The Next Target  -     By: Nikki Arana
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The Next Target

David C. Cook / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

When Austia Donatelli, a young widow with an underground evangelistic ministry to Muslims in Los Angeles, discovers that her friend has been murdered, she---and everyone she cares about---are thrust into the crosshairs of a terrorist organization. As the extremists zero in, can she unravel the deception surrounding her in time to protect innocent lives---including her own?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 7.20 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0781404312
ISBN-13: 9780781404310
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

It only took one bullet. Austia's friend and student fell dead. And with a glimpse of a newspaper headline, the young and recently widowed Austia knows more about what happened than the police. From that fatal night, Austia’s secret outreach to the U.S. Muslim community—in the guise of English language classes—becomes a target. Local Muslim extremists set their sights on ending her ministry and even her life. And the women she ministers to will be next.
A thick web of deceit closes in around Austia, and her circle of friends becomes smaller by the day, even as she finally opens herself to the idea of falling in love again. But who can she trust? Facing a spiritual battle that proves more treacherous than it at first seemed, Austia’s convictions are tested to their limits and her heart becomes primed for breaking. She must ask herself: how much she will risk to stay true to her herself, her faith, and to the lives of the women she serves?

Author Bio

Author and speaker Nikki Arana has received numerous awards for her writing, including the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year award and Christianbook.com Top 20 Novel of the Year for The Winds of Sonoma. Through her ministry, A Voice for the Persecuted, she inspires hearts toward evangelizing the Muslim community.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

The Next Target by Nikki Arana asks the question, what if you went looking for love but instead found danger? Can the solution to the latter be found in the former? That's what Austia Donatelli must ask as she struggles to bring God's hope and healing to Muslim women. Through the process, God's plan will lead her to both love and heartbreak.


The Next Target marks Arana's first attempt at the suspense genre, although it began, like her other award-winning novels, as women's fiction. As a result of the switch, the pace ambles where it should run and sprints where it ought to draw out the suspense. Whereas readers of women's fiction might appreciate the detailed descriptions of Austia's inner conflicts, suspense fans will find the book a novice attempt at the genre. Plot devices are introduced too late and seem to come out of nowhere. Secrets are revealed too quickly, and hopeless situations are explained away vaguely. It has the ingredients of a great suspense novel, but lacks the execution.


Its strength, however, is its characters' conflicts. Austia works to bring Islamic women to Christ, even as she struggles with her own bitterness over the loss of her husband at the hands of radical Muslims. Those extremists still threaten her ministry, which, for security reasons, Austia runs under the guise of an English language school. The danger becomes imminent, however, when one of Austia's students is killed by her family for converting to Christianity. Soon, Austia finds herself in the relentless path of a terrorist organization.


As in any good suspense story, Arana's characters, both good and wicked, spiral around each other in an effort to conceal their own secrets, while uncovering those of others. Through the deception, Austia must test her belief that love can conquer anything, whether cultural differences or prejudicial hate. The book uses sometimes “preachy,” yet no less insightful passages to illustrate the message of 1 Corinthians 12:13, that God loves all people and wants them to be saved: "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit."

The book proclaims an important message, while humanizing the plight of Muslim women, and an author question-and-answer section in the back provides more insight into the subject. Women who have enjoyed Arana's past novels will appreciate the intertwining relationships. Suspense fans, however, may be disappointed to find a romantic drama where they expected a tale of danger. - Deborah Rocheleau, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Product Reviews

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  1. LeftMyHeartInTX
    Oregon
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An eye opener
    September 25, 2012
    LeftMyHeartInTX
    Oregon
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Next Target: A Novel - eBook.
    The Next Target was thought provoking, terrifying, and comforting all at the same time.

    Thought provoking because I knew little of extremist Islam culture, or the incredible power wielded by the extremist imam (as portrayed in the story), and the real danger to those who try to minister to Muslims. In the story, the imam used the "tolerance" of the United States to his advantage and to promote the purpose of jihad.

    Terrifying because of Austia's fear of asking for help from the police because she didn't know if any of the Muslims on the force were aligned with the imam. A real possibility.

    Comforting because Austia recognized the battle for what is was - a spiritual battle. (And we all know how that turns out!) No matter how desperately they tried to destroy their enemies, through it all, God reigned supreme!

    Her story could easily have been taken from the front page of our newspapers.
  2. MaryLu Tyndall
    San Jose, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    I came away different.
    September 10, 2012
    MaryLu Tyndall
    San Jose, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I love it when a novel impacts me deeply and challenges the way I think about my life, my faith, and my ideas. I also love it when a novel keeps me thinking about it long after I read the last page. This is such a novel. I understand the author has a ministry that helps Muslim women trapped in a culture that forbids them to deviate from their religion in the slightest. Her ministry and love for the Muslim people shines through in every page as we follow a nail-biting story of revenge, hatred, murder, intrigue, redemption, spiritual warfare, and romance. Yes, I said romance! Hard to believe with all the other things going on. But Ms. Arana pulls it off! Besides, the FBI-agent/spy/terrorist/hero is really cool and got my blood pumping more than once. This is a book you won't want to miss!
  3. patti lacy
    Normal, Illinois
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Arana's latest needs to be YOUR "next target"!!!!
    August 28, 2012
    patti lacy
    Normal, Illinois
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Critics say one sign of a talented writer is one's ability to tackle diverse topics.

    Put Nikki Arana at the top of your list, folks!

    "Next Target," Arana's latest work, possesses the same great writing you loved in the Winds of Sonoma series ("As I Have Loved You" stands proudly on my bookshelf) but delves into the horrific reality of life for Muslims who hear the voice of Jesus and long to explore the Holy Scripture but risk torture and/or death if they do so.

    If you enjoy unexpected twists, lovable but flawed heroes and heroines, and 2011 application of fiction to your life, invest in "Next Target." This book will have you researching, praying, discussing. Yes, this book will leave you changed. Isn't that what great stories are all about?
  4. Cornerstone Chapel
    Massachusetts
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    captivating
    August 21, 2012
    Cornerstone Chapel
    Massachusetts
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Though this is a novel, the information given should awaken Christians to the religious intolerance from Islam.

    This was a captivating read and I recommend it highly.
  5. Jenn
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Riveting!
    August 15, 2012
    Jenn
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Next Target: A Novel - eBook.
    Put everything aside and pick up this book! You will not want to put it down for even a second. I was driven to distraction every time I had to put it down to do something else... This book is so action packed and filled with unexpected events.

    So, send the spouse and kids on errands, turn off the phone, call in sick to work... and plop yourself on the couch with this book! It is SO worth it!
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