I recently finished reading the book The Next Target. Man alive, what a roller-coaster of emotions. From start, up until the very last page this was a thrilling, nail-biting, wildly suspenseful read. Honestly, from the back cover this is not a book I would have picked up (I’m a hopeless romantic and often historical reader), so I’m indebted to publisher David C. Cook for having me read this book to review because I’m so glad I got the chance. I enjoyed this page-turner, but more than that it challenged me in my own beliefs and faith.
Heroine, Austia Donatelli, struggles to keep her late husband’s ministry alive. Austia uses the career center she runs to teach English classes to Muslim women in the evenings. In truth, the classes are a cover to lead these women to God and teach them about Christianity. When the leaders within the Muslim community discover Austia’s duplicity they vow to end her underground ministry. Austia’s fears she may be killed for her faith just like her husband was.
The rubber meets the road when one of Austia’s students is murdered for converting. From that night out, Austia’s ministry—and all the women she’s worked with—become targets.
Austia’s live spirals out of control and the circle of trustworthy people in her life grow smaller and smaller. Can she really trust anyone? Furthermore, Austia’s on edge about the translator she employes at the career center, Zaki. Things keep happening when he’s around and Zaki doesn’t have satisfactory explanations.
As the toll of suffering rises, Austia’s left asking if her mission and faith are worth the end costs.
While I do feel like the characters could have been more deeply explored, and the tension for weather Zaki was good or not could have remained unknown longer, the theme of this book is well-worth the read.
Her topic is completely taboo—the relationship, and sometimes lack thereof, between Christians and Muslims in America. She demonstrates that even those with great intentions find the divide between these two religions difficult to navigate because both sides constantly misunderstand the other’s, their motives, and interests.
The author, Nikki Arana, serves persecuted Christians who are under the threat of death because of their conversion through the organization, A Voice for the Persecuted. She clearly drew extensively from her own personal experiences.
Arana writes all her characters—no matter their religion and beliefs—with respect. She’s non-judgmental in her portrayal and challenges the reader to be the same.
I’d highly recommend this book to all readers for its thought-provoking nature.
Okay, Legal Stuff 🙂
I received a free advance reader copy of this book from publisher David C. Cook for my honest review. Also, if I’m one of the two bloggers who receives the most comments, I’ll win a free Kindle Fire courtesy of David C. Cook! And you know what that means…I’m trying to win it in order to give to ONE OF YOU! Yes, if I get the most comments, I’ll be giving the Kindle away to one of my faithful readers.
So what do you think? If you were in Austia’s position, what would you do? Would you give up on the mission you feel called to if your life was in danger? Have you ever been in a tough situation where you felt persecuted—would you be willing to share that experience with me and my readers? Would this be a book you’d be interested in reading?
GREAT NEWS! If you already own a Kindle this book is FREE to download right now. How cool is that? Just click here. And if you’re interested in finding out more about author Nikki Arana, just press here.