Reviews.......


5 Star Reviews:

"A man's birth through immaculate conception was prophesied by a voice. Nicolaitanes Balac grows up to be a rich and powerful man with unusual powers. He implements a plan to bring about world peace. But will it really lead to peace? The story pulls you in while presenting a flowing story line with characters that are well developed and real. The issues in the midst of all of this are deep and profound. The author has researched biblical prophecy and biological weaponry very well. She has given life and breath to the biblical truths in the story. I received this as an ebook from the author for an honest review. I will be getting into the next book of the series today."--Sandra


"The world is filled with evil, and each day brings new atrocities. People are looking for a savior. The birth of a child raises their hopes. Are those hopes destined to be crushed?

Nicolatanes Balac is waiting to revered as the man who saved the world. With the help of Gen. Alexander Ludlow and The Group, he forms Operation Dark Angel, a military operation charged with bringing about world peace. Or is it?

Operation Dark Angel was suspenseful and engrossing from the start. The dynamic plot and interesting characters kept me reading past my bedtime. Pam Funke did a great job of incorporating Christianity without being overbearing. I enjoyed the ending, as it paved the way for what promises to be a wonderful sequel.

Pam Funke is an extremely talented author and Operation Dark Angel is a fantastic debut novel."
--Beth
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the most perplexing book of the New Testament. Except for some passages in the Gospels themselves, it is the only prophetic book in the Bible. It was written by the Apostle John in about A.D. 95, while in exile on the isle of Patmos, a very small (only about 13 sq. mi.) island in the Aegean Sea. It takes the form of a letter to the seven churches of Asia, addressing their problems, but it quickly segues into accounts of visions, prophecies and visitations by angels and Jesus. Despite being the most intensively studied book of the Bible, there is no true understanding of its message, except, perhaps, the certainty of Jesus' return and several events which precede that advent. However, just what those events are, what they mean, who will be involved, and when they will happen cannot be divined from the text of Revelation. Despite all the claims and and contentious agreements, the message remains enigmatic and undecipherable...but that does not stop brave and the inspired fiction writers from weaving all the various elements of the prophecy into exciting novels, which is what Pam Funke has done in Operation Dark Angel.

As with most portentous events it begins with something small. This story begins with a girl who hears a voice. Although Mariel comes from a good family and has a strong Catholic education, she listens to what the voice tells her, that she is going to have a baby that was fathered by no man. At this point, and indeed at many points in this novel, the reader should snort in derision, for it's easy to say she should have known better, that she should have recognized the falsehoods, should have known just who was speaking. We could say the same thing about other characters in the book. The reader can sit safe in s smug world, knowing the framework behind the scenery, and archly claim "I would never be so gullible. I would never fall for such obvious whoppers. I would know immediately what is going on and turn my back on the evil." Really? Just as characters in a book never know the story of which they are a part, so we will not know when we find ourselves enmeshed in an end-time pyschodrama. Besides, it's not for nothing that the Devil is called the Father of Lies, and since we have enough trouble coping with evil on a daily basis, how can we truly think we would respond any more wisely than the characters in Funke's novel?

The characters in Operation Dark Angel are portrayed with a deft knowledge of both the human condition and spiritual dilemmas. Funke has taken the elements of Revelation and interpreted them in such a way as to make them seem both plausible and immediate. The realism of the events unfolding on a worldwide basis is quite chilling. The plot is well thought out; despite the numerous plot-threads that involve dozens of characters, the author handles them all well, visiting one after another to advance the overall plot in an engaging and thrilling way. The scope of the story (and this is just the first book of a series) is in the tradition of the grand epic. If director Cecil B. DeMille were alive today and still in the business of bringing the Bible to the silver screen (Why let 5,000 years of publicity go to waste?), this is the sort of book he would choose -- epic story, villains and heroes bigger than life, and an eternal message.

Christians might want to read this book because of its attempt to clothe Revelation in garments that are more familiar to us (and in our imaginations we might even see some familiar faces), but one need not be a Christian to read and enjoy the book. It can also be read as a paranormal adventure, or even as a rousing yarn in the pulp-fiction traditions of Robert Ludlum or Clive Cussler, but with a strong moral or spiritual component. No matter how you approach this book, however, you will likely get more from it than you expected." 
--Ralph
"Pam Funke graciously sent me a copy of Operation Dark Angel: Rise of Nicolaitanes because I agreed to review it through a Goodreads Group: Willing to Review Christian Books. She gives scripture references before the premises of the novel, which alerts the reader what to expect. After doing intensive research (Unleashing the Spirit, Vol. 1-3), I see that Mariel Balac is related to Nero, a Roman Emperor, who was noted for torturing Christians because of their beliefs. Therefore, Mariel was the perfect candidate to carry the seed of the enemy but she believes as a devout Catholic is hearing the voice of God and chosen to carry this prominent baby like Virgin Mary did with Jesus. Amazingly, Nicolaitanes descendant of centuries ago, happens to be a Roman and purely evil leader, which gives the reader a clue who they will be dealing with in the near future. Rosalind is the child's protector and keeper, but once the child grows up to the Italian president, Nicolaitanes shows his true devious side.

