Rayford Steele is piloting a flight when a number of his passengers disappear. Hattie Durham-his senior flight attendant tries to maintain control of the rest of the panicked passengers. Cameron "Buck" Williams is also on the flight trying to connect with his office to find out what is going on. Rayford makes it home to find his wife and son gone. His daughter Chloe is safe in CA. So why were some taken and not others? Multiple theories fly around-space aliens, technology making people vanish Star Trek style, you name it. Rayford consults Bruce Barnes, one of the only members of his church left and together they realize that the Rapture has occurred. Jesus has returned for all the true Christians and they have been Left Behind.
Of course they are all left wondering what now? To find out they consult the Bible which tells them a great deceiver will come to power promising peace. This occurs in the form of Nicholae Carpathia-a man who rises from a nobody Romanian senator to President of the country to President of the UN. Rayford, Chloe, Bruce, and Buck realize that they must band together and fight the evil this man will bring to survive the seven years of tribulation that will follow-the most destructive time in the earth's history which will bring war, famine, plague and natural disasters galore.
I was kind of surprised at this book. Admittedly the first part of the book where people disappeared really creeped me out for some reason. I believe in God but I've never given much thought to the Rapture and the second coming of Jesus. While I was reading about people finding clothes where their families used to be I kept reaching over to make sure my son who was sleeping next to me was still there and not just his jammies :)
I thought the writing was a little simplistic but the storyline of what happens after the Rapture and the trials the earth might face really captured my attention. I whipped through this book in less than a day. I picked up The Shack about a year back and although I liked it I thought it was a bit too preachy. If I want to be preached to I'll go to church. I feared these books would be that way and they were not. Yes, people pray in it and Bible verses are quoted in it but it doesn't bang you over the head with the principles of Christianity. The story itself was good. The authors have written several more books in the series. I am reading the second book now and will read the third after that. Eventually I will probably read the whole series.
As I said the writing was simplistic which could be good or bad-good if you're like me and you could probably use a copy of The Idiot's Guide to the Bible but bad if you know your stuff already. If that is the case the details will probably just annoy you.
Strangely enough several scenes in this book made me think of Stephen King's The Stand. The books are definitely teaching me things I did not know and new found knowledge is always a good thing. I'll be interested to see how LaHaye and Jenkins interpretation of the end times play out.
If the FTC is wondering: This book was loaned to me by a coworker