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|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2012
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
BookaholicAtlanta (GA)Age: Over 65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Great BookAugust 26, 2014BookaholicAtlanta (GA)Age: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5How far would you go if your husband has been killed and you are alone? This is really good book which shows the difference in Jesus' love for all people and the Muslims. However, there are many Muslims who want peace and all the things that any family would desire for their children. Don't put them all into the same basket. Just like Christians today there are vast differences in living it out.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It is really a book of good vs evil.
Buy the book and see what you think. It is a page-turner.
LeftMyHeartInTXOregonAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5An eye openerSeptember 25, 2012LeftMyHeartInTXOregonAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The 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.
MaryLu TyndallSan Jose, CAAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5I came away different.September 10, 2012MaryLu TyndallSan Jose, CAAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I 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!
patti lacyNormal, IllinoisAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Arana's latest needs to be YOUR "next target"!!!!August 28, 2012patti lacyNormal, IllinoisAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Critics 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?
Cornerstone ChapelMassachusettsGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5captivatingAugust 21, 2012Cornerstone ChapelMassachusettsGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Though 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.