There were numerous characters who were in a trance or brainwashed to do what was required of Operation Dark Angel commands, unaware of the voice and happenings. You have to decide if the voice is good or evil. Yet it is a well-crafted novel that divinely captures futuristic events based on the book of Revelation to be revealed to which the mind can visually grasp as if the scenes are playing like a cinematic film. 

This is an apocalyptic thriller with some slight similarities to "Left Behind" and "Omega Code" but definitely kept my interest to read each page and intrigued to read the next book in the apocalypse series. I also know that God has her on a similar path as myself to write "Miss the Mark Series" such a futuristic story yet seems so present and lifelike.

You will not be disappointed since there will be a character that you can relate to, or feel, or been in their shoes. Moreover, I feel it has enough dose of the Word, or biblical insight in reference to the apocalypse and tribulation as well as suspense, touch of mystery, and definitely the thriller element. The scriptures line up to what is happening in the book, and the mystery is revealed for all to see. Then, you see greed versus need; those who live for selfish reasons will always watch their back, look over their shoulder nervously, or ready to knock down the next man in their way--but working for Nicolaitanes, seems like the next is ready to aim and fire after listening to the deceptive lies of Satan in the flesh (and by the voice of ambiguity). I am blessed to read this literature and anticipating to read the next one in the series soon: The World at War.

My favorite character seems to be Halle but doesn't have much of an appearance as others. Just something about her, can't put my finger on it, but just do. She's that babe in Christ (new believer) that wants to get deeper in the Lord by asking her pastor numerous questions and connect the dots. But she does later hear from the Lord and follows the direction he's leading her. Ironically, seems like my life in the last year or so. Favorite secret code: "Jesus is the way and the life. None can come to the Father except through Him."

The author provided a PDF file for review purposes, but may have to order my own copy on Kindle"
--Adrienna

This is a breathtaking thriller taken from the book of the Revelation of John and the theory that the ultimate anti-Christ will come from the Catholic church. It is a very exciting read. I am amazed at the work and study that Pam put into this book to make it the winner that it is. You don't have to agree with her theology or even be a christian to find yourself engrossed in this excellent work of fiction. And if you do agree with her theology, you're sure to get a blessing reading this book. The many quotes from the book of Revelation are a good addition, giving the reader more insight to what is going on. A good exercise would be to give the story of the annunciation and birth of Christ an in depth perusal and compare it to the birth of "The Dark angel" as depicted by Pam. --Allison


 Four Star Reviews:

"I am always somewhat nervous when I pick up a work classified as Christian Fiction. I find that many authors of the genre get very “preachy” throughout their novels. This story does not preach at its audience. It is full of God, the Devil, and biblical quotes, but they serve to progress a gripping story. She had me captivated from the first chapter.

Funke has an amazing grasp of the English language. She uses this to craft amazing descriptions and locales. Funke manages to jump from character to character and locale to locale without the story ever becoming confusing or difficult to follow. Based on the facts given, I found myself making assumptions only to realise that they did not mesh with the action of the story. This novel definitely kept me on my toes throughout. Everything seems so real that you feel like you are living an absolute nightmare. Ironically, this book also brought out a very selfish thought – I love being Canadian. Even the Devil won’t bother to blow us up.

I love the fact that the historical and geographical facts contained in this novel are correct. The author bases this work of fiction in reality, and ensures that she does it correctly. Her grasp of bio-weaponry is also on par with reality. Funke does not just make up facts to fill her pages. That said, she also works some very unique concepts into this novel, such as the notion of a unified religion to end war.

In this story large scale warfare becomes personal. Because Funke’s characters are so well developed you know all of those involved. It is no longer just a news broadcast that you can turn off and this tears your heart to pieces. Not only are the characters well developed and memorable, each in his or her own way, but they also have names that you can remember so that you are not constantly wondering who did what and where. My only issue with any of the characters is that at times the speech of some of the characters becomes slightly forced, but it still flows well.

Miracles and catastrophes are at the forefront of this novel to an extent rarely seen. However, it is not a “fluffy” read that you just breeze through without thinking. This novel makes you think a lot and pulls you deep into the action. At the end, I was left wondering what symbol everyone kept seeing and when I could read the next installment to find out.
" --Jonel 

I liked the plot, the primary characters will likely be more focused as the series goes on. I found the Omen style villain character to be concurrent with many of the conspiracy theories in our era. That said I think the story is authentic enough to merit a read no matter what background the reader is coming from.

I tried considering how different this book would have been with the characters coming from a different religious or philosophical background. I suppose it would be similar for most religions.

The only detractor for me was that we weren't introduced to the characters as though they themselves had a more diverse spiritual background. I suspect that the book might still have a wider appeal if we preface these characters as religious rather than the entire scope of the book as being so.

