A series of American Christian novels by Tim LaHaye (of Left Behind
fame) and Bob Phillips (and Greg Dinallo for the first novel only) about an Adventurer Archaeologist
and expert in Bible prophecy, Michael Murphy, and his attempts to find evidence of The Bible
's truth by recovering artifacts while an evil organization known as "the Seven" seek to bring The Antichrist
to power. Michael is aided by the mysterious Methuselah, a rich evil old Hollywood Atheist
who points Michael to the location of the Biblical artifacts; Isis Proserpina McDonald, an expert in ancient languages who befriends Michael; Shari Nelson, Michael's research assistant; and ex-Mossad agent
Levi Abrams. Working with the Seven are Talon, an assassin who trains falcons to kill for him; and Corrupt Corporate Executive
media mogul Shane Barrington.
The series currently consists of four novels.
- Babylon Rising (2005)
- The Secret on Ararat (2006)
- The Europa Conspiracy (2007)
- The Edge of Darkness (2008)
As with Left Behind
, there is a blog
dedicated to dissecting and criticizing the books, with a complete overview of the first book here.
Provides examples of:
- Ambiguously Gay: Arthur Barrington, a sculptor with dyed hair, piercings, a fondness for leather, and no girlfriend.
- Ancient Conspiracy: The Luciferian group who plans to take over the world was founded waaaay back in the days of King Nebuchadnezzar.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: The Seven want Shane Barrington to use his media power to discredit Evangelical Christians. In order to convince him, they give him lots of money and kill his son.
- Author Avatar: Michael's conservative Protestant views are very much LaHaye's own, and the books will go on about it in detail.
- Author Filibuster: Michael will sometimes stop to make speeches detailing LaHaye's views of the world.
- Author Tract: Babylon Rising expounds at length about how Evangelical Christians are persecuted by "secular humanists", One World Orders who want to bring world peace are secretly evil, evolution is false, the New Age is a satanic plot, The Bible is inerrant, and America is in constant danger from terrorists. The series ultimately exists to get these points across.
- Artifact of Doom: A reoccurring element of the series, mostly artifacts that are non-Jewish and non-Christian in origin.
- The bronze serpent, in Babylon Rising.
- Badass Bookworm: Isis McDonald, at least in the first book.
- Butt Monkey: Paul Wallach, Shari's on-again, off-again boyfriend. Belittled by Michael, manipulated by Shane Barrington, and subject to constant evangelism from Shari. His climactic Butt Monkey moment comes when he is killed by Talon while protecting Shari...and ends up in Hell because he is not a Christian.
- Chickification: Poor Isis gets this in the second book. Apparently, Greg Dinallo was the only thing keeping her awesome.
- Cosmopolitan Council: The Seven is made up of two British men (one apparently a Roman Catholic priest), a Spanish man, a communist Chinese general, a German woman, a Romanian woman, and an Indian man. How interesting that none of them are American...
- The Cutie: Shari Nelson
- Dark Mistress: Stephanie Kovacs to Shane Barrington until she becomes a Christian
- Dean Bitterman: Archer Fallworth of Preston University, at least to Michael. A bit unusual in that he never bothers students, only one of the professors. We never see him interact with anyone else.
- Disposable Woman: Laura Murphy. How to get around the problem of giving Michael a love interest without making him unfaithful or single? Have Talon kill his wife early on.
- Earth Is Young: Type A. Much of Michael's motivation for finding Noah's Ark in The Secret on Ararat is to disprove evolution.
- Expy: Micheal Murphy is pretty much Indiana Jones with a crucifix painted over the serial number.
- Fiery Redhead: Isis McDonald.
- The Fundamentalist: Michael Murphy, Laura Murphy, Reverend Bob Wagoner, Shari Nelson. All played totally straight.
- Happily Married: Michael and Laura Murphy
- Heel-Face Turn: Shane Barrington in The Edge of Darkness.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Isis the Fiery Redhead.
- Hollywood Atheist: Methuselah. He mocks Michael's faith every chance he gets, yet he leads Michael to evidence of the Bible's truth.
- Hollywood Satanism: In the form of Luciferians whose group goes back to Babylon during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar.
- In Medias Res: Babylon Rising begins with Michael plummeting down a hole. The Secret on Ararat begins with Micheal almost drowning. The Europa Conspiracy begins with Michael falling down a cliff. The Edge of Darkness begins with Michael jumping off a moving roller coaster. All of these are "tests" engineered by Methuselah.
- Intrepid Reporter: Stephanie Kovacs
- The Mole: There's one in Murphy's party in The Secret on Ararat, natch. Interestingly enough, Blake isn't there on behalf of the Seven, but rather on behalf of the CIA.
- Mysterious Backer: Methuselah.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Talon.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: It's not Latin, but several cult members chant in a dead language over the body of a kidnapped girl. Michael tries to intervene, is almost killed himself, but Isis saves the day by knowing the language herself.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Seven. They like to sit in darkness so their guests can't see them clearly.
- Professional Killer: Talon.
- Psycho for Hire: Talon.
- Public Domain Artifact: The Brazen Serpent and Noah's Ark.
- Religion Is Right: Evangelical Christianity is the only way to live a moral and fulfilled life. All non-Christians are destined for Hell.
- Show, Don't Tell: We are told that Michael Murphy is a dedicated teacher, yet he spends the bulk of the novels abandoning his classes to hunt for Biblical artifacts.
- Straw Character: Dean Archer Fallworth, who exists solely to attack Micheal's faith and teaching methods in poorly-done arguments just so that Author Avatar Michael can crush them.
- The Antichrist: Not a big player yet, but the books are heading in that direction.
- Unkempt Beauty: Isis McDonald in the first book, when she "hides" in frumpy clothes.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Talon does this to Shari's brother, Chuck.