Book Review - Damien the Man: The Son of Perdition by Ralph D. Nybakken
In the mail the other day, a copy of Damien the Man: The Son of Perdition by Ralph D. Nybakken showed up. The best way to describe it would be that it's similar to the Left Behind series if all those volumes were to be condensed down to about 350 pages. And being how tedious some of those volumes became, Nybakken's work is in many ways much more enjoyable to read.
The basic plot revolves around Christian end-time prophecies involving the Rapture, the Tribulation, and Armageddon. Michael Nelson has designed a system that will gather massive amounts of data on every person in the world. While at first he is pleased with his creation, he slowly starts to question the motives and direction of the United Nations leader who is implementing it. This foreboding grows after a couple of friends disappear in front of his eyes, and they leave behind a Bible and an explanation of end-time prophecy. Michael and his wife start to understand and anticipate the events that are putting the entire world under the leadership and domination of a single ruler and his ever-present assistant. Nelson draws the line at receiving the identification mark that has been mandated by the leadership, and becomes an international fugitive as he tries to disappear and hold out until the anticipated final war in the Middle East.
If you've read any Tribulation novels, you pretty much know the general plot, events, and timing. The only real difference is in the quality of the writer in terms of how he brings those events to pass with his characters. Nybakken does a good job in covering a seven year timespan in a relatively condensed number of pages. At first, the time jumps seemed to be rather large and unexpected. But the longer I read, the more I realized that these gaps were necessary to tell the whole story without becoming bogged down in details. And as mentioned in the opening few lines, this approach worked FAR better than the uneven pacing of many of the Left Behind books.
Damien is a solid read given the self-published nature of the book. Given how some of those turn out, I wasn't expecting a whole lot up front. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised.