In this eighth installment of the bestselling Left Behind series, Satan has taken full possession of Antichrist Nicolae Carpathia, who demands that all Global Community citizens bow to him in worship and take his mark on their foreheads or right hands. This spells trouble for the members of the Tribulation Force, who have pledged their unswerving allegiance to Christ. Without the mark of the beast, they face torturous persecution and death; several of their associates have become martyrs. Hiding in a bombed-out (but still posh and technologically enviable) Chicago office building, they depend upon a network of other Christians for food and supplies. The believers' public enemy status doesn't prevent the swashbuckling men among them from performing their usual task of rescuing helpless female believers. Armed only with phony IDs and Bond-like cell phones, they whisk around the world preaching how the Book of Revelation predicted every calamity that has befallen the planet. There are some worthwhile moments here, but the authors'' lazy exposition leads to scenes that don't ring true. When a Christian woman is killed by a supernatural lightning bolt and her fianc mourns that ""no lightning bolt... could extinguish a love so pure,"" the sentiment falls flat; their love story has only been told, never shown, and the doomed woman''s character remains undeveloped. Fans who have thrilled to the series' repeated car chases, airplane runway escapes and glitzy technology will find more of the same. Others will earnestly pray for the hastening of the Glorious Appearing, which will bring the series to a close. (Nov. 14) Forecast: Tyndale's phenomenal success with The Indwelling, which debuted at the #1 spot on PW's hardcover fiction bestseller list on June 5, likely will be repeated with The Mark, although sales for the former benefited from a ""whodunit"" mystery that has no parallel in the new novel. Tyndale has planned a 2.5 million first printing.
Reviewed on: 10/16/2000 Release date: 10/01/2000 Genre: Fiction