I am astounded by the quality of the reviews readers are posting about Strait of Hormuz. I think you’ll enjoy these four fabulous reviews by Terri Smith, Margaret Nelson, Mike Winskie and Kathryn Eriksen.
Falling in Love With Marc Royce… Again
By Terri Smith, Amazon
As soon as I heard that Davis Bunn was releasing the final book in this series, I reread the first two books, Lion Of Babylon and Rare Earth. I again fell in love with Marc Royce!
Kitra described him best when they were praying together, “But Marc was real in this…He was always real…the integrity that was so ingrained, so much a part of him that no one even spoke of it or questioned it. Others followed him, even when they disagreed with him over one point or another. They trusted him.” I loved seeing the interaction that Marc has with people he meets for the first time and the trust he receives even in impossible situations.
The story starts with explosive action and continues with adventures until the conclusion. I am sad to see the end of the series. Davis Bunn created a realistic story and a sense of place that I have enjoyed when reading his works. He has a way of making the reader open to new cultures and gives us an understanding of what people are experiencing that are so different from our daily lives.
He gives us insight in to what it is like to be a Christian in other cultures where it is not popular or even safe to name the name of Christ. As one Arab believer states, “We yearn for what you so often take for granted, the freedom to practice our faith, to live our beliefs, and to be treated with respect and equality by our neighbors.” How often do we look on others like this?
This book will NOT put you to sleep!
By Margaret Nelson, Amazon
If you want a calm, relaxing book, do NOT read Strait of Hormuz, Davis Bunn’s newest book about Marc Royce, and the final one in the series. I made the mistake of finishing it just before bedtime, and then couldn’t get to sleep for hours!
The first two books (Lion of Babylon and Rare Earth) are suspenseful, but I think this one tops them both. I had to keep taking breaks in reading to catch my breath for the next attack, chase, or cliff hanging scene. (I also wanted to know if Davis test drove a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta in a situation even closely resembling one scene in the book, so asked on Facebook. He said, “I’ll never tell”!)
The plot is all too possible in today’s world, with Marc Royce ferreting out rumors of a clandestine operation stretching from Asia to the Mideast. At stake is Iran’s threat to blockade the narrow Strait of Hormuz, cutting off vital shipping routes and escalating global tensions beyond the breaking point. I was amazed by the amount of research that obviously went into making it all hang together, as well as make sense to a broad spectrum of readers.
One thing I appreciate about Bunn’s books is the fact that his lead characters are deeply spiritual without preaching. Honesty, trust, integrity, forgiveness, and obedience to God and His Word are lived out by the characters, and it impacts those around them, as well as the reader. This book has some thought-provoking discussions that I need to go back to and mull over.
I also appreciate the fact that the suspense is due to the action, not in the main characters being dense and self-centered until the last pages of the book, when they finally see the light and do an abrupt about face. Bunn’s characters grow and change in believable ways throughout the book. In some aspects, Marc Royce is “too good to be true,” but I like the fact that Davis reveals his shortcomings and weaknesses, and also that Marc changes through interaction and accountability with other believers, modeling a healthy spiritual life for the reader.
When a Warrior is Called to be Weak
By Mike Winskie, The Author’s Page blog
Marc Royce teaches us all a much needed lesson:
“I have spent my entire adult life training to be a warrior. To analyze and fight and succeed. To control risk and battle danger. And yet there comes a moment when I must go against my training. When I must accept that events are not to be fought against, but rather accepted in prayer. That at such times I cannot retreat into the safety of coldness and anger and still remain a faithful servant. There is NO (emphasis mine) harder lesson for me to learn than to recognize the moment when I am called to be weak.”
Wow! What a lesson!
We humans, especially men, seem to go through life trying to “defeat our enemies.” Every situation we find ourselves in must be analyzed, strategized, and conquered. We pat ourselves on the back for our ingenuity. Yet, sometimes, our Lord has to allow the situation to get so bad that we have no choice but to look up and ask for his divine help. That’s usually when he moves his sovereign hand and brings victory- after we have submitted to him.
This is why I enjoy these books so much. Though Marc is an amazing character in literature, he is not presented as a superman. He is presented as well trained, intelligent, and dedicated, but as a real human being. He suffers the same doubts, fears, and weaknesses that we do.
Most importantly, he has to rely on God’s help to bring the victory, just as we do.
A Warrior or a Believer?
By Kathryn Eriksen, Dare to Dream Big and Live Large blog
The third and final book in the Marc Royce series, Strait of Hormuz provides a gripping story that will satisfy even the most die-hard action adventure fan. The added bonus is that Davis Bunn is a Christian author and he boldly explores what it means to be a Christian in a violent world.
Strait of Hormuz picks up where Rare Earth (Book 2 in the series) left off. But Bunn is so adept at providing the back story that Straits can also be read as a standalone book.
Marc Royce is again entangled in an international web of intrigue that he does not understand, but that has far-reaching consequences. He must decipher the clues to determine whether he is on the correct trail or chasing rabbits while the real threat remains inbound.
Along the way, he discovers what he thought he would never see. Small, hidden communities of Christians composed of Turks, Kurds, Syrians, Lebanese, Ethiopians and Iraqi. Sworn enemies who lay down their arms and found each other in the arms of Jesus.
Impossible if they followed their traditions and societal rules. Possible only because of the gift of salvation.
Marc must seek their help in his quest to stop the evil that is about to descend on the Middle East. But these people have a well-hones sense of credibility and Marc must prove himself worthy of their support. He is forced to come face-to-face with his own doubts and fears, and to choose to “follow Jesus even when it is painful to do so.” His training as a warrior and combatant has to be set aside so he can seek guidance in prayer.
His primal dilemma: remain cold and angry as a warrior or step into an unknown place of weakness and wait for direction from God.
As Marc states so eloquently, “There is no harder lesson for me to learn than to recognize the moment when I am called to be weak.”
Marc must also face his personal conflict of whether to love someone and therefore become vulnerable, or remain in the comfort of his “warrior mentality.” He already knows that the warrior mentality does not produce warm, trusting relationships, but the obstacles he faces in Straits sends him straight back to his warrior comfort zone. Will he also shed that attitude and open himself up to the gifts of love?
Davis Bunn excels at weaving the themes of Christianity, love and forgiveness in a story that is both compelling and thought-provoking. Because the reader is allowed to see directly into Marc Royce’s conflicts and dilemmas, the resolution of his conflicts also provides a possible solution for the reader. We see into Marc’s world and gain insight into our own.
Strait of Hormuz is a book worth its weight in gold. It will change your perspective about the Middle East and what it means to be a “warrior” in Christ.