There is little I can say about Vol. 2 of this masterwork that I haven’t already said about Vol. 1. This is both an elaborate takedown of one of the most absurd series of books in the world and an excellent primer on what to avoid in writing. If you want to be a writer, read this book – and learn from it.
(Piece of fan-art – artist unknown)
Perhaps the most interesting – and horrifying – part of the book covers the growing relationship between Buck Williams (the so-called Greatest Investigative Reporter of All Time (GIRAT) and Chloe Steele. Actually, calling it a ‘relationship’ is rather absurd – Buck comes across as a stalker, a far more creepy version of Edward Cullen. But when Bella’s father worries about Bella, Rayford seems inclined to push his daughter into Buck’s arms … even though I suspect that any self-respecting father would be seriously worried about a guy whose behaviour is staggeringly inappropriate. And yes, it is inappropriate.
But perhaps this is unsurprising. Rayford’s attempts to reach out to Hattie – the girl he kept telling himself he could have at any moment, if he wanted her – is almost worse. There are page after page of cringe-worthy conversations between them … indeed, there is a strong case to be made that Rayford pushed Hattie into the arms of the antichrist himself! Rayford is pretty much the textbook Creepy Older Guy you don’t want your daughter to meet, the person who is superficially charming … until you refuse him. At that point, he turns nasty …
The book goes on to discuss the growing absurdity of the antichrist’s rise to power. Precisely why anyone would pay attention to a Romanian politician after the Rapture is never really answered, but as the Rapture took place without the characters noticing … well, maybe it’s all part of his spell. Except even that tends to take away the sense of free will. Indeed, the only people who resist the antichrist are Buck – who has just converted to Real True Christianity – and – oddly – the power-broker behind the antichrist. (And here Fred offers thoughts on why that may be so, thoughts that far outshine anything you see from the authors.) Just why anyone would embrace the antichrist is beyond me – and it is beyond the authors too, because they offer no explanation. It is merely a done deal for them.
Bad theology or bad writing? Personally, I’d bet on the latter.
But there is one point where I feel compelled to disagree with Fred and it’s on the subject of peace.
Fred points out, repeatedly, that there are strong factions that are instinctively suspicious of anyone promising peace. He’s right – but I think he misunderstands the reasoning behind it.
The problem with ‘peace’ is that it isn’t ‘freedom.’ There are plenty of places in the world – North Korea, for example – which may fairly claim to be at peace, but would you want to live there? Peace is merely the absence of war! There is no shortage of people who will offer peace in exchange for servitude.
In the years before World War Two, the West – Britain and France – made a number of concessions to Hitler and the Third Reich, all in the name of peace. There were elaborate justifications for giving up territory, ending arms limits, throwing innocent civilians under the bus … All that happened was that Hitler grew stronger and his demands grew more and more unpleasant. By the time France and Britain finally went to war in 1939, the Nazi beast was simply too powerful to be slain easily. Would the world have been a better place if Hitler had been stopped in 1936?
We have not learned these lessons. President Obama’s much-touted deal with Iran has already proved itself not to worth the paper it is written on. Iran has merely grown stronger; it already has more demands. And, while Fred condemns the reluctance to make peace in Palestine, it must be noted that ‘peace’ is not security for Israel. Why should Israel give up a tactical advantage for a vague and nebulous promise of ‘peace?’ Beware the peacemaker because he may throw you into the jaws of the beast, just to purchase a little extra time for himself. Preparing for war is a far more effective guarantee of peace than signing pointless treaties or making concessions.
But overall, this book is well worth your time.