Meanwhile I think its target audience will be quite pleased and I will in fact recommend this book to at least ten people I know. 
--Brian

In a collapsing society, it is easy sometimes to look to a savior, or anyone who promises to be a savior. Those who don’t believe in a Deity will flock to the one who promises peace, a good economy, an easy government. Such is true in “Operation Dark Angel,” which draws from the Biblical Book of Revelation to present Nicolaitanes Balac, prophesied by a Voice, born in immaculate conception, at a young age President of Italy and determined on world domination. Simultaneously, there is a move toward a one-world religion (“United World Religion”) which is to avoid divergence and embrace any and all faiths; and the dreaded “Operation Dark Angel,” which revolves around deadly biological warfare. 

I reviewed an e-book copy received from the author in return for my fair and impartial  review. --Mallory

*e-book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review

Operation Dark Angel starts really strong : a voice prophesied the birth of a boy through immaculate conception. The boy, Nicolaitanes Balac, is now an adult in search of world domination. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants. "Operation Dark Angel" is creating havoc all around the world. Terrorism attacks are wiping out thousands of the world's population. Nicolaitanes sits back and waits for his chance to be seen as the saviour of mankind. He may be more evil than it seems. In the meantime, good can still be found in the world. People are reuniting trying to fight Operation Dark Angel. What will become of the world? How evil is Nicolaitanes Balac? Will Operation Dark Angel be stopped before it's too late? Well, you will have to pick up the book to find out the answer to these questions and a lot more.

Pam Funke did an incredible job writing her debut novel. It is an exciting read that will keep you on the edge of your seat and dying to find out what will happen next. It can be terrifying at times to read about the evil going on throughout the world and how parts of the world are being destroyed in a blink of an eye.

A few things kept me from giving this book a rating of five stars. First, Operation Dark Angel has a lot of characters. It was hard for me to keep up with all of them. I found the switch from one character to another quite confusing at times but I have to say I really enjoyed how some characters crossed each other's path.
 

The series promises to be a thrilling read. --Melanie

Three Star Reviews:

"Disclosure statement: I received a PDF of this book for this review. I have attempted to be as honest as I can be in this review.

This book opens with the prophesied birth of Niclotaines who was born to a virgin like Jesus. Over twenty years, he enters politics and runs an architecture company. The company builds many top secret military installations in the US and other countries. His people create a more powerful biological weapon and missiles that can evade radar. With this technology, NIclotaines begins a campaign to cause chaos and destruction. General Ludlow was placed in charge of this operation which is called Operation Dark Angel. At first, the general thinks the operation is an attempt to bring world peace. While Niclotaines seems to be controlling the chaos and destruction, God is intervening in every area of the operation.

There was some things that I loved about the book while the other things had me wanting to throw things. The best parts was the fast paced battle between good and evil and intriguing characters. Niclotaines seems to be able to communicate using a voice that speaks directly to the recipient's brian. However, the voice was present even before Niclotaines' birth. I was fascinated by the idea that Niclotaines is a direct descendant of Nero Germanicus. (Nero killed many Christians during the early years of the church.)

The main thing that frustrated me was the author's choice to ignore point of view writing rules. I know that many other Christian fiction writers have chosen ignore these rules too. So, I leave the decision if you mind this in your reading material or not up to you. I felt that scenes involving character's witnessing to other characters and Bishop Williams preaching and answering questions to be too long. The other frustrations were minor such as the Pope's succession had no conclave and some confusion at the beginning due to the large number of characters.
I am anxious to get back to reading the next book." --
Tracy


Nicolaitanes Balac, a man who is quickly gaining political power and reverence, has enlisted the help of General Alexander Ludlow and The Group in an attempt to bring about peace and serenity for the entire world. Hence, the birth of Operation Dark Angel, a military operation designed to bring about world peace. Or is it? Will the operation really bring an end to the turmoil, violence and hatred or will it make matters worse? What can the people of the world do to regain control of the world?
Overall: I liked the book! The plot was totally unique and the different narratives was amazing! I really liked the suspense that the prologue created. I loved how simple the storyline was, but how complex it was within the different perspectives. It baffled me how the author tied all of them together at the end. My one problem was the Christianity aspect. I am 100% fine with Christianity, but I really don't like it in books. I was not familiar with the scripture at all, and I felt like it forced it one me a little too much. It wasn't as bad as most Christian Fiction, though, so that was alright. The characters were very well developed, too! The voice and the disappearing guy thing were a little too much for me. There were a few grammar mistakes and the word choice was slightly lacking, but it was a good book nonetheless.

Characters: This is probably morbid, but I loved the complexity of Nicolaitanes. He was focused, evil, and perfect. I also loved the side characters, like Wei and Mei. It was the little details that I loved in this book.

Quotes:
None really stood out to me.

Recommend?: I would really recommend if you are a strong christian or really want a unique story line. 
--
Salaam

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