The cursor winked at me. Mocked me. I’ll admit it, my head connected with the trackpad on my laptop. The cursor skittered across the page leaving spaces and a choppy mess of Bs and Vs in its wake.
She stepped into my room and stood there. “What are you doing?”
“Writing a book review.”
Silence. Then it came. “Bad book?”
I guess that threw her. “So what’s the problem?”
I sat up and stared at the bizarre mess of a screen. “Reviewer’s block?”
My ever-helpful daughter just stared at me before turning to go. “Have fun with that.”
Writing in that mess wouldn’t work, so I deleted all those spaces, Bs, and Vs.
It was the most productive thing I’d done all afternoon.
There were so many things to try to process—to understand—to share. By the time I’d made a list of them, I realized that I’d be rewriting the book if I tried to explain half of it.
But one line caught my eye.
Toddlers think time out is torture, so the North Koreans employ it for American captives.
That’d do it.
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What Happens When North Korea Puts You in Time Out?
Look, I didn’t know what to expect from Out of North Korea. I didn’t. But I knew what to expect from Alana Terry. I’ve not read a book from her that didn’t cause me to pause, to think, to consider.
But this book…
There are so many things about Out of North Korea that I want to address. Ian’s character voice. While it didn’t take long to notice the first-person narrative, it didn’t annoy me. Instead, I really enjoyed the personality that came through each word. But it unnerved me. I actually left this book and went to find another book written in first-person to see if I’d just gotten numb to my least-favorite perspective in writing.
Nope. Alana Terry is just that good with it. In fact, not only is this book in the dreaded first person, about a third to half the way through it, I realized it is written in first-person present tense.
I despise present tense. But it was a rare spot here and there that she made me notice it. For the most part, you’d never know, because she does it that well.
Add to it supporting characters who aren’t what you expect—and then are—things just turn upside down. One thing I really appreciated was that Terry didn’t mince words about where the American church’s thinking gets skewed.
Still, she doesn’t just bash on Americans or attack people for something they can’t help (ethnic origins, for example). She shows what can and should be done about it. Loved that—and not just because she agrees with what I’ve always said. Ahem.
Who should read this book? Well, anyone who appreciates good fiction that is well written and makes you think. If you enjoy characters with snarky, sarcastic humor who can laugh at themselves as much as anything, you won’t go wrong with this book. And if reading a book without a romantic element is a blessed relief, then look no further. I seriously loved that this wasn’t about guy meets girl at all. Such a nice change.
Because you get quotes like this.
So, what does happen when North Korea puts you in time out? Well, your life changes in ways you couldn’t have predicted—kind of like when you read about it. I definitely won’t be the same after reading Out of North Korea.
About the Book
Book Title: Out of North Korea
Author: Alana Terry
Genre: Christian Thriller/Suspense
Release date: June 25, 2018
A single photograph could cost his life …
Ian McAllister has searched the world over, hunting for that all-elusive perfect photograph.
He finds it on a tourist trip to North Korea when he stumbles upon a young street kid foraging for roots.
Unaware that this single act will brand him a spy and cost his freedom, Ian takes the shot.
Now he must pay the penalty.
A true-to-life novel about an American imprisoned behind North Korea’s closed borders.
A gripping tale of courage, faith, and hope from award-winning Christian novelist Alana Terry.
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