Nicolae by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins
NicolaeIt is 21 months since millions of people disappeared from the Earth. In that time the Earth’s governments have started gathering into one unit under the Global Community. Nicolae Carpathia rose from obscurity in Eastern Europe to the head of the United Nations to the head of the Global Community. He now prefers the title Potentate. With his rise the power he made a covenant of peace with Israel, gathered many followers, gave the great farming chemicals to many poor nations, and started moving all the world’s nations onto one even field.
Rayford Steele has been promoted from his pilot job with Pan Global to flying the Potentate’s jet. He is one of the few people Nicolae trusts to fly him around. Rayford lost his wife and son in the disappearance (Left Behind). Then he and his daughter Chloe learned of Jesus Christ and the salvation that Christ offered. Although he missed what he believes is the Christian Rapture, Rayford now has the assurance of that salvation in the coming years of war and famine. He identifies Nicolae Carpathia as the predicted AntiChrist. He keeps his job with Nicolae so he can watch and learn Carpathia’s plans for the world.
Cameron “Buck” Williams has been promoted to chief editor of Carpathia’s favorite weekly news magazine. Buck, now married to Chloe Steele, is also a Christian who learned about Christ after the Rapture. Nicolae doesn’t seem to know about his religious affiliations or his relationship with Steele. He keeps his news reporting as impartial as he can, considering the Global Community now owns and controls all the world’s news outlets and communications systems.
At the beginning of Nicolae, World War III has started. A dear friend has died, whether from the war or an illness is not known. Steele and his new wife Annabel, along with Buck and Chloe, are able to retrieve the body and return to their church in Chicago, New Hope Church. Their friend and pastor Bruce Barnes has built an underground shelter there for the future but only the five of them know about it. For now they have to go to the church, pass along the message that is so important to them about the coming times and mourn for their friend.
Rayford is flying Nicolae between Chicago, Houston, and New Babylon in the Middle East, Nicolae’s base of operations. At the beginning of WWIII, Washington D.C., New York City, and London are bombed. Other large cities follow, including downtown Chicago. The others stay in the Chicago area, comforting and assisting all those from the New Hope Church that they can. Bruce Barnes had prepared a sermon for the following Sunday about the soon to occur war, earthquake, famine, and pestilence that is going to occur around the world. Rayford wants to get back to join his family and friends for the memorial service to hear that message.
Meanwhile, Buck is called to Israel by an old friend. He soon finds himself in the position of smuggling a wanted criminal out of Israel. Rabbi Ben Judah has been accused of murdering his wife and step-children. In reality, Global Community soldiers killed Ben Judah’s family because he went into hiding. He has publicly and on world wide television declared that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Jewish Messiah prophecies. He is now an enemy of the state. He cannot come out if he wants to live and help the new Jewish Christians move forward. Buck finds him and looks for a way to escape from Israel. He knows that the only way the two of them will escape the country is through God’s intervention.
Nicolae is a novel that addresses the Rapture/Tribulation prophesies from the Revelations of the Holy Bible. If you haven’t been captured by the first two novels in this series, don’t start here. This is an on-going 7 year story line. Nicolae covers about 2 weeks or so. Of course not all people believe in Christianity or these prophesies. There are Christians who also don’t agree with these prophesies. I do, and I find these books fascinating.
At times I found Nicolae to be preachy – yet that is what is needed during this time of the Tribulation. If our protagonists don’t have a strong faith, they will not survive. The day to day doings are too unpredictable and unsafe. Buck needs all the miracles he can get if he is to help Ben Judah escape Israel. I have seen reviews that this is a slow novel, but I was caught right up in it. And it has a cliffhanger ending that frustrates the reader. I’m certainly glad I wasn’t reading these as they came out. I would have hated having to wait for the next book in the Left Behind series.