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I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading new author's novels or author's who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.   
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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Dark Zeal (COIL, Book 5) by D. I. Telbat


In Dark Zeal, Book Five in the COIL Series, D.I. Telbat takes us into the heart and heat of Gaza, Israel. Agent Corban Dowler infiltrates Gaza City for a routine medical op, but soon discovers an international plot by Hamas terrorists to destroy Israel, forcing him to respond as a soldier of Christ.

Wounded and captured, Corban gathers his wits to attempt winning over greedy arms dealer Titus Caspertein in order to save Israel from destruction. Corban's mission is further complicated when UN humanitarian American Annette Sheffield is kidnapped and within reach, and he defies government orders to stage a rescue.

Meanwhile, Luigi Putelli, ex-assassin and family guardian, searches for his friend in war-torn Gaza City to offer his services once again. With Hamas militants closing in, and the Israeli Air Force targeting extremists, Corban calls in other operatives to help complete his mission, and prays they aren't all mistaken for terrorists.

Bullets and missiles are flying in this fifth book of the COIL Series, with cover art by Streetlight Graphics. Experience tunnels, drones, and the horrors of the Gaza war zone. But where darkness seems to thrive, God has placed His eternal light in the heart of faithful servant and bold spokesman, Corban Dowler. Join us for this continued Christian Suspense saga, and be reminded: there is no redemption without sacrifice. 

The Guru's Review: 


This is the last book in this COIL series. While it is rather sad that this current series must come to an end, all is not lost. Telbat has just published a follow on series, COIL Legacy. Everything continues from this series.

Every author strives to develop further their craft with each novel. Based on this, I would expect this last one to be the best. This is definitely the case with this volume. If Telbat was to stop writing with this novel, at least he would go out with a bang. He would leave his readers with one memorable and unforgettable series. They would have been entertained, their faith strengthened, God honoured, and a seed of faith planted or watered for others. Dare I say that this standard of writing and effects is now what I am expecting in this next series? I do not have any doubt about this. What seems to feed Telbat's development of his craft is his passion for the Gospel of Christ, the Great Commission and its associated mission field.

I must confess, that I did not have much of a passion for overseas missions before reading novles of this genre. Yet, it is the writings of this author and one other, Martin Roth, who has sparked in me an increasing awareness and passion for the mission field. It is these authors and their stories that keeps me coming back for more. I am finding that I thirst to see what God does in such dire circumstances that God places these characters in. It is here, that Roth and Telbat shine in showing this through their character's expressing their faith and submission to God. Is there a spiritual lesson here for all whether we are in a persecuted Christian environment or not? Definitely, and to this point, this is where Telbat and Roth are successful in Christian fiction. They both not only entertain but show the light of Christ, the power of prayer and how to be His obedient vessels to break the oppressive nature of those governments and military regimes that are hell bent on destroying the Gospel of Christ. What better place for this spiritual war to start than with those who have placed their faith in this God?

I found this volume to be one enthralling and compelling read. In one sense it felt like Telbat had brought many character plots and relationships from previous novels into a head in this one. It was great seeing the continuing relationship beteen Dowler and Luigi Putelli continue. The latter's quest for God has had me almost praying for his salvation, despite knowing he is just a fictional character! I cried at his demise, feeling both the sadness and grief of Dowler over this and that Putelli had to suffer as he did. Yet, Telbat tempers this with the knowledge that his suffering and quest to know God was not in vain. That was a comfort for Dowler and this reader!

I am glad also to see further development in the relationship between Nathan and Chen Li and that Nathan's secret is not a secret any more.This lends itself for future plot developments that I hope I will see in this next series. I cannot help but wonder if the demise of Dowler is also deliberate to expand/develop further plot lines in this new series and help take it to the next level.

With the introduction of a new major character, any review cannot leave out a mention of who this character is. Reading about Titus Caspertein,arms dealer, gives me the impression that Telbat is very fond of this character. There is an implication that Titus will feature maybe prominently in the next series. I loved reading about his spiritual struggle with the morality of his past and present and the effects of the Spirit working through Dowler's witness, convicting him of this. It egged me on and I found myself again, yearning and praying for his salvation. I even wondered if the angels rejoice when a fictional character accepts Christ as the Word says they do with the human race! Such is the power of story and its delivery on a reader's active imagination! I am sure God has a sense of humour!

Speaking of introducing a new character into a series, this is not the first time Telbat has done this. I can count three now. Two in this volume (Casperstein and UN humanitarian Annette Sheffield) and one in a previous one. All three have varying and diverse backgrounds, but Telbat shows they all have the same similarities. Their backgrounds have all reinforced the rebellious sinful nature that is at enmity towards God. We are all guilty of one or all what the apostle John says in his Gospel:
For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1 John 2:16 (HCSB)
Yet, Telbat shows God doing what He does best. He shows these three characters the destructive nature of these three pitfalls and what they need to do about it. They realise their sin and act on the encouragement and conviction of the Spirit that they need Jesus in their lives to be free of their sin. It is very encouraging to see Telbat show what these three then do, become fellow missionaries and soldiers in this spiritual warfare. They go from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of Light.

In this volume, Telbat has upped the hatred of God and Christians through the Hamas tactician, Carac Hassad. I found myself becoming tense and disturbed at the level of deception, hatred, bitterness that exuded from this character. Telbat has also upped the degree of political intrigue, military tactics and warfare in the Hamas' attempt to destroy Israel. These are descriptive enough to transport you there where you can almost feel the heat, the grime, the fear, the oppression, the loss of hope, and the pervasive evil from the Hamas regime. It does give the reader a definite sense of how real it must be and even more so than what real life depicts as reflected by watching the news on a daily basis on these issues.

Telbat has tied up this last volume in such a manner that has your interest remains piqued and you want more so this leads in nicely to the COIL Legacy series. Looking forward to this immensely.

Strongly Recommended

World Building 5/5

Characterisation 5/5

Story 5/5

Spiritual Level 4/5

Enemy Spiritual Level 4/5

Average Rating 4.6/5

 

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Reader Award Bestowment: 

Spiritually, based on this review, the previous novels in the COIL series, the following reference booklet,


and that this series contains elements of the criteria of what constitutes Christian Redemptive Fiction outlined in this booklet, I award D. I Telbat with

The Reality Calling Redemptive Speculative Fiction Award



Congratulations, D. I. Telbat!


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your wonderful review, Peter! We're so glad you liked Dark Zeal (and the rest of the series)! And thank you so much for the Redemptive Fiction Award for The COIL Series! May the Lord be glorified by David's work.

    We appreciate you and your service to authors, Peter!

    D.I. Telbat & Dee

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