Cover image for The reckoning
The reckoning
Monteleone, Thomas F.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Forge, 1999.
Physical Description:
414 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
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Peter Carenza, a miracle-working product of a secret Vatican experiment, has become the new Pope, but instead of becoming the savior his creators hoped, he has become the Anti-Christ, and begins a mad quest to destroy the world.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The imminence of biblical apocalypse sustains this ambitious but overstuffed sequel to Monteleone's millennial thriller, Blood of the Lamb (1992). In that novel, Father Peter Carenza, who was cloned from a bloodstain on the Shroud of Turin, first showed his dark side, using his awesome supernatural gifts to self-serving ends and raising fears among Vatican higher-ups that imperfect human efforts to engineer the Second Coming had produced the anti-Christ instead. As the newly appointed pope, Carenza has now begun to overturn the foundations of the Catholic religion, revoking clerical vows of celibacy so that he can marry Marion Windsor, an increasingly reluctant lover whom he accidentally kills in anger but then resurrects. Carenza's outrages coincide with the secret resurgence of the Knights of Malta, miracles performed around the globe by seven ordinary people who share a vision of a spectral "Lady in the Light," and cataclysmic solar flares that suggest all is not well in the firmament. Monteleone compresses an impressive quantity of religious and political history into the fast-paced narrative, but the provocative questions of faith and philosophy the story raises are brushed aside in the headlong rush to tie together the numerous subplots in an extravagant finale. His engagingly varied characters are reduced by the novel's broad historical and geographical terrain to props in a plot cribbed from Revelations. In effect, he has crafted a tale of intrigue and espionage whose clerics and ecclesiasts are nothing less--and, somewhat disappointingly, little more--than the cops and crooks of conventional suspense fiction. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved