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|Author||F. Paul Wilson|
|Cover artist||Stephen Gervais|
|Series||The Adversary Cycle|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback)|
|LC Class||PS3573.I45695 R4 1990|
|Preceded by||The Touch|
In 2009, a revised edition was published.
Almost immediately after being slain by Glaeken in a castle keep in Romania in the Spring of 1941 Rasalom has opportunistically entered the body of a clone that grows within a woman hired by the scientist in charge of a project seeking to create a genetically enhanced super-soldier for the U.S. Army.
The story actually begins in 1968 when a seemingly Jim Stevens, an apparently normal man, finds that he is the heir to the fortune of the recenly killed, and brilliant scientist, Dr. Hanley. For Jim, being an heir promises not only financial independence, but the solution to the mystery of his life. Lovingly raised by adoptive parents, Jim yearns to discover who his parents are. Named in Hanley's will, Jim is sure that the scientist is his father. Moving into Hanley's mansion, Jim finds the scientist's journals, which were never meant to be read by Jim or in his lifetime. To Jim's shock, the dead scientist's journals reveal that Jim is in fact a clone of Hanley.
When word of Jim's origins gets out, Jim finds himself the subject of "The Chosen", a group of religious fanatics convinced of the imminent arrival of The Antichrist. The ancient being known as Glaeken, now apparently an old man calling himself Veillure, finds the group and confirms that some horrific being is about to enter the world.
During a confrontation with The Chosen, Jim dies in a freak accident. However, his wife, Carol, soon learns that she is pregnant, and the fetus soon proves to be a vessel for evil. Carol's protector is Jim's father Jonah, who unknown to her, is a lifelong sociopath and occasionally homicidal psychotic. Jonah stops at nothing to ensure the baby's survival and guarantees that it will have more than a fighting chance to take over the Earth after attaining early adulthood.
Glaeken is content to take a back seat to all of this as he feels he has earned his permanent retirement from the battle between the forces of Darkness and Light. He realizes that a major confrontation is inevitable but placidly aspires to count himself and his wife Magda among the dearly departed before that dark day descends with a deafening thud upon humanity's collective cranium.
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