An incredible story of good versus evil: My review of "The Telling" By Mike Duran

The Telling


A prophet never loses his calling, only his way.

Disfigured with a hideous scar from his stepmother, Zeph Walker lives his life in seclusion, cloistering himself in a ramshackle bookstore on the outskirts of town. But Zeph is also blessed with a gift—an uncanny ability to foresee the future,to know peoples’ deepest sins and secrets. He calls it the Telling, but he has abandoned this gift to a life of solitude, unbelief, and despair—until two detectives escort him to the county morgue where he finds his own body lying on the gurney.

On the northern fringes of Death Valley, the city of Endurance is home to llama ranches, abandoned mines, roadside attractions...and the mythical ninth gate of hell. Now, forced to investigate his own murder, Zeph discovers something even more insidious behind the urban legends and small-town eccentricities. Early miners unearthed a megalith—a sacred site where spiritual and physical forces converge and where an ancient subterranean presence broods. And only Zeph can stop it.

But the scar on Zeph’s face is nothing compared to the wound on his soul. For not only has he abandoned his gift and renounced heaven, but it was his own silence that spawned the evil. Can he overcome his own despair in time to seal the ninth gate of hell?

His words unlocked something deadly,

And now the silence is killing them.


What a ride! The Telling is an absolutely incredible story, a book filled with chilling suspense and carefully-crafted scenes that race towards an ultimate show-down between good and evil. Mike Duran writes with a wonderful grasp of the English language, putting details into the pages of his story that cause the characters to leap onto the screen of your mind. Zeph is an awesome character, a survivor of a deeply-troubled childhood who not only has to face the evil beginning to cover the land, but also has to wrestle the darkness inside him that has been gripping him since his horrific past. However, I have to say that my favorite character is the kick-butt grandma, Annie, who refuses to be told what she can and cannot do and so stays faithful to the calling God has placed upon her life. The ending provides a most satisfying conclusion, a reminder of God's victory both in this world and the next, a foreshadowing of the triumphant ending God will one day speak forth over the battle with the evil one.

If you are seeking to be entertained by a master story-teller, and if you enjoy books of suspense and good and evil, where demons and angels and prophecy collide, then this should be a book that you plan on reading. I highly recommend this book and award it 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Realms (Charisma House Book Group), for the purposes of this unbiased review.


Image of Mike Duran MIKE DURAN is a novelist, blogger, and speaker, whose short stories, essays, and commentary have appeared in Relief Journal, Relevant Online, Breakpoint, Rue Morgue magazine, and other print and digital outlets. He is the author of the supernatural thriller THE RESURRECTION (Realms, 2011), which was a finalist in the 2011 INSPY awards, an e-book fantasy novella entitled WINTERLAND, and THE TELLING (Realms May 2012). Mike contributes monthly commentary at Novel Rocket, one of Writer's Digest 101 Most Helpful Websites for Writers. Mike is an ordained minister and lives with his wife and four grown children in Southern California. Mike's novels explore the boundaries of belief, the fragile tether between science and superstition, the depths of despair and the reaches of faith. You can learn more about Mike Duran, his writing projects, favorite music, cultural commentary, and arcane interests, at

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