Books Reviewed: Father Elijah: An Apocalypse and Elijah in Jerusalem
This two book series certainly packs a punch.
Michael O’Brien’s novels have a rollicking plot, complete with conspiracy theories, assassinations and intrigue and yet they are also interwoven with intense discussions on politics, Catholicism and the Antichrist.
Father Elijah himself is a complex character; a survivor of the Holocaust, a widower, and convert to Catholicism he is asked by the Holy Father himself to go and call the Antichrist, a charismatic President, to repentance.
Ultimately, this fails, though the book contains conversions and exorcisms and the first novel, by far the weightier and lengthier, ends with Father Elijah confronting his failure.
The second novel, Elijah in Jerusalem, picks up the narrative a couple of years later when, now Bishop, Elijah, is once again called to finish his task.
Once again, the obstacles are many, the stakes are high and only a loyal band of true believers rally around the hero. But in this pre-apocalyptal world, not everything is as it seems.
Michael O’Brien is obviously and intelligent man and his fiction is embroidered with many discussions about religion, politics and at times, these discussions between his characters become quite intense and very intellectual.
He also uses his characters to call out many of the issues facing the contemporary Church and makes a passionate case for real dialogue that advances the truth of Catholicism.
His characters, though flawed, are realistically portrayed and their motives are credible.
I enjoyed this series but the average reader may struggle with some passages that are overly intellectual, though impassioned.
The series’ finale was not what I expected which was a nice change from formulaic endings.
About the Author: I am a reformed perfectionist who is now a stay at home mum with five children under nine years of age. I am a qualified journalist and graphic designer with a decided creative streak, and run a hobby business called Emily Shaw Design + Write. I will attempt most craft activities and love to write about topical - and especially controversial - issues.