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 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 its 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. 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 the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Tour 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 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 ended, 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.