The second installment of the pseudonymous TC Joseph’s This Generation saga—which revolves around three families and their individual spiritual journeys of self-discovery—is an audacious apocalyptic epic that fuses Christian myth and prophecy with science fiction elements.
Beginning in 1999 and spanning approximately 15 years, the drama in this novel is thick enough to cut with a knife. Kim Martin’s sons, Michael and Gabe, are initially traveling on two very different spiritual paths. Michael is about to be ordained as a Catholic priest while Gabe is the oversexed activities director on a cruise ship. But when Gabe meets—and falls in love with—a devout Christian named Tina, and Michael becomes entangled in the unsavory machinations of the Vatican, their spiritual paths change directions.
Meanwhile, the boys’ evil uncle Benny Cross—a power-hungry Archbishop —is becoming increasingly involved in a grand-scale conspiracy to bring about a New World Order by creating a Messianic figure who will combine the religions of the world. As the years go by, Gabe strengthens his Faith while Michael’s job on a top secret archeological project involving an alien artifact that could “unlock the secrets of the universe” forces him to lose his way spiritually.
The story is powered by exceptional character development, an action-packed storyline, more than a few bombshell plot twists, and some mind-blowing speculation. Readers who enjoy Christian-based work from authors such as Tim LaHaye, James BeauSeigneur, and Hal Lindsey will find this series to be both entertaining and thought-provoking.
The only criticism concerns the novel’s ending, which—without giving anything too specific away—strays into an area that has been explored often of late by various authors, particularly Tom Perrotta (The Leftovers). That said, the author has set the stage for some jaw-dropping, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it action and adventure, and readers who have read the first two volumes will be anxious to get their hands on Penance, the third book in the series.