Mike Duran is a blogger, speaker, and freelance writer. He is the author of The Resurrection. An ordained minister, Mike lives with his wife and four grown children in Southern California. You can learn more about him, his writing projects, creative interests, and confessions at www.mikeduran.com.
The Tellingby Mike Duran
A prophet never loses his calling, only his way.
Disfigured with a hideous scar from his stepmother, Zeph Walker lives his life in seclusion, cloistering himself in a ramshackle bookstore on the outskirts of town. But Zeph is also blessed with a gift, an uncanny ability to foresee the future,to know peoples’ deepest sins and secrets. He calls it /b>
A prophet never loses his calling, only his way.
Disfigured with a hideous scar from his stepmother, Zeph Walker lives his life in seclusion, cloistering himself in a ramshackle bookstore on the outskirts of town. But Zeph is also blessed with a gift, an uncanny ability to foresee the future,to know peoples’ deepest sins and secrets. He calls it the Telling, but he has abandoned this gift to a life of solitude, unbelief, and despair until two detectives escort him to the county morgue where he finds his own body lying on the gurney.
On the northern fringes of Death Valley, the city of Endurance is home to llama ranches, abandoned mines, roadside attractions...and the mythical ninth gate of hell. Now, forced to investigate his own murder, Zeph discovers something even more insidious behind the urban legends and small-town eccentricities. Early miners unearthed a megalith, a sacred site where spiritual and physical forces converge and where an ancient subterranean presence broods. And only Zeph can stop it.
But the scar on Zeph’s face is nothing compared to the wound on his soul. For not only has he abandoned his gift and renounced heaven, but it was his own silence that spawned the evil. Can he overcome his own despair in time to seal the ninth gate of hell?
His words unlocked something deadly, And now the silence is killing them.
- Charisma Media
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- 5.56(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.90(d)
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Some legends have no real basis. They are simply made up stories from an over active imagination. The stuff designed to frighten people or told by campfires. Then there are the legends that are so horrifying and true, you only wish they were made up stories. In the suspense thriller, The Telling by Mike Duran, the lives of four unique characters are about to intersect at the crossroads of pure evil awakening from a long slumber deep within the hills of Endurance, a small isolated town just north of Death Valley off of Interstate 395. Only some have heard of the legend of the Madness of Endurance, a mass suicide of the residents of a small town many years ago that seems to be creeping it's way into the residents of a small convalescent home, Marvale Manor. It seems like one by one, the elderly are just not themselves any more and spend their nights walking the grounds and during the day, they are catatonic. When Annie Lane, begins to notice, she calls her granddaughter, Tamra for help. Like most, they simply believe this is just one of those life cycles all senior citizens go through, but one by one, the mumblings of a strange language and writings on the walls of those that seem to be changing, soon convince Tamra, all is not right in Marvale Manor. Zeph Walker now lives his life in seclusion, partly because of a horrible scar that has disfigured his face and partly because of the unwanted attention he gets when people learn who he is and what he gift is. He refers to it as the "Telling," a gift he believes that was given to him from God, to become a modern day prophet. He can sometimes see into the lives of the people he comes into contact with, offer a word of advice from God, heal and even curse others with death as though God has spoken through him. But after spending a life being used by others, Zeph has resolved to simply operate a bookstore, called the Book Swap in return for some peace and quite on the outskirts of town. Now as Tamra has been called to locate a book for her grandmother, she is told the only place she will find this, is at the Book Swap, if she can locate it. When she meets Zeph and reveals the book she is searching for, Zeph knows there is more to this than simply providing her with what she asks. He was told many years earlier that when the time is right, someone will come to him asking for this book, but until such a time, he is to keep it hidden. Only Zeph isn't ready for this. He isn't ready to face his past and contend with using his gift again. But when the shadows in his house, suddenly begin to speak and move, Zeph knows that evil has been set loose and it's only up to him to stop it. I received The Telling by Mike Duran compliments of Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Tours for my honest review. When I saw the opportunity to review this one and read the back cover, I knew it would be one I had to read. Being a huge lover of Christian Suspense Thrillers, I dove into this one immediately when it arrived and literally inhaled it as quickly as I could turn the pages. Mike does an amazing job at keeping things hidden until the very end without giving too much away and I found myself second guessing what would happen at the end. By the time I was finished, I was left wanting much more than I got and felt that with such a build up through most of the book, the way it ended, was a bit confusing. I found myself going back to re-read the final chapter to see if I had missed something or had gotten a few pages stuck to one another. I felt that the author could have spent a bit more time with the climatic ending then he did, but perhaps that is just my perception in wanting so much more. I like more of a profound prophetic ending then the way it did but overall the book had a great premise. I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars, just based on simply how it ended not how it was written overall.
The best book I have read yet! I am a huge fan of Ted Dekker and his suspense novels but this takes the lead by a massive margine. From page one, I was enthrawled. The wording, suspense, and mere terror in portions of this book make your heart race and your eyes bug. i have never read anything that made me feel like I was there in every page, like a part of the story, and in the same terror the characters in the book were. Great read and I am hoping more comes from this author. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!!!!
The Telling is the story of Zeph Walker, who was given the gift of prophecy from God as a child, but a tragedy turned his heart from it and he renounced both God and his gift and chose a life of solitude in the small town of Endurance, CA. Tamra and her grandmother, Annie, are brought into his life, though--or maybe it's that he's dragged into theirs--when strange things start happening at Annie's nursing home. People are changing, and it turns out there is a very sinister reason. Zeph, of course, is the key to stopping it all. I was SO impressed by Mike Duran's characterization in this book. Quite the cast of characters, and all of them fully formed. I totally connected with them throughout the book, especially Zeph. And the side character of Little Weaver is just plain cool :). The setting was vivid, and the plot well-paced. There were a very few, nit-picky things I found, but nothing worth pointing out in a review because it is likely things others won't even notice, and they were very isolated. Not speed bumps in the reading--more like a handful of stray pebbles on the road. Also, unlike The Resurrection, which reminded me of Frank Peretti's work, The Telling didn't really remind me of any other author. It felt like Mike had come into his own voice more completely. Anyway, overall I have to say I'd be tempted to go back and knock The Resurrection (his first book) down to a 3-star (from the 4-star I gave it) and Winterland down to a 4-star so I can clearly show how much better I liked The Telling by comparison. Great job.
The key element in any work of fiction is story, for without a good story the reader has no motivation to either finish the book, or give more than a cursory reading at best. With The Telling, Mike Duran has done both. From the moment reluctant prophet Zeph Walker is asked to identify his own body in the morgue, Duran weaves a tale unlike anything else in Christian fiction. Reminiscent of the best of Bently Little or Douglas Clegg, he takes us for a wild ride which, while seeming to careen down the fictional roadway at full speed with few pauses to catch your breath, is always under his control. But this book is more than a story about the consequences of our choices, it is also a novel about redemption. Years earlier Zeph Walker's words unleashed an evil force, and his reticence to accept and use his prophetic gift is feeding the evil and killing those around him. A prisoner of his physical and spiritual scars, Zeph lives a mostly reclusive life...and that reclusiveness and his rejection of who he is manifests itself with devastating consequences, for he holds the key to sealing the ninth gate of Hell. But the disfigured prophet's rejection of God and his withdrawal into himself stands in the way. Through Zeph's story Duran shows us something of the rocky path to redemption and points out that quite often we are the greatest hindrance to our own reclamation. This one is not to be missed.