_1000_ by Salem Kirban
This is a continuation of the author's book _666_: having read that book is helpful, but not absolutely required. _1000_ takes place in during the post-Apocalypse 1000 year reign of Jesus. Satan has been bound for this period, and the planet enjoys an unprecedented realm of peace and prosperity.
Many of the characters of _666_ re-appear in the sequel. There are a few new characters as well. Most important of these are Bart Malone and Esther Sanders, children born near the start of the Millennium.
Although one would think that everything would be perfect and wonderful in a world directly ruled by Jesus, there is still a streak of rebellion present, as some people start to chafe, and then protest certain things, such as some of God's judgments, or (of certain countries) having to send a delegation to Jerusalem every year. Bart in particular starts to question life in the Millennium, egged on by co-worker Phil Sutherland...or is there something more to Bart's restlessness?
It is interesting to compare this book with the more recent (by about 34 years) Kingdom Come, by Lahaye and Jenkins. In both books, people living in the Millennium are divided into what Kirban calls "Living Believers" ("naturals" in Kingdom Come) and "Resurrected Believers" ("Glorifieds"). Resurrected Believers are those who had been taken up in the Rapture, or martyred during the Tribulation, and have returned to earth after seven years in heaven.
The difference is that the "naturals" in _Kingdom Come_ do age, albeit very slowly, while the "Glorifieds" do not. No one ages in Kirban's book.
Only Living Believers have the capability (and desire?) to reproduce. Children of these unions are born with a sin nature and must make an affirmative choice to believe in Jesus in order to enjoy eternal life once the Millennium is over. In _Kingdom Come_ a person must make this choice by their 100th birthday or face death and damnation; there's no such time limit in _1000_, where one has the whole Millennium to decide which way to go.
It's apparently difficult to write a smooth narrative over 1000 years; most of the action in _1000_ takes place about 45-50 years into the Millennium, while that in _Kingdom Come_ is centered around 90-100 years or so into this time period. Then both books leap ahead to the last days of the Millennium, when Satan is let loose "for a little while" and the final rebellion takes place...
Kirban's book is certainly shorter; 185 pages (with illustrations) to Kingdom Come's 356. And it gets to the point faster; no he-said-she-said soap operas or condensed Bible stories here. (Bible verses apropos to the text are placed in the margins as a handy reference)
I personally found _1000_ more disturbing to read than the La Haye/Jenkins book, most likely because Kirban spends a lot of time having characters agonize over friends and loved ones who have ended up in Hades. And just about every chapter ends in a "cliffhanger"-type sentence foreboding doom.
Beyond that, some things in _1000_ are just bizarre. After the judgments, people doomed to Hades are loaded on buses? And Hades turns out to be a black hole in space? Hmmm...
If you are an aficionado of this type of literature, _1000_ may be worth seeking out.