am I right?"

Were such things so predictable, or was this part of Viviana's gift? In the meetings she had oft proved her ability to foretell, but now she knew the past as well?

"And not a comedy," Marilena said. "A thorough-going love story, full of pathos."

"And true love."


"Tell me."


"Tell me how he seduced you."

"I didn't say that-"

"But he did, Marilena, didn't he? I know he did."

"He put his arm around me and left it there, and during the most emotional scenes, he pulled me close."

"You spent the night, didn't you?"

Astonishing. Sorin had, in fact, sent her home for her things after they had made love.

"Not very chivalrous of him," Viviana said. "No wonder it hasn't lasted."

"It has lasted."

Viviana shook her head with obvious pity. "You coexist," she said. "And you know it. You're more like brother and sister than husband and wife. And you don't sleep together anymore."

"We have only one bed."

"You know what I mean."

"But I never wanted that anyway. Really, I didn't. I was smitten by Sorin's mind. Truthfully, I still am. There is no one I'd rather converse with, argue with, discuss ideas with."

"You never loved him?"

"I never thought about it. His seduction, as you call it, gave me an inside track on what I really wanted: to stay in proximity to that mind. He never loved me either."

"How do you know?"

"He told me by never telling me."

"That he loved you."

Marilena nodded and a foreign emotion rose in her. What was this? Had that been what she wanted? Had she wanted Sorin to love her and to say so? She honestly believed she had never longed for that. "I must have been an awkward lover."

"He lost interest?"

"In that. We still spent hours together talking and reading and studying. We still do."

"But the romance died."

"Within months of his divorce and our marriage two years later," Marilena said. "Except for his occasional necessities." She emphasized it the way he had. "And who knows where or to whom he goes now when necessary?"

"You don't care?"

"I don't dwell on it. I didn't marry him for that. I am a born student, and I live with a born teacher. I am not a physically passionate person. I have all I need or want."

When they were on the street, Viviana walking Marilena to the bus, the older woman took her arm. "You're lying," she said, and Marilena felt her first rush of guilt since childhood. "We're getting close to your bitterness, aren't we? Your loneliness. Your emptiness. The hole in your soul."

Marilena was glad she had to keep her eyes forward to avoid tripping in the darkness. She could not have faced her new mentor. My soul, she thought. Until a few months before, she had not believed she even had a soul. Souls were for religious people. She was anything but that.

Marilena wished the bus would come and whisk her away. Even facing Sorin's bemusement at her newfound interest in what he-"and any thinking person, including you"-considered anti-intellectualism would be respite from the relentless searchlight of Viviana's prescience.

They sat on the bench at the bus stop, Marilena hoping a stranger would join them, anything to interrupt this. "You have discovered something within yourself beyond what I have been teaching," Viviana said.

It was true. So true.

"You pushed it from your mind the first several times the stirring came over you. You reminded yourself that you and Sorin had discussed this, had dismissed it. He'd already had a family. Besides, the apartment was too small. Your work could not be interrupted. It was out of the question."

Marilena's jaw tightened, and she would not have been able to object had she chosen to. She pulled herself free of Viviana's arm and pressed her palms to her face. How long had it been since she had wept? This longing, this stirring, as the older woman referred to it, had nagged at her until she forced herself to push it away. Out of the question was an understatement. She did not want Sorin's child, especially one he would not want. And neither did she want to deceive him into producing a child within her. All of a sudden, after years of looking the other way when he took his "necessities" elsewhere, she would-what?-begin to be his lover again until hitting upon perfect timing?

The whine of the bus in the distance was a relief Marilena could barely embrace. She stood and fished in her shoulder bag for her transit card.


Excerpted from THE RISING by Tim LaHaye Jerry B. Jenkins Copyright © 2005 by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 67 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2005

    Wonderful Addition

    I have read all 12 books of the LB Series. I saw this book in a store just browsing! Picked it up and didn't put it down for 2 days! I think there were definitely some slow parts, but they are quickly made up for with other more informative and exciting parts. I am definitely counting down the days until I can get the next book in November. Wonderful job guys! :0)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2005


    I absolutely loved this book. I could not put it down. The continual spiritual battle kept me on the edge of my seat. It definitely had a crazy twist at the end. If you want to know, you'll have to read it yourself. You should definitely read this book. It makes you think twice about the decisions you make and who you trust because it could change your life and maybe even the world.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2011


    I have been wanting to read this series for a long time. Decided to when I purchased my Nook Color. Now I can't put it down. I'm in book #2 now. Good read!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2005

    good prequel

    After reading most of the left behind novels, i figured I give The Rising a try and it is a good read that goes into detail why and how the characters were molded before the rapture.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2005

    Not as Good

    I have read the entire Left Behind series, and always was very impresse with the level of writing and the details in the stories, but in this book I found many things unbelievable. such as high speed internet as Carpathia as a child, I dont believe it to be accurate. Overall a good story but not up the same quality as the others.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2014

    I recently read ¿The Rising¿. Written by author¿s Tim Lahaye and

    I recently read “The Rising”. Written by author’s Tim Lahaye and Jerry b. Jenkins. Tim Lahaye, conceived the idea of fictionalizing an account of the rapture and tribulation. He is also a noted author, minister, and a nationally recognized speaker on bible prophecy. Jerry B. Jenkins, is the writer of the left behind series. He is former vice president of publishing for the moody bible institute of Chicago.
    In this book Marilena a professor prays for the day she gets impregnated. As Soring, her homosexual husband refuses to ger her pregnant she starts going to these Tuesday night meetings that tell her something that’ll changer her life, and answer her prayer but not from jesus Christ himself. 
    In my opinion I thought the point of the book was to tell the reader to be careful what you wish for, because what you wish for might not be what you want. You may get the complete opposite of what you ask for, but at the end I realized it was to put all your trust in god and let himi determine your future. 
    From my perspective of the book I did not enjoy it, because its based on Lucifer himself and all the powers he is capable of doing and how he can ruin your life without even knowing it, and it also implies that he is a better god than god himself. The authors could improve the book by maintaining a steady setting and not jump from one set of a conversation to another. 
    I would recommend this book to readers who find amuzement to the opposing side of god. They need to know that his is a very critical book that you need to really pay attention to, because it can get very confusing at times. 

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  • Posted April 3, 2013

    I was really intrigued by this book. There was a lot of jumping

    I was really intrigued by this book. There was a lot of jumping around which almost always drives me crazy. the stories were both very interesting, I just didn't really like reading them simultaneously. But that's just me.  I tend to get interested in one story and want to skip ahead to see whats next instead of reading the in between. I try to fight it, I really do, but sometimes I don't win lol. So there was some going back to pieces I missed from time to time. But other than that, I really enjoyed this book.

    This book is about a woman that has always been a seeker of knowledge. She has always been fulfilled by her life as a teacher and scholar until now, and now, her motherly instincts have kicked in full force. 

    Marilena and her husband  have never wanted children together. He has children from his previous marriage and she has always been happy learning what she could from him. A child never even entered her mind. They didn't have room for a child in their lives. But now, a baby was all she could think about. She is desperate to find something to get her mind off of her longing to be a mother when she comes across a flier advertising a group for people who are looking for more in their life. How much more, Marilena could have never guessed.

    After several meetings with this group with predictions of a child in her future, she decides to approach her husband about it. Instead of getting the answers she was hoping for, he takes their conversation in a totally different direction and it seems that she will soon find herself single. But it doesn't lessen her need for a child any more. She is still determined to be a mother and as it turns out, the leader from the group that she has joined wants to help her. How can she say no, when it seems her dreams of being a mother are  within her reach? But will motherhood be all she has ever hoped it would be? This seems a little too good to be true.

    Also in this book is a story about the life of a young boy named Ray Steele. Ray's family is a middle class family. His parents are older than the other kids and his father is a small business owner. He has always envied the kids with money. What he would give to have the things they have and live the lives they did. That will be his life someday he thinks. Somehow, he will make it happen. Ray has always gone to church with his family, but he has never really gotten it. In his church they don't teach salvation, everyone is just trying to live the best they can and hope that it is enough. But when his friend asks him if he is saved, he becomes a little consumed by it, but his parents don't want to talk about it with him. That stuff is for the holy rollers, not for them. They are just supposed to do the best they can to live like they should. But is that really enough?

    As Ray grows, he goes through many different stages in his life. At first he is popular and a star athlete, then he went through his awkward stage. By the end of school, he was the star athlete again. All he has ever wanted is to be a pilot or a professional athlete. With his fathers help, he has been taking flying lessons and will be a licensed pilot before he graduates high school. But it seems that it may be too late for catch the eyes of any college scouts to make it as a pro athlete.  

    With college in his future and ROTC his college years are shaping up to be very interesting. Will his life turn out to be all he has ever hoped for? I guess you will have to read and find out. 

    There are many twists and turns in this book that you won't want to miss. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Awesome! Highly Recommended!

    The Left Behind series is incredibly good!

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  • Posted April 11, 2012

    very interesting

    This should have been the 1st book in the left behind series. I read the first series of Left Behind and then read the "prequels". Great job LaHaye and Jenkins. Brought me back to the Bible.

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  • Posted March 12, 2012

    Read before Left Behind I

    Not as spellbinding as the Left Behind Series, but still thought-provoking.

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  • Posted January 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Entertaining Fiction with Some Dangerous Beliefs

    This book is the first of a series of prequels to the huge Left Behind Series. Because I have read all of the others, I wanted to read the remaining volumes as well. I enjoyed this book for the most part, as I believe any fan of the original series will. It simply delves in more detail into the early lives of two of the Left Behind series main characters, one of whom is the anti-Christ. I have mixed feelings about these novels. One the one hand I find them entertaining (I wouldn’t have read over a dozen volumes, if I didn’t.), on the other hand, I don’t agree with all of the dogma or specific religious beliefs of the very opinionated authors. So while there are some important ideas, and even some truths put forth in these stories, the fact remains that they are fiction and should be read as such.
    Michael Travis Jasper, author of the novel, “To Be Chosen”

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Loved it

    Had read the first 9 books in the series about 2 1/2 years ago.. decided to go back to the beginning and see how it all started so I can finally finish the series...and glad I did! Read it in 3 days and on to the next!

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  • Posted February 11, 2011

    great. book.

    very easy to read. loved the story

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  • Posted March 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book!

    I loved this book and couldn't put it down once I started reading it. Great plot. Easy reading.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    Good book, reader not so great

    The book and the storyline are very good, but the man reading the book is a little boring. It is easy to loose concentration with this reader. It might be better to read the book for yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    Left me wanting more

    The story was well written it took me sometime to get into the it but I enjoyed it overall. I just was left wanting more with how it ended.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Riveting Series

    I really enjoyed the original series starting with Left Behind. This really helped explain how Nicholai came into being. Although fiction, it really makes you take inventory of your beliefs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2005

    wonderful for children

    I consider these books on par with the Harry Potter series. It is important to have a escape from reality into fantasy in today's world. And unlike JK Rowling, Tim LaHaye really taps into that child-like vein of innocent cruelty that few adults can muster. Read it out loud to your friends, a real hoot!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2005


    I have read all #12 Left Behind books and all #40 kids books and i must say that they did a fantastic job with this book. Although you didn't see much of Rayford till the end of the novel, i liked how they showed the history of Nichole and his mother and how his father didn't want to be involved. I can only imagine that the next book will be about Buck and his family....and i can't wait!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2005

    Trying to get blood from a turnip.

    When I heard that there was a prequel and epilogue I thought that the story would be pretty good. Yet the whole story from the get go was pretty lame. I mean Carpathia as a child was a real brat, already knowing that he had power and acting like so. Yet at the beginning of the whole series, Carpathia is a real nice guy. Even behind the scenes. Rayford is made to look even worse as dumb jock. It seems that Lahaye & Jenkins are just writing anything, because they are under contract on the Left Behind series. The series it self was made longer than needed be. When the epilouge comes out I hope it's a little better.

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