The Jannusches’ novel, the first in the End of Time Chronicles, explores life after the rapture.
The husband and wife authors urge readers to be prepared for what is sure to come: The fulfillment of a biblical prophecy of apocalypse. “It isn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when,” the epigraph states. The novel has a captivating beginning, as Alexander Mancini, aka Lex Baxter, runs from the police in a stolen car. He’s been known to charm his way out of trouble, and after he meets an elderly Irish couple, Dorothy and John O’Malley, he’s ready to keep it up. But just as John is probing Lex’s background, the O’Malleys are “raptured.” The rest of the novel follows Lex and a cast of unique characters as they struggle through the aftermath of what has become known as “the vanishings.” Readers will be intrigued by the characters’ divergent paths that cross amid the post-apocalyptic chaos, while the people of Earth consider their connection to God. The clear but basic prose doesn’t particularly help heighten the story’s suspense or emotional effects as the writing does in, say, the Left Behind series, and when introducing characters, the authors jump a bit too quickly to physical descriptions and piling on back story. The novel also takes a strong political stance: “For the first time ever, a Non-American born, Muslim President had risen to power, on a platform promising change and moving forward in history….[T]he changes the new President planned to bring would ultimately be fatal to the country that he loved so dearly.” (The story takes place just as “the President had started his second term.”) Despite the action and ample suspense, some readers may struggle to reconcile the strong political and religious views of the book, which the authors seem to conflate.
Readers who share the novel’s views will welcome this apocalypse.