Tag Archives: North Korea

Book Review: Torn Asunder

30 Mar

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

3763508.jpgAfter graduating from the Secret Seminary, Hannah and Simon are ready to return to their homeland. Their training has equipped them to carry the gospel to a country ravaged by darkness and despair. If necessary, they’re even prepared to face the North Korean labor camps, but the hardest part of their mission isn’t the hunger, cold, and incessant danger. The hardest part is cutting off contact with one another. In this world of spies, secret police, and informants, Simon and Hannah learn that staying together won’t just compromise their ministry. It could cost them both their lives.

Two undercover missionaries delivering a single message of hope. Two Christians willing to die for the sake of the Good News. One love – more powerful than terror, more beautiful than life, and more dangerous than either of them could possibly imagine.

A love so strong, nothing but the grave could overcome it.

Torn Asunder is part of the Whispers of Refuge series branched off from Alana Terry’s award-winning debut, The Beloved Daughter. These suspense novels tell the stories of contemporary North Koreans and can be read together or separately from Alana’s other books.

 

alana-terryAlana Terry is passionate about human-rights issues in North Korea and has devoted her writing to raise both awareness and funds to help North Korean refugees find freedom and safety. You can learn more about her work with Liberty in North Korea at alanaterry.com.

 

My Impressions:

Torn Asunder is the third book I have read by Alana Terry. Her subject matter, the plight of Christians in North Korea, does not lend itself to gentle reads. Terry never minces words when it comes to the brutality of the North Korean regime — the horror of the prison system is brought to light.  Neither does she stint on the power of God’s word and work within the Christian community in spite of the darkness that covers that country. If you are interested in the persecuted church, then Torn Asunder is a book you will want to read.

Hannah and Simon are recent graduates of a Secret Seminary operated by American missionaries in China. Former refugees, they are dedicated to crossing back into North Korean to accomplish whatever God wills for them. But the forces of evil will stop at nothing to eradicate the Christian church.

Torn Asunder has at its heart the continuing goodness and love of God towards the people of North Korea. Prisoners and guards are all victims to the inhumanity of the Pyongyang government. The novel explores what it really means to be a Christian when faced with persecution, torture, and starvation. Some of the characters succumb to the torture and abuse; others remain faithful. How would I fare in the circumstances the characters find themselves in? I cannot imagine. But in the face of men’s frailty, Terry illustrates a faithful God. One aspect I was especially struck by was the need to know Scripture, to have it hidden in the heart. When faced with extreme conditions, it was the only thing that the characters had left to cling to.

Torn Asunder is a faith-filled story of romance, suspense and survival. It is also a book sure to convict — persecuted brothers and sisters need our prayers.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to the author for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click HERE.

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Book Launch: Torn Asunder by Alana Terry

22 Dec

Torn Asunder by Alana Terry

Torn Asunder is the newest suspense novel from award-winning author Alana Terry. Torn Asunder is the story of Hannah and Simon, two North Korean refugees who sneak back into their country to serve as underground missionaries. In this world of spies, secret police, and informants, Simon and Hannah learn that staying together won’t just compromise their ministry. It could cost them both their lives.
 
Torn Asunder launches today for just 99 cents, and all book sale proceeds today support the work of Liberty in North Korea, an organization that runs an underground railroad for North Korean refugees. You can get the paperback or the ebook for 99 cents for a limited time only. And remember the best news ~ Your purchase will help save a North Korean refugee!

Excerpt from Torn Asunder:

Simon gritted his teeth. His head felt like it was sinking. The general kept his voice level and pleasant as he slipped the device over Simon’s pinky. “Now, you just tell me who you delivered your Bibles to, and I’ll let you leave here with everything intact.”Simon tried to swallow. His whole jaw was swollen from his scuffle in the woods. He shut his eyes and hoped the general couldn’t feel him tremble.

General Sin chuckled to himself. “Silly me. I forgot.” He slid the device off Simon’s finger. “This kind of tool won’t work on a big, strong man like you.” He strode over to Hannah and yanked her hand before Simon could even cry out. He jammed her ring finger into the opening.

