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The Final Conflict - Omen III

Novel by Gordon McGill 1980.

By now, Damien Thorn has reached adulthood, and is running the Thorn Corporation, now an immense multi-national business controlling food supply to much of the globe, and fermenting unrest all over the place in the process. Everything seems hunky-dory for the Anti-Christ in his quest to take over the world, but a rather large problem is headed his way: namely the second coming of Jesus Christ. Stars are aligning, prophecies are being fulfilled and as the seven sacred daggers from Meggido find their way into Father de Carlo's hands, he and six monks from his Italian monastery realise that the time has come not only to protect their Messiah, but to destroy His sworn adversary once and for all.

The religious concepts of the sort popularised by The Omen ended up being done to death by authors and directors alike, and as a result, by the time this book appeared, they had got a bit stale; but that's not the fault of the trilogy - it's just a fact of life. Most of the good points (some very effective scenes and a superb sense of irony) and the bad points (much of the plot is just blatant character removal) could well be because it's a better screenplay (by Andrew Birkin) than a novel, and most of the ideas are visual. One high point is that the ending is very short. There's no huge build-up to a spectacular finale, and it's all the more real for it; Damien grows up and blocks all attempts to kill him, but when one attempt succeeds, it succeeds with great speed - what could be more natural. However, the low point to counter it is that, after the one-off novel The Omen became a hit film, the idea was to expand the story to produce a trilogy (of films, and thus novelisations) - and as the conclusion to a trilogy, this works. Unfortunately it didn't remain a conclusion to anything for very long, and the trilogy became a series and everything got pretty dismal.


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