Published by Harvest Prophecy on November 16, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Thriller
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A USA Today and Publishers Weekly Bestseller#1 Fiction (ECPA) Christian Bestseller
“It was the perfect day—until the gunfire.”
Nir Tavor is an Israeli secret service operative turned talented Mossad agent.
Nicole le Roux is a model with a hidden skill.
A terrorist attack brings them together, and then work forces them apart—until they’re unexpectedly called back into each other’s lives.
But there’s no time for romance. As violent radicals threaten chaos across the Middle East, the two must work together to stop these extremists, pooling Nicole’s knack for technology and Nir’s adeptness with on-the-ground missions. Each heart-racing step of their operation gets them closer to the truth—and closer to danger.
In this thrilling first book in a new series, authors Amir Tsarfati and Steve Yohn draw on true events as well as tactical insights Amir learned from his time in the Israeli Defense Forces. For believers in God’s life-changing promises, Operation Joktan is a suspense-filled page-turner that illuminates the blessing Israel is to the world.
For a long time, Christian military/prophetic fiction has really only had one voice: Joel Rosenberg. Others have tried it. Mel Odom wrote a military-themed spinoff trilogy in the world of Left Behind to tepid success. Ronie Kendig has dabbled in the genre, but perhaps with more of a romantic suspense bent to it. Steve Yohn coauthored four books between 2007-2011 with an unlikely coauthor—former NFL kicker Jason Elam—that sort of fits the genre. And now, ten years later, he’s returning with Amir Tsarfati to pick it up once again.
Tsarfati is the founder of Behold Israel, a non-profit ministry that connects current events in Israel with the context of dispensational theology and prophetic interpretation. Yohn, formerly a pastor, joined Tsarfati on staff at Behold Israel as the senior writer and editor and the two have been developing all sorts of content in all sort of media. Yohn’s experience as a writer and Tsarfati’s experience as a major in the Israeli Defense Forces make Operation Joktan come to life. Tsarfati provides real-life experience and Yohn translates it expertly into a fictional story.
This particular story is about two Mossad agents: Nir Tavor and Nicole le Roux. As young adults, a terrorist attack brings them together but then forces them apart. Tavor goes off to serve his country and le Roux finds success as a model—and a hacker. It’s the hacking that puts her on Mossad’s radar and she soon finds herself working alongside Tavor to stop a massive terrorist attack on an unlikely target.
Operation Joktan is decently-written, pulse-pounding, and page-turning. Occasionally, the authors’ penchant for military jargon bogs the story down and, also occasionally, the need to stop for a Bible story interrupts the narrative flow. The dialogue isn’t high literature, but if you’re looking for something like a Christian Tom Clancy, this will do you. The biggest literary criticism I have is the cast of characters and how, except for our main two, Yohn and Tsarfati struggle to provide unique and distinct voices for them. Written in third-person omniscient view, Operation Joktan takes forays out of the spaces of our main characters to give entire scenes in characters used only for that scene. It makes the book needlessly complex in terms of following the story.
One thing to note about Operation Joktan is that (perhaps like any military fiction) it is basically military propaganda. I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose. Both authors work for an organization that connects current events in Israel to the coming End Times, based on a particular minority reading of biblical prophecy. Tsarfati is not only Israeli, but a member of the Israeli army, so of course Israel is portrayed in a glowing manner. The publisher is Harvest House, a publisher known for its non-fiction books on dispensational end times theology—and this fictional book is published under the Harvest House Prophecy imprint. This book isn’t just meant to be fiction, it’s meant to be an apologetic for the Israeli military. It’s an Israeli Top Gun. If that’s an endorsement for you, you’ll enjoy this book. If it isn’t then steer clear.