A Pius Stand was a great ending to an amazing trilogy. I’m rather sad to see it end, because after three books, it’s like the characters have become friends that you hate to see go. I have never cried so much over characters than I did with this book. There was no way that a group of nuns and priests could defend the Vatican regardless of whether Sean Ryan and crew were on their side.
I flip-flopped throughout the book as to whether I thought they should stay and fight or walk away from the Vatican. After all, the Church isn’t the buildings or the stuff that’s been collected. It’s the people and the faith that makes the Church. Even if the Vatican and all of the church buildings were confiscated and destroyed, the Church would go on. I’m glad they stayed to fight, though. If they hadn’t, it would have been a rather short and very boring story.
A Pius Stand picks up with the UN declaring War on the Catholic Church. Once the Pope and the hierarchy are subdued, the Vatican treasures will be divided as spoils of war. Sean Ryan and his strange band of allies make preparations to defend the Vatican and the Pope against the military forces of North Korea, Sudan, China, Russia and a few other places thrown in. They don’t think they can win, but they plan to go down trying.
My Favorite Parts
There were far too many good parts in this book to list them all, so I’ll just list a few.
There are several surprises that made me laugh out loud (and scare my dogs). They were just so totally unexpected, but shouldn’t have been knowing Sean Ryan.
Pope Pius XIII snatches a man out of mid-air preventing his death. That was kinda awesome.
The short scene where Kovach and his wife are reunited. Everything that happens is behind closed doors, but it’s such a touching scene.
And without giving away too much, there is a scene towards the end where Scott Murphy is shown for the compassionate hero he is.
The characters come to life even more so in this final book. When death is inevitable and not just a possibility, you really see the depth of the character. Declan does a fantastic job of making me care whether the characters live or die.
The pacing of this story was slower at the beginning than the prior 2 books, for good reason. It built the anticipation of the battle to come. I have never wanted to get through a book so much in my life as I did this one. The anticipation was killing me.
I knew how this book would turn out, because I had already read the book that comes after this one. But, Declan wrote the story so well, I was beginning to doubt what I knew.
The Not So Great
Kovach goes a bit overboard on the mush during an interview where he is asked about his wife.
At least one character I really like dies. It’s a good death, but still.