“Alana Haines has been having some really unusual dreams… They’re different than anything she’s ever dreamed of before. All she can think about is how real they seem. And she keeps getting the strange feeling that someone is watching her. Even though in her head she hopes she’s only imagining it, she can’t help but think that someone or something is hunting her.
And She’s right.
All the way across the world, in Beijing, the Emperor of China’s spiritual adviser has had a vision of the future… A vision that shows a young girl from America growing up to cause a rebellion in China against the Emperor that will ultimately lead to his death. The only way the Emperor sees to prevent such a future is to have the girl killed before it becomes a reality.
A trained assassin is called in to travel to America and destroy her. He’s the best there is and his record is perfect. But something about this mission gets under his skin. He’s not supposed to feel anything. He’s supposed to be emotionless. But something about his target this time just gets to him… He’s not sure what is happening to him but he has to push it back; he cannot stand to fail.
Neither are prepared for the adventure that awaits them as they find out that they each have a destiny that’s much different than either of them every imagined. He calls it fate; she knows it’s God. But they both will learn that his ways are higher than our ways…”
Mrs. Gatlin is another author I had the opportunity to meet at a local event recently here in Arkansas. She was really sweet and we chatted for several minutes about her work and other Christian authors like Ted Dekker who I’m a big fan of. Many of you know already that I’m an atheist. However, I’m of the mindset that all spiritual theories/beliefs are valid so long as they make us better people and don’t hinder the lives of others.
I’m aware that there are a few books she has published that were written when she was very young and that her focus has since mainly been on Christian devotionals. I’m not sure whether “The Red String of Fate” was one of her older stories or not, but I feel it is most appropriate for a young Christian audience.
Despite the low rating, I truly enjoyed the idea of this story as well as its underlying message of love and forgiveness. I feel badly for it, but nonetheless, I’d be amiss to rate it higher due to its delivery…
I think it would be a good Christian children’s story if only a few factual errors were fixed as well as some typos and such. There is even good potential for a young adult or adult story if other cultural inconsistencies were addressed and there was more research done and work on the characters’ development.
The biggest thing was how a Christian missionary was allowed easily into China, described in the book’s modern setting as being ruled by a devout Buddhist emperor who is known to severely punish any practitioners of non-Buddhist theologies. Since Buddhism is not an organized religion but rather a philosophy of tolerance, pacifism, and attaining peace within oneself, this description does not make sense. Further what is wrong with this scenario is that if the emperor was a dictator who punished those that didn’t follow his religion, a Christian missionary would have either been barred from entering the country, or receive extreme penalty once there.
Regardless, the author has a interestingly creative mind and is clearly driven by her religious convictions to love and forgive, something I think is fantastic even if I don’t personally believe we need Christ for this as she does. So I do suggest any Christian readers check out her content and I plan to check out her other and future works as well. I hope she continues writing and improving because like I said, the premise and the message were both great. And once again, this could have been one of the stories she wrote as a child.
Also find Layla Gatlin’s other work and follow her profile to receive email notifications when new stories are published: https://amzn.to/2WGfafT
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~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden