I had just finished the twelfth "Left Behind" book and was wondering how to feed my ravenous addiction to this series; then I found the prequels and eagerly started reading, "The Rising." It was surprisingly exciting and, I think, the best-written of the books so far. It's all about the childhoods of Rayford Steel and Nicholae Carpathia. Ray grows up in an average mid-west family, marries, and becomes a pilot. Nicholae is born to troubled parents in Romania; with the help of the mysterious Viv Inis he becomes a phenomenally successful entrepreneur with an eye on world domination.
Unbelievable dialogue was Jenkins' weakness in the previous books, but "The Rising" has a lot less dialogue and reads better. The narrative is swift and mesmerizing. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next to young Nicholae - his story was absolutely chilling and would make a terrific movie. Ray's life is more conventional but still interesting and well-told. The book ends with Nicholae, 23, about to enter the political arena; Ray is 32, dealing with marital problems and temptation at work. "Left Behind" fans are sure to enjoy this exciting prequel; it's a quick and satisfying read.
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