Sunday, May 29, 2011

Current Status: Comatose

For the love of Jehovah, this book is criminally boring.

Okay so the goons make the phone call, but Ryan, when given the call, shouts Darrion's name. This worries the goons for some reason but Ryan gets out of this situation unscathed.

Apparently Darrion Stahley is the daughter of the Global Community's Chief of Security so Judd and Vicki decide to go to the Stahley mansion only to be confronted by a bunch of dogs.

Next chapter, Ryan and Darrion continue to discuss religion. As always, it's Darrion who keep making all the good points despite Ellanjay's attempts to quash her spirit.

"If this God you talk about can do all those miracles why can't he get us out of here?" she said angrily.
"He can," Ryan said. "He can do anything he wants. Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Sometimes he lets poeple go through stuff like this."

Can we say "Cop-out," boys and girls? Again, Ellanjay can't answer the reason for human suffering except to say that "He beats me but I know he loves me anyway."

Anyway, Darrion and Ryan bust out and meanwhile, back to Judd and Vicki. They meet with Mr. Stahley and find out the reason for Darrion's abduction. It was done by someone within the NWO who was punishing Mr. Stahley for objecting to Nicky Knuckles's plans to strategically bomb Montreal, Toronto, Dallas, Mexico City, Washington D.C., New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.

And that's it for these two chapters. Sorry again, for poor quality of snark. I would have thrown in a third chapter, but apparently a lot goes down in that one.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ryan Daley, Butt Monkey Extraordinaire

This is still a mostly Ryan section and Lord, is it dull.

So the YTF minus Ryan decide to read some of Bruce's notes. Apparently in addition to sermon notes, Bruce wrote about his friends. Basically he talks about how Ryan was the last to make his decision and mentions something about an idea that could put his relationship with the TF. But I thought Bruce was the top of the complicated hierarchy that RTCs love. Why would he have to worry about kowtowing to the TF or is this a case that all characters in this story recognize that they are not as worthy as Rayford and Buck.

Meanwhile the goons who grabbed Ryan are about to let him go, but Ryan convinces them to hold onto him. This seems stupid but it's possible that he could be expressing concern for another human being and therefore is refusing to be released unless Darrion is released as well, but such concern is a rare thing in an Ellanjay novel so I can't be sure.

Next, the YTF discover their Junior-Hole-in-the-Ground filled with the Bibles they've collected and Ryan's diary. Naturally because they respect and care about Ryan's privacy, they decide to read it. Good to know you have such caring friends, Ryan.

Meanwhile back to Ryan. He bluffs the goons by telling him about his "Father" who is preparing a mansion for him. Naturally of course, us astute readers can tell he's referring to his heavenly father, but the goons have all the intelligence of a character in a Jack Chick tract so they don't pick up on this.

Okay, next chapter, Darrion talks about her aunt and uncle who disappeared while being held in custody in Romania because they knew too much about Nicky Fansipan, thus setting up for Darrion's inevitable conversion.

Meanwhile we get another appearance of Chloe, who so far has made more appearances in this series than her father, as the remaining YTF continue reading Bruce's notes, which allow Bruce to have a presence in the novel without actually being here, making me wonder if I need to revive my "Bruce Barnes is Useless" tag. Basically, he talks about the Red Horse being released, which means WWIII will start but Nicholae will come out of it as the great peacemaker though it will all be a lie.

Next cut to Ryan and Darrion and we get a discussion of Enigma Babylon Faith vs. RTC faith.

"That's the difference between what Enigma Babylon One World Faith teaches and what I believe. The new religion says you should trust yourself. Decide for yourself which way you should go. As long as you follow your inner voice, you'll be okay."

"That's not exactly what they teach, but go on."

Yes, go on you patronizing git, go on completely misrepresenting my faith.

"The new religion says I should put my faith in faith, in whatever I find that makes me feel like I'm following God."

"You got a problem with that?" Darrion said.

"Yeah, it's just plain wrong. You can't let your feelings guide what you believe. You believe what is true."

"And what is true? One persons's truth might not fit somebody else. See, now you're being exclusive."

One of the repeated problems with these novels: the so-called bad people accidentally end up making more sense than the Elsie Dinsmore characters.

Basically Ryan says she should believe in God rather than belief and does the whole, God sent his son to die for us spiel. Darrion responds by saying, "How can you be so sure?"

Here's Ryan's response in all its (non)-glory:

"I'm not sure because I have great faith. I'm sure because God is great. God showed how great he was in the miracles he performed. The Bible predicts the disappearances and the rise of the one-world government. It's coming true all around us.

So you believe in God only because of what you've seen. Then how is this helpful for the readers in the audience who likely won't ever see said convoluted prophecies ever come true? What is supposed to be the basis of their faith? This is why these books are worthless when it comes to educating on the faith.

The chapter ends with Buck posing as Ryan's father and tracing the call and that's it for this week. Have fun taking apart Ryan's logic, fellow snarkers.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

I really have to apologize for the poor quality of snark in these chapters. We're starting a new book (#9) and there's a lot happening but none of it is really snarkable.

Okay, so the book begins with a cut to Ryan. After spending countless chapters as a background character following his conversion, he is now in the forefront. We get actually a fairly decent description of the chaos going on as he struggles to ride his bike away from the scene, when disaster strikes! His bike gets caught on the bumper of a van and he gets thrown in back where there's another kid, bound and gagged with duct tape.

If you're wondering the kid Ryan is being held with turns out to be a girl named Darrion Stahley. Darrion is a rich kid being held hostage presumably for her parents money which given what has happened, you've got to wonder if that even matters anymore. Wouldn't the disappearance of every child plus the nuking of several major cities have a major impact on the financial markets? At least they would in a well-written book.

If you're wondering what the rest of the YTF are doing right now: mostly they're just running around trying to figure out where Ryan is which would make sense given the chaos that would follow a disaster of this proportion, but it's rather boring to read about.

Okay, turn to the third chapter. About the same is going on. Ryan tries to bond with his fellow kidnappee only to discover she's into the NWO religion so needless to say his feeble attempts to convert her don't work. Oh and the remaining members of the YTF hang out with Loretta the church secretary and discuss Bruce.

That's all that happens. Once again, I apologize for the poor quality of snark. I now leave it all in your capable hands, fellow snarkers.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bombs Away!

If it seems like I'm speeding through the first chapter, it's because nothing really happens. The kids worry about Bruce. Yawn. MEGO.

But the action finally picks up in the last part when the city is bombed. And the hospital where Bruce was staying while Ryan visited was bombed.

There really isn't much to snark on in these two chapters which make up the last of my book. For one thing, we have some genuine excitement for a change.

Basically what happened was the East Coast Militia launched an attack and the NWO followed up with a counter-attack. Again, for a militia they sure don't seem to know much about guerilla warfare as this kind of open assault was bound to be brutally crushed quickly. But again, as Firedrake reminds us in a previous comment, the American Militia movement isn't known for its brains.

Anyway we hear more from Carpathia as he says the words that Ellanjay thinks every eeevil pacifist utters:

It is no secret that I am, always have been, and always will be a pacifist. I do not believe in war. I do not believe in weaponry. I do not believe in bloodshed."

Again, it would be an interesting novel if Carpathia was a pacifist conned and forced into declaring war or if it pointed out his hypocrisy, but remember, Ellanjay thinks that all pacifists are wolves in sheep's clothing. No one could possibly, really be dedicated to ending war unless they had some sort of ulterior motive.

Anyway, the US Capital is destroyed, Heathrow is nuked, and Bruce Barnes is dead. That means I have to retire my "Bruce Barnes is Useless" tag. Pity. But from what I've heard, Token Jew takes over Bruce's job of exposition and shooting all sense of suspense in the head.

They find Mark alive near where the Milita base was and he is forced by Ellanjay to admit that Judd was right.

Oh, and finally someone expresses concern for Ryan. I would ask why they weren't immediately worried when he was missing but again, Ryan is the series' Butt Monkey second only to Hattie in terms of the abuse he receives from other characters.

And that's the end of books 5-8. Were they good? They were better than the adult books but again, that's like a kick in the gut being better than a kick in the teeth.

Sorry not to provide the finest snark, but there wasn't really much to make fun of. I'll let y'all take your best shot in the comments.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Wedding, A Trip around the World (with no pictures), and A Heart Attack

So our YTF, after bravely beating a brave retreat, spend time discussing whether or not the militia is a good idea. Mark is still on board with the idea which makes Judd and Vicki mad. Mark is like, "A change is going to come" and Judd says the change has to be spiritual, and I'm like "O RLY?" in response to Judd's response. Because I haven't seen any sort of change in Judd except that he's stopped "rebelling" and become exactly like his parents which he probably would have done regardless of whether there had been a rapture or not.

Oh and the infamous double wedding between Buck and Chloe and Rayford and Amanda takes place. I really can't comment much on it, save to say that I'm surprised "Love, honour, and obey" wasn't in their vows. I thought someone as patriarchial as Ellanjay would insist upon that. Oh and Rayford and Amanda are moving to New Babylon because the anti-Christ wants all his staff there.

Next up, Bruce and Judd go on a trip around the world and somehow they manage to do this without seeing anything worthy of note. Again, at least Dan Brown, for all his faults, gives you a description of the places his hero goes.

First up is Australia then they go to Indonesia and it's about as boring to type as it is to read. Apparently everyone's dying to hear Bruce's message despite the fact everyone's supposed to be an eeevil athiest now. Oh and Bruce has a heart attack during a flight. But don't worry: people are only allowed to die manly deaths of martyrdom, not heart attacks.

Chaya's mom shows up again in the next chapter and we find out she has cancer. Chaya naturally decides now's her chance to chalk one up on her fuselage and begins trying to convert her.

Meanwhile, the manly men are still trying to talk Mark out of being in the militia by pointing out that if he does join the militia in their attack on the NWO, Rayford's life would be in danger. :cue dramatic prairie dog: This is important because since Rayford is LaHaye's self-insert, he matters above all other human life.

Anyway, I still like Mark because again, he's willing to do something, no matter how futile it may be, to try to prevent the suffering the anti-Christ will bring. That's a hell of a lot more than what the YTF or the TF are willing to do.

Here's a quote from Mark:

"Have any of you considered the possibility that I'm right? I'm going to fight the enemy of this country and the enemy of our souls. People are going to die no matter what. You ought to support me and be thankful the militia is willing to put it all on the line."

Again, the child soldier thing sickens me, especially since didn't Judd want to be a child soldier a few chapters ago, but I feel a need to repeat this: at least they're doing something unlike Bruce "Useless" Barnes and everyone else in this novel.

And that's it for this week.