Wednesday 22 June 2016

Dark Hearted (COIL Book 2) by D. I. Telbat

Dark Hearted (COIL Book 2)Dark Hearted (COIL Book 2)

Dark Hearted, Book Two of the COIL Series by D.I. Telbat, continues with the suspense that began in book one, Dark Liaison, A Christian Suspense Novel.

The Commission of International Laborers' mission is interrupted, and they are once again targeted by a dark enemy bent on hatred and racism. COIL founder, Corban Dowler, has developed commando-style teams, using non-lethal weapons, to extract threatened servants of the Lord from danger zones worldwide. Corban now musters all of his resources to search for his abducted operatives, and hopes to stop the evil intentions of the one they know as Abaddon.

A biochemical weapon is about to change the world, and COIL may be the catalyst—unless their brazen courage and boldness in Christ can change the tide. Where death seems indestructible, Corban Dowler's operatives carry God's love and determination into the midst of the darkness.

Encrypted data finds its way to Corban from Karol Ngolsk in Romania, offering a glimmer of hope. Corban then leads the COIL team through a maze of intrigue and surprises, abductions and persecution, joy and sorrow, love and death—from the grim forests of Europe, to the blistering desert of Africa. Though killing is not COIL's way, the dark hearted one has no such qualms…

Dark Hearted by D.I. Telbat, cover design by Streetlight Graphics, a 75,000-word Christian fiction, action-suspense novel, continues the adventure as COIL carries on with the Lord's work to protect and rescue His people. And we learn again that…there is no redemption without sacrifice.

The Guru's Review:


This is the third book in this COIL series that I have read and I am loving every minute of them. I don't think I could get tried of this series or its themes of Christian special ops rescuing persecuted Christians as despite this being similar in other novels or in real life (special ops rescuing those kidnapped/captured, not necessarily due to their faith but for any reason that their captors feel they are a threat to their nefarious schemes), it is especially relevant in Christian circles as the Bible states that once you have a relationship with Christ, you will suffer persecution just for accepting His gift of salvation.

I may have stated in a previous review of a COIL novel that this series is not the only series in this topic of rescuing persecuted Christians or those in a persecuted Church. I am very glad to see authors apart from Telbat, such as Martin Roth and Lela Gilbert tackle this reality head on and portray what it is like for the persecuted Christian Church and Christians and the severity of such just for believing in Christ. We in the western world do not experience such persecution to this degree, but it seems to be growing as seen by prayer/bible verse reading is removed from schools, testimonies are not based on swearing on the bible in court, society being indoctrinated to accept everything and anything as long as it does not align with the Bible, Christianity or God and now punishment is being metered out to those who adhere to the latter. There are many novels written by Christian authors depicting the future where Christianity and everything that is associated with it is banned and anyone who shows any sympathy or adherence to it is imprisoned or murdered.

I have noticed that Telbat seems to explore more of the motive and the rationale for this persecution in his novels than the aforementioned authors. I, by not means, suggest that this is a criticism of Roth and Gilbert. I thoroughly enjoyed and have been blessed by these two authors and the reality of persecution of Christians and their Church that they have successfully and convincingly depict. Telbat's deeper exploration adds up to a very fast paced novel but also adds to the suspense and showcases the commitment to the call of Christ to the Great Commission and to not allow the enemies of Christ to have their way with God's people. All three authors depict correctly what this motivation is, spiritual warfare, however, let us not confuse this latter term with many novels of this genre (which I love), where it is based on the fight between angles and demons. In all Telbat's novels, this spiritual warfare is specifically depicted based on intercessory prayer, supplication and relying on God and His Spirit to guide, protect and seek direction in how to thwart the attempts of those who, out of hatred, bitterness, rebellion against God and under either demonic oppression or possession, desire to eradicate Christianity and everything to do with God.

I admire how successful Telbat portrays the discipline, submission, and obedience of the COIL team in relation to their relationship with God, yet portray them as relational and very human. If Telbat had depicted this team as super-spiritual and not relational as people, this series would fall flat on its face and readers would not be able to relate it as it as well as he has and would come across as unrealistic and fantasy based and removed from any sense of reality. Entertaining yes, but empowering to the Christian reader to appreciate the persecution of our Christian brethren in the real world and pray for them, most likely not. There is enough Christians unempowered and ignorant of this issue without an author adding to this by failing to depict the reality of this persecution and its causes in their novels. I cannot put Telbat in this latter category, neither Roth nor Gilbert. This is very uplifting and definitely strengthens my faith in God and appreciate more the reality of what Christ meant in portraying the persecution Christians will experience now and in the latter days.

I must say that I wish I had read this instalment sooner or immediately after reading the previous novel as this one follows on from this as a continuation and I could not remember some of the details of Dark Liaison but then this is exactly the situation for those readers who have read each instalment as it was released. The joy of discovering novels like this after they have all been released! I am glad now that I am reading all these one after the other as I feel this is the best way to appreciate a series like this, but that does not help the author as they need reviews as each book is released not solely at the end of the completed series. However, such a comment from any reader is still an affirmation for an author's work and this is very appropriate for Telbat as an author. 

This instalment continues the standard that Telbat has instigated in this series and I can see that this is not going to abate. He simply cannot afford to with a serious and powerful message and topic such as the Great Commission and persecution against Christians. This is very evident in the plot structure, characterisation and depiction of the cause of this persecution which makes for great suspense and action, and it is here that this series shines and delivers its powerful message.

I loved how in this instalment it shows an unbeliever (June) exactly what the COIL team go through in combating persecution from the Biblical point of view while simultaneously showing her the love of Christ through their actions in their special ops methods and also her seeing first hand this persecution as it is without any bias from the COIL team. Through June, Telbat successfully portrays an unbeliever's point of view towards Christians and the turmoil they experience as the Spirit of God begins to soften their heart towards Him leading to their decision to accept His offer of salvation (June during and after their mission). This is a strategic plot structure on Telbat's part as I feel it balances out this spiritual warfare and shows it is not just a battle between Christians who are sold out for God against those who are sold out for satan. It is those unbelievers caught in the middle that the Great Commission exists and it is here that Telbat shows the power of the Gospel to salvation. 

 I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and being back with the COIL team.

Strongly Recommended

World Building 4/5

Characterisation 4/5

Story 5/5

Spiritual Level 4/5

Enemy Spiritual Level 4/5

Average Rating 4.2/5


Spiritually, based on this review and on the following reference booklet,

and that Dark Hearted 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!

To read a preview of Dark Hearted, click on the Preview button below:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Peter, for considering Dark Hearted, Book Two in The COIL Series, worthy of the Redemptive Fiction Award! We are very blessed and pleased. Praise the Lord! Thank you for your service to Him.
    David Telbat
    and Dee


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