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Book Review

This action/thriller book is the first in the "The End Series" by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall and is published by Zondervan.

Edge of Apocalypse is written for readers 17 years old and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

A North Korean ship in the Atlantic Ocean launches two nuclear missiles at Manhattan. A missile defense system called Return to Sender, which was created by American ex-special forces soldier and spy hero Joshua Jordan, deflects the missiles. They explode on the North Korean ship, killing all aboard. The United States government, fearing international retribution, publicly paints Joshua as a renegade and then demands that he turn over the Return to Sender specs.

Fearing that the plans will eventually be leaked to enemy nations, Joshua refuses. He evades U.S. marshals sent to arrest him and learns that his college-aged son, Cal, has been kidnapped by a ruthless terrorist hit man nicknamed the Algerian. The Algerian sets up a swap in New York's Central Station: Joshua will hand over the Return to Sender specs, and Cal will be set free. Joshua tricks the Algerian and gives him a set of incomplete specs. Cal is rigged to a bomb but is rescued by Joshua with the help of FBI agent John Gallagher, who has been tracking the Algerian for years.

A bomb goes off in the train yard, and the Algerian manages to escape. Joshua and his group of pro-American patriots then learn that North Korea, with the help of Russia, is about to attack the United States and Israel.

Christian Beliefs

Abigail Jordan is a strong Christian woman. She prays about everything before making any decisions. She repeatedly tries to get her husband, Joshua, to come to church with her, and finally he acquiesces. The pastor's sermon is presented almost in its entirety in the text of the story, and the Gospel is clearly presented. Abigail refers one of her friends to a Christian drug rehabilitation center. While there, the woman gives her life to Christ during a counseling session.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Abigail is presented as an almost ideal Christian wife and mother. She has wonderful relationships with both her adult children. Joshua, on the other hand, is hard on his son, Cal, pushing him further away nearly every time the two speak with one another. When Cal is almost killed by a terrorist, Joshua is shaken to the core, and he pledges to do everything in his power to restore his relationship with Cal and become a better father.


A ship's captain is shot in the head by an admiral whose order he refused. Blood and brain matter splatter the wall. A taxi is driven on a sidewalk, toppling pedestrians in its path. A homeless man is hit by a van and flies over the top of it. A mob of people crush a woman on a subway platform. The aforementioned admiral commits suicide by placing a gun barrel in his mouth.

The Algerian strangles and kills a Romanian spy. A protester smashes another man on the forehead with a boot. The Algerian karate chops a victim on the side of the neck, then ties him up and covers his mouth with duct tape. Police dig up a rotting corpse in a burlap bag and discover all the teeth have been removed. A man is shot in both legs and then thrown into the sea where sharks kill him. Cal is struck in the face and blood runs down his nose.

During a teleconference meeting, a member of Jordan's patriot group exclaims that they should screw caring whether it's a conflict of interest that Abigail is acting as their legal counsel. During another meeting, a member says that whatever the White House claims about a particular issue is "bull . . . "


Joshua and Abigail kiss passionately in a hotel suite foyer upon seeing each other for the first time in a couple days. It's mentioned that a radio shock jock plays a tape recording consisting of a prominent governor having sex with a prostitute.

Discussion Topics

If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:

  • When Abigail finds herself in a difficult situation, what does she do before making decisions?
  • What part should prayer play in your decisions?
  • Does God want you to pray about everything, or only the things that are really important?

  • Joshua has been trained in the military to handle situations on his own — to take the bull by the horns, so to speak.

  • Is this a good quality for a man to have?
  • How could wanting to take care of everything all by yourself help you and others?
  • How could wanting to take care of everything all by yourself keep you from asking God for help?
  • How might it hinder your relationship with Him?

  • Cal was kidnapped and almost killed. What did Joshua realize had gotten in the way of his relationship with his son?

  • How can pride be a good thing?
  • How can pride be a bad thing?
  • Joshua took Cal for granted.
  • Do you take anything in your life for granted?
  • Why shouldn't you do this?

  • Edge of Apocalypse describes a United States of America in which Christians are regularly persecuted for their faith.

  • What would you do if you were persecuted for believing in God?
  • Would you claim allegiance to Christ even if it meant the loss of friends, your school, a job, family or even your life?

  • This book describes a scenario the authors think could happen as the end times draw nearer.

  • What does the Bible say about the end times?
  • Should Christians devote themselves to thinking about the end times?
  • What does Christ say about being ready in Matthew 25:1-13?

Additional Comments/Notes

Book reviews cover the content, themes and world-views of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

17 and up


Tim LaHaye, Craig Parshall






Record Label





On Video

Year Published




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