Simon struggled against his iron restraints. “Let her go!”

Hannah sucked in her breath. General Sin still glared at Simon. “This is your last chance. Give me the names, and I’ll release her unharmed.”

Simon’s field of vision blurred over. He wanted to scream. The metal from his handcuffs sliced open his wrists. He pictured himself breaking free and tackling the general to the ground.

“Better talk.” General Sin yawned. “I hate getting my uniform messy.”

Hannah’s hand trembled, but she didn’t make a noise.

“Three …”

Simon clenched his jaw, unable to tear his face away from Hannah’s wide, terrified eyes.

“Two …”





Want more? Buy Torn Asunder on amazon now. And remember, all book sales today will be donated directly to Liberty in North Korea, a group committed to seeing North Koreans achieve their freedom in THIS GENERATION.

Want to help spread the word? See below to click and tweet, or share this image on your timeline. Then be sure to scroll down to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $100 gift card, surprise grab bag ($60 retail), great CD from Cherie Norquay, and free prizes to everyone who enters! And don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us what you think of Hannah and Simon and those like them who sneak into hostile mission fields to share the gospel.

Are you on twitter? Just click to tweet ~

Tweet: Buy a book. Save a refugee. Torn Asunder by Alana Terry. All proceeds today to @libertyinNK. #99cents #suspense http://ctt.ec/QjI3D+

Tweet: New release Torn Asunder, Christian #suspense set in #NorthKorea. All proceeds today donated to @libertyinNK #99cents http://ctt.ec/6io3Z+

Or copy and paste into an email or Facebook status: Torn Asunder is a new Christian suspense novel by Alana Terry about two North Koreans who serve as undercover missionaries. It’s on sale for only 99 cents, and all book proceeds today will be donated to Liberty in North Korea’s underground railroad for North Korean refugees.

Did you help spread the word? Click below to claim your prizes!

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Book Review: Slave Again

15 Dec

4524684_origShe traded in her prison uniform for shackles of a different kind.

After escaping a North Korean prison camp, Mee-Kyong is hustled over the border and sold into the Chinese underworld. She vows to survive, but sheer determination and willpower won’t save her this time. Is she fated to remain a slave forever?

8543275About Alana Terry (from her website) — When I’m not blogging and writing, it’s likely that I’m on the floor wrestling with my kids. Or playing outside with my kids. Or chauffeuring my kids. Or leading clubs and day camps for homeschoolers (including my kids). Otherwise I’m probably hanging out at church with a whole bunch of teenagers and my youth-pastor husband.

My Impressions:

Slave Again is the first book in a new series by Alana Terry. (You can read my review of her first novel, Beloved Daughter, HERE.) Terry revisits the people of North Korea, this time focusing on the women who are sold into slavery in China. While prostitution is officially illegal in China, there are many levels to the sex trade in that country. In Slave Again, the women are trapped in the hotel district of a town north of the North Korean border. Though written from a Christian worldview, Terry’s book is not like most books written for that genre. The images are brutal and the emotions raw. Most characters are not Christian and their actions are formed by the brutality of their world. If you are looking for a gentle read, this one is not for you. But if you want an honest look into the ruthless North Korean regime, then Slave Again would be a good choice.

Mee-Kyong (introduced in Beloved Daughter), has escaped from the North Korean prison camp that has been her home since birth. But she soon finds herself forced into another prison — a Chinese brothel not far from the border. Her survival skills keep her alive, but her hardened heart is touch by a young girl stolen from her family. Slave Again details the horrors and hopelessness of the sex trade. However, the hope for escape and a new life in Christ is included in its message.

There are a lot of story lines in Slave Again, many of which are left incomplete. I am hoping that they will develop in the next books in the series. There is a good deal of suspense, and you never really know just what is coming on the next page. I would have liked a bit more character development — I had a hard time understanding the motivations of several of the characters. But if you are looking for characters that are based in reality, then Slave Again is for you. All the characters have warts, including the Christian characters. The contrasting points of view are enlightening — from characters just trying to survive, to those who are struggling with the way of Christ and those who are trying desperately to help the lost and desperate. There is a great deal of adult content — abuse is not sugar coated. So if you don’t want to read about the realities of human trafficking, don’t pick up this book. But for those who want an honest portrayal of the subject, Slave Again is eye-opening.

