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Armageddon 2000 - Omen IV

Novel by Gordon McGill 1982.

Damien Thorn the Anti-Christ is dead and Father de Carlo believes his work is done. But of the seven sacred daggers from Meggido, only one actually entered the body of the Anti-Christ and thus it only extinguished his physical life: his soul lives on. Thus the child that resulted from the coupling of Damien Thorn and TV journalist Kate Reynolds, has inherited both the will and the power to fulfil the biblical prophecies, and, hidden from the world by Paul Buher, now Chief Executive of the Thorn Corporation, the child grows to continue his father's unholy work. Father de Carlo must now persuade the new US Ambassador to Britain to finish what he could only begin.

As cheap sequels go, this one is remarkably literate: the longest book in the series is perhaps the best after the original itself. As with The Final Conflict - Omen III, McGill's first contribution to the series, the whole book seems very visual, especially in the numerous death scenes. The book divides into two halves; though it takes up half of the book, the first isn't much more than a prologue combined with an effort to fill all the plot loopholes of the previous three books, but with the second half, the novel starts moving nicely. None of this is unexpected, but the characterisation is solid (if basic) and some scenes are pretty spectacular (notably Mickey Finn's death scene on the wheels of a descending aeroplane). Fans of the series will lap it up, but the more discerning reader would probably have given up by now.

Note: the fourth book is not to be confused with the fourth film in The Omen series, Omen IV: The Awakening, directed by Jorge Montesi and Dominique Othenin-Girard (1991).

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