On page 205, we find Rayford and Leah going at it again. (No, not that it. Get your mind out of the gutter.) The sexual tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife as they argue.
And of course, Rayford hates “her tone and her attitude,” as if she were an insolent child, despite realizing that he’s guilty of what she charges: never paying her any mind, even with her injured ribs, until he needs help finding Hattie.
Leah says, “I have been hurt by your avoidance of me, but I also realize that you have suffered many losses, including two wives in three years.” Could she be adding in her mind, “And I’m about to be the third!”
The funniest bit is Leah saying on page 206: “And you people are so politically correct around here, no one’s even suggested I do anything domestic.” Politically correct? Since when are the Tribulation Force politically correct?
Page 209 has yet another of a common problem in these books: conversations which do not advance plot or character in any way, shape or form, leaving you to wonder, WHY did I have to read that?
Then further down on the page is an example of lazy grammar: “It had amazed him how difficult it was to find flights anymore.” Aagh! That is NOT how you use “anymore”!
Then we read that “The plague of smoke and fire and sulfur continued to ravage the earth, and virtually every aspect of life was affected.” It’s about time the loss of billions of people (starting a few years before, no less) began to affect every aspect of life.
On page 236, Leon Fortunato (evil henchman of the Antichrist) says to our Trib Forcer David, about Buck: “You said yourself he was the best journalist in the world.”
Best journalist in the world? LOL Well, I suppose it’s possible, now that billions of people have been Raptured or killed since the Rapture, since Buck’s competition is much smaller than it used to be….
On page 237, Rayford is really starting to get on my nerves, doing such things to Bo Hanson (a non-believer) as blackmailing him, and saying “What an idiot” when he sees Bo (who is out of gas) trying to flag down help. What about the saying of Christ:
But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22)
Ray gets upset with his new friend T for putting gas in his tank–you know, being kind to his enemy, as Jesus commands–and thinks T is in league with Bo. So it’s a great relief on page 239 when T calls him out on his actions:
What you’re supposed to think, Ray, is that Bo Hanson is not likely long for this world. He’s going to die and go to hell just like his buddy Ernie did the other day. He’s the enemy, sure, but he’s not one of those we treat like scum to make sure they don’t find out who we really are.
He already knows who we are, bro. We’re the guys who follow Ben-Judah and believe in Jesus. We don’t buy and sell guys like Bo, Rayford. We don’t play them, lie to them, cheat them, steal from them, blackmail them. We love them. We plead with them.
Bo is dumb enough to have given you what you needed without making him think his ship had come in and then sinking it for him.
I’m not saying I have the answers Ray. I don’t know how we could have got the information another way, but what you did sure didn’t feel loving and Christian to me.
I’d rather you had bought the information. Let him be the bad guy. You were as bad as he was.
Well, I said more than I planned. You play this one however you want, but keep me out of it from now on.
It’s also a relief to see Rayford repent after T’s scolding. However, he still is on a self-destructive path of anger, as we shall see.
On page 252, we read about how Dwayne and Tru Tuttle ended up left behind while all their sons were Raptured. The sons started going to church together, and tried to get Dwayne to join them. As Dwayne says:
But they gave me a hard time, see? They were never mean, but they were pushy. I told ’em it was all right with me, ‘slong as they didn’t expect me to start goin’ to church with ’em.
Had enough of that as a kid, never liked it, bad memories. Their type a church was better, they said. I says fine, you go on then but leave me out of it. They told me their mom’s soul was on my head.
That got me mad, but how do you stay mad at your own flesh and blood when, even if they’re wrong, they’re worried about their mom’s and dad’s souls?…
They kep’ after me. They got their stubbornness from me, after all. But I was good at it too. And I never caved.
Sounds like these guys were using the push-and-annoy style of evangelism. Their type of church is better–than what, exactly? And–Mom’s soul on Dwayne’s head? Agh! That reminds me of the Letter From Hell video.
On pages 262 and 265, the authors indulge the series’ phone fetish some more:
Rayford dug through his bag and used his ultimate phone–Mac’s term for David’s hybrid because it could do anything from anywhere. The number was ringing when Dwayne noticed the equipment.
“Now that there is what I call a phone! Uh-huh! Yes, sir, that is a phone and a half. I’ll bet that’s got whistles and bells I’ve never even heard of and–”
…Dwayne turned the phone over and over, hefting it in his palm. “Heavy sucker. Probably does everything but cook your breakfast, am I right?”
“It’ll even do that, unless you want scrambled.”
“Ha! Tru, d’you hear that?! Oh!” He put his hand over his mouth when he saw his wife was sleeping. Then he whispered. “Is this one of them that’ll send or receive from anywhere, all that?”
Rayford nodded. “Best part is it’s secure. It uses four different channels a second, so it’s untraceable, untappable. Lots of goodies.”
Oooh. When Dwayne turned the phone over and over, hefting it in his palm, I hope he remembered to use lotion.
On page 263, Rayford goes to a guy named Albie, a devout Muslim who was against Carpathia “and one of few Gentile non-Christians who also steadfastly resisted Enigma Babylon One World Faith.” (Does that mean he’s for Christ since he’s against the Antichrist? Or is he still going to burn in Hell?)
He provides “anything for a price,” and Rayford wants a weapon. This is not just any gun, but uses fuel injection and hydraulic vacuum, “propels a projectile at two thousand miles an hour,” 48 caliber, high speed.
A formidable weapon, meant for the Antichrist. Because Christianity is all about assassinating your enemies. Oh, wait, that doesn’t sound right….
On page 270, we see more of Buck’s wonderfully persuasive mode of evangelism:
The question now is what you do with what you know? What do you do with Jesus? He has staked a claim on your soul. He wants you, and he has tried everything to convince you of that.
What will it take, Chaim? Do you need to be trampled by the horses? Do they need to suffocate you with sulfur, set you afire? Do you have to be in terror for your life?…
Doctor, let me be clear. Life will not get easier. We all missed that bus. It will get worse for all of us. But for believers it will be even worse than for unbelievers, because the day is coming—
Sign me up now! I need a life insurance policy!
Later, Buck says, “Sir, if only I could trade places with you! Do you not know how we feel about you, how God feels about you?” Who talks that way, especially in the younger generations of which Buck would be a part?
To be continued….