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Book Review: People of the Book, Extreme Devotion Series Book #4 by Kathi Macias

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15 NIV

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Paperback $9.94

Link for the book @ Christian Book:
Paperback $9.99

Published April 2011 by New Hope Publishers
320 Pages
Christian Fiction/Saudi Arabia/Persecution/Missionary

In the Extreme Devotion series we've traveled from South Africa to Mexico to China and now Saudi Arabia.
In each of the books Christians have been faced with persecution because of their belief in Jesus as Lord.
They have all been moving, potent, memorable. The stories have not been just an "entertaining" Christian fiction story, but have been a powerful and perfect picture of Christian's living out their faith in Jesus Christ--no matter the cost.

Farah Mohammed is 19 years old, she lives with her parents, older brother Kareem and younger sister Nadia. They live in Saudi Arabia. Farah is a committed and devout Muslim. She prays fervently, lives piously and submissively, reads the Quran, and performs acts of charity and kindness. She has been praying that Allah would make himself known to her in a mighty way. During Ramadan she prays that maybe at this time Allah will make himself known to her. But, when Ramadan is over, she is disappointed. Kareem is seething with jealously because his sister Farah is so pious, but more importantly she does not "worship" him as the older and powerful brother.
Farah has a cousin named Nura. Nura is about the same age as Farah. She is an only child. She too lives in Saudi Arabia and her family is Muslim. Nura has a friend that she met in a chat room on the Internet. This friend has talked to her about Isa Masih--Jesus Christ. Nura is interested, yet she knows that to become a Christian is dangerous. Nura tells Farah about this new friend she has met on the Internet.
Added to the story of Farah and Nura are characters from America. These characters each have their own story that brings the power of prayer and the ability to spread the Gospel message on the Internet.

Although I liked this book as well. I did have a little harder time falling in to the story. It could just be me for any variety of reasons. Such as it could have been that I'd just read Red Ink and was still thinking about that book.
Farah was not a character that I grew an attachment to. Maybe, because of her pious and devout nature some of her "real" character was held back from the reader. Sort of like a person that feels they are righteous in their religious beliefs and so they hold back from the world the parts of their personality that they feel are imperfect. But, it is the imperfectness that makes us human and approachable to others. Because others will feel we have empathy for them, that we will understand them, and be able to help them.
Some people might would sum up what I just wrote by saying Farah was not a 3-D person.
I did enjoy the story of the characters from America---they brought real life situations that I can relate to in to the story.
Now that I've written that last sentence, that could also be a reason that I did not grow close to the character Farah, I could not relate to her.
Farah's world of Islam is so "other world" to me that I can say with honesty I'm rather ignorant of this culture and religion.
Yet, I am so glad that I read this book! Even though it is a work of fiction, it did get me out of my "little box" so to speak, and I was able to learn about what it is like for a female in Saudi Arabia and also about the Muslim religion.
Isn't that one of the reasons we read? So that a book, a story, can take us to another culture, country, religion. And by doing so we are able to reach outside of ourselves in understanding them and maybe to help them. And as a Christian I am better able to pray for them and to look for an opportunity to share Jesus with them.
In reading the Extreme Devotion series I felt the books have all had a two-fold message:
1. The power of prayer, and in that I include the power of prayer against the dark forces of the evil one.
2. Forsaking all, including life, for the sake of spreading the Gospel message.

These 4 books in the Extreme Devotion series have been dynamic reads for me during this summer! I am looking forward to the next book that Kathi Macias will write!

Blissful Reading!