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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
Steven T. Collis pens an engaging story of war, devotion, and survival in his novel, Praying with the Enemy. On June 11, 1951, Captain Ward Miller flies over Korea in his aircraft. On a bomb mission, napalm is his payload. Being a veteran of WWII, war is nothing new to Ward; in fact, it is rather old. He longs to be back in Oregon with his wife and daughter. He flies over his target and releases the napalm, but nothing happens! Captain Ward Miller is forced to eject over enemy territory. Ward lands, severely injured. He is captured and interrogated daily. Meanwhile, Ward’s wife, Barbara, receives a telegram stating her husband is MIA. Her immediate response was prayer. Thinking of his wife, lost, alone, with both legs broken, Ward finds himself praying for the first time. Little does Ward know there is a young enemy soldier doing the same. As both men desperately pray for a way of escape, something unexpected, something miraculous happens. A trio of prayers is lifted. Unaware, Captain Ward Miller and Kim Jae Pil are on a dangerous, yet divine collision course to discover freedom and each other.
Praying with the Enemy by Steven T. Collis reveals the mysterious power of prayer. The novel is based on a true story, it is apparent Mr. Collis did his homework. I appreciate his devotion to keeping his story as accurate as creatively possible. The photographs included at the end add an extra degree of authenticity. The manuscript is well written and flows with ease from chapter to chapter. The plot unfolds with a trinity of insight, as the three main characters exchange points of view. Collis eloquently shares the characters' feelings, thoughts, and actions, and this writing technique builds a relationship of intimacy between the reader and the characters. The setting shifts along with the point of view, causing the timeline of events to progress simultaneously. As a result, the action moves quickly, making the book hard to put down. The obvious conflict is, of course, man against man; however, the protagonist battles several enemies, not just one. He must survive injury and deprivation in body, heart, and soul. He must conquer doubt and disappointment as well if he is to endure. The reality of this quest is sincere, harsh, and amazingly profound. Steven T. Collis’ Praying with the Enemy reveals the heart and soul of the prisoner of war, portraying the will to survive and the faith to make it possible.