Captain Dean Watters keeps his mission and his team in the forefront of his laser-like focus. So when these two things are threatened by hackers, Dean’s Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Failing to stop the hackers from stealing national security secrets from the military’s secure computers and networks isn’t an option. Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. And a target. When Zahrah is captured because of her expertise in quantum cryptology, endangering the US national security, Dean is forced to crack the lockbox around his heart—a move that might come at the highest cost.
If you have read Ronie Kendig’s A Breed Apart series, than you’ve been introduced to Dean Watters. I was really excited to see him (and his men) get his own story. Let me just start off by saying I have read every book that Ms. Kendig has written, but I found this book to be very different than the others. And it was almost as though it had two very different parts. Here’s my thoughts:
What I liked:
Not that I’ve been in the military and certainly not to the Middle East, but it felt real. Nothing about this book sugarcoated the military or glossed over various actions. I felt like I knew exactly what it was like to serve as an American soldier in the Middle East. Ms. Kendig comes across as a very trustworthy author which means that her characters are equally trustworthy.
And speaking of reality, there are some serious things that happen in this novel and thought it was hard to read, I appreciated that the novel didn’t shy away from reality.
Zahrah. I love that she is a woman of color who brings with her a culture of her own. She’s both American and Afghani, and it is so nice to read about someone who is a bit different in a Christian novel. Not to mention that she really is a great heroine. She’s such a brilliant woman and yet she gives of her time and energy in service. I also like how she thinks and reacts to situations around her, she’s so much more focused on the bigger picture.
Dean Watters. I liked him too. Usually I say people with his hang-ups need to get over themselves, but this guy has been through a lot. Oh Dean. The things he suffered and not just for himself but for others. My heart just went out to him.
Papa Z. He’s a character. Keep your eye on this one.
Spiritually, for me, this book shows that God will do a lot to reach us and that we just have to keep focused on the greater plan even when all the small things look to be going south.
What I didn’t like:
Okay, so this is hard because I don’t want to give a thing a way. Let me just say that though I liked Zahrah and Dean together in the beginning, but I failed to be invested in their romance and wondered why everyone else in the novel was. I kind of put the book on the shelf, a bit frustrated with the insta-love I felt like I was being sold.
Then the second half of the novel started. And I became a believer.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was engaging, different, fascinating, kept you on the edge-of-your-seat, original, etc. I’m already a fan of Ronie Kendig, but she took me to new heights with this one. I can’t wait to read the next one!
**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**