The Next Target by Nikki Arana

Leah Courtney

Realistic fiction that reads like something out of the current news headlines, suspense, danger, selfless following of Christ- all of these were elements of The Next Target.

Austia and her husband run a Career Center and witness very discreetly to Muslim neighbors in Los Angeles.  When Austia's husband is killed by radical Muslims, she is left alone and bitter.  Slowly she comes to forgive and to understand God's love for the Muslim people.  Now, Austia's life may be in danger when one of her students is discovered dead.  Austia is surrounded by enemies and doesn't know who to trust.  But, through it all, she learns to rely on God and she is once more convinced of God's love for all peoples.

I really enjoyed this one.  Austia and Zaki (our story's hero) were great characters.  Austia's relationship with and witness to the Muslim community touched my heart.  The dangers she faced are very real to believers working in Muslim communities.  Reading about them, even in a fictionalized story, made me realize the need to pray for these believers regularly.

There were a few times when I thought the author made some leaps in the action.  I felt like things moved very slowly and then very quickly- a little choppy.  In the end, though, I felt like things were really tied together well; and the story had a good ending.  When a fiction story can draw inspire and convict me, I think the author has done a good job.  The Next Target did both while keeping me hanging on to find out what happened next.  This was a really good read.

I'd give this one 4.5 stars. (I'm a little stingy with my five stars.)  I'd rate this one PG for some drama and violence.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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