Alana Terry is passionate about the people of North Korean and that passion is reflected in her writing. After reading Slave Again, you just might join her cause.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults (violence and human trafficking portrayed)

(Thanks to the author for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

Book Review: The Beloved Daughter

7 Mar

9831123_origIn a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. It is her father’s faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha’s well-being.
     
The Beloved Daughter follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps the contemporary free world has known. Her crime? Being the daughter of a Christian. 

The Beloved Daughter is Alana Terry’s debut Christian novel and has won multiple awards, including the Women of Faith writing contest and the Book of the Month award from The Book Club Network.


alana-terryAlana Terry is a homeschool mom, pastor’s wife, and Christian author. Her debut novel, The Beloved Daughter, has won awards from Women of Faith and the Book Club Network. The Beloved Daughter was a number one bestseller in Christian suspense on amazon. Her next novel, Slave Again, is due out this summer.

My Impressions:

From the opening scenes of The Beloved Daughter, Alana Terry had my full attention. Gripping and convicting, horrifying and affirming, The Beloved Daughter is a must read novel for those who want to see just what is happening in North Korea. I knew that it was an evil regime, but Alana’s debut novel opened my eyes to the truth of its brutality and the need for intercession for the church that refuses to give up in spite of persecution.

The Beloved Daughter is the story of Chung-Cha, a young woman raised by a devout Christian in the hostile country of North Korea. Following a raid, she is plunged into a living nightmare of torture, degradation and physical and emotional deprivation. Chung-Cha learns quickly that she can depend only on herself for survival, causing her to harden her heart to others and to God. But though she has turned her back on God, He never forgets her, working through the very trials and temptations that Chung-Cha faces.

The Beloved Daughter will have you on the edge of your seat and gasping at the treatment Chung-cha faces. A truly godless nation, North Korea treats its citizens more harshly than animals. If nothing else, the novel will open your eyes to the atrocities being perpetrated on its people, especially Christians. But The Beloved Daughter also has scenes of hope and peace amidst the terror and betrayal. God’s peace and hope and healing grace shine through. The Beloved Daughter is beautifully written, with complex characters and well-imagined settings — good literature with a dramatic and moving subject matter. I highly recommend this novel and look forward to Alana’s newest book, Slave Again.

Highly Recommended.

Great for book discussion groups.

(Thanks to the author for my ebook copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase The Beloved Daughter click on the image below.

Cover Reveal: Slave Again by Alana Terry

3 Mar

c2299-coverdraftSlave Again, by inspirational suspense novelist Alana Terry.

Mee-Kyong endured a childhood fending for herself in a North Korean prison camp. When she finally flees across the border into China, Mee-Kyong must draw upon all her survival skills. Does Mee-Kyong have the cunning she needs to escape the world of abuse and shame into which she’s been sold? Can she manage to save both herself and the innocent child under her protection?

Read the first chapter of Slave Again.

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alana-terryAlana Terry is a homeschool mom, pastor’s wife, and Christian author. Her debut novel, The Beloved Daughter, has won awards from Women of Faith and the Book Club Network. The Beloved Daughter was a number one bestseller in Christian suspense on amazon. Her next novel, Slave Again, is due out this summer.

Giveaway Time! Alana is giving away free copies of her next release to anyone who makes a donation to Liberty in North Korea, an organization dedicated to rescuing refugees who escape North Korea. She’s also giving away a mini kobo e-reader and several copies of Slave Again, so be sure to enter the giveaway below!

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Be sure to check out Alana Terry’s website for the latest from this talented author. I read her first novel, The Beloved Daughter (see review later this week) and was definitely moved by the sights and sounds of North Korea. Thanks Alana for making me aware of the conditions in that country. Looking forward to reading Slave Again.