Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Indwelling: Left Behind Book 7 (Audiobook)

My review of Desecration went way longer than I should have gone, so I'll try to make this one shorter. This is the first time I've reviewed an audiobook for this blog, which makes this post somewhat special I suppose. It's an abridged audiobook, running at about 180 minutes, so that should help me chop the reviewing length down.

As with the other books in this series, the authors are Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. The audio version was read by an actor named Frank Muller, who does a creditable job at reading the text and doing different voices for all the various characters.

The story picks up right where Book 6 - Assassins - left off, with the murder of the AntiChrist Nicolae Carpathia during a public appearance. Rayford Steele, who had intended to do the deed, changed his mind at the last second only to have his gun go off accidentally. Everyone assumed he'd done it, but it was in fact Chaim Rosenweitz who performed the killing blow. It seems Chaim pretended to have a stroke in the last book in order to convince Nicolae that he was harmless. His plan worked, Nicolae died, and Chaim escaped thanks to the intervention of the plucky Buck Williams.

Rayford makes his own escape, and is told he is a sinner for trying to do things his way. Rayford should have trusted that God would take care of the assassination! But he didn't, because he has so much pride. Ray prays for forgiveness, and he and Jesus are best buds once again.

Chaim also gets Saved, finally giving in to the constant preaching of Buck over the last several books. Nevertheless his conversion seems a bit sudden - the scene where he is convinced of the Wrongness of his ways and of his Desperate Need for Jesus must have been cut to make the 180 minute running time.

Meanwhile, False Prophet Leon Fortunando sets up a huge funeral for his dead boss, and hires a gay stereotype named Guy Blod to design and build a huge gold statue of Nicolae Carpathia. Leon also has super burning powers, and can call down fire from above (from where above is never spelled out) to destroy Nicolae's enemies. He uses this super power very publicly to dispose of three world leaders who weren't loyal enough to Carpathia. Cool super power, but why couldn't the AntiChrist himself have that power? I pointed out in my last review that Nicolae has to borrow a gun every time he wants to shoot someone.

Of course, Nicolae does have one awesome super power: the ability to come back from the dead. At the funeral, Nicolae returns to life in front of a crowd of thousands and on national television, proving just how awesome he really is and fulfilling the Biblical prophecy predicting his return. And, according to the Bible, the AntiChrist returns to life with Satan in possession of him. Indwelling in his body, as it were. Hence the title. Now that Satan is in command, Nicolae pretty much goes on acting like his old self. In fact, the only way we actually know that Satan is in the guy is because the Trib guys keep telling us so.

Speaking of the Tribulation Force, they have problems of their own. Their super-secure safehouse has been compromised, but they all manage to escape without a single one of them getting captured. The Tribs always seem to escape the AntiChrist's minions with an overabundance of ease. Maybe it's because they have God on their side? Even so, it's a weakness that this book, and indeed the rest of the series, suffers from tremendously.

As bad as I'm making it sound, The Indwelling was still a relatively amusing book. I listened to it on my old Sony Walkman (yes, I still have one[yes, this audiobook copy I found is on cassette]) at night before bed, and I wasn't bored. I wasn't all that fascinated, either; as good a voice as Frank Muller has, he could not convince me to keep listening once I got tired. I'd have to say that Indwelling is pretty much a lesser entry in the series. Nothing much seems to happen - and this is the book where the AntiChrist returns from the dead possessed by Satan! The entire book feels like filler. Fun filler at times, but filler none the less.

There, that was a little shorter, wasn't it? Of course, I didn't go into as much depth as I usually go, so this is kind of an abridged review, too.

Likely to Convert - 0
Cover Art - 4
Reader's Voice - 6
Ability to Hold Interest - 5
Unintentional Hilarity - 3
Level of Disturbing or Offensive Content - 5

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