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Book Review: Black - By Ted Dekker

Recently my 14 year old son and I read the book 'Black' by Ted Dekker together.  I had heard for a long time that this was a great book so we finally decided to take the plunge into the worlds of Thomas Hunter.

The book begins with Thomas and his sister Kara living in Denver, CO where Thomas works at a coffee shop and Kara is a nurse.  It doesn't take long before the story catches your attention as mobsters are chasing Thomas down back alleys and eventually shoot him in the head!  Now you may be thinking that is sure an odd way to start a book....the main protagonist gets shot in the head right out of the starting gate.  And if you thought that way, you'd be correct!  It is an odd way to start a book, but that is one thing that I am learning about Ted Dekker as I read his books....he likes to do things his own way and shatter any preconceived  ideas that you may hold about how to tell a story.

Thomas passes out and wakes up in a different reality altogether. He is in a black forest with terrifying evil bats and although it is scary and strange, it seems to be real.  He makes his way into the fantastical world of the colored forest, which is described in beautiful detail, complete with furry white bats, jewel colored trees, a world where evil is contained, and love abounds.  When he falls asleep in this world, he wakes up back in Denver.

Thomas learns in the colored forest that there will be a virus that will devastate earth as he knows it.  He learns this through the 'Books of History' which tell of a time long before the colored forest (which happens to be the time that Thomas is living in back in Denver).  As Thomas falls asleep (or is knocked unconscious) in one world, he wakes up in the other.  These transitions happen throughout the entire book, often leaving you right at the edge of wanting more information, then you pop back into the other 'reality'.

Thomas learns much of love and faith in the colored forest and discovers that there is a connection between the two worlds.  This book is action packed and did a very good job of keeping our attention.  This is not a book that you would read for an hour, then not pick it up again for a couple weeks, continuing on with sporadic reading since it jumps back and forth between two worlds with entirely different people, environments, and trials.

Black is technically Book 1 in Dekker’s 'Circle Series', which also includes Red, White, and Green (Green can be read as book 4 or book 0).  If that isn't enough, these books are only a piece of
'The Books of History Chronicle', which also include: Showdown, Sinner, and Saint (The Paradise Series) as well as Chosen, Infidel, Renegade, Chaos, and Lunatic.  And which of the 3-in-1 series do you read first?  The answer is that it doesn't really matter.  Again this is one of the ways that Ted Dekker's writing differs from other authors.

I haven't read all of the books yet, but I've read enough to know that I love how the characters are interwoven into all the different books and the stories are inter-related.  It makes for an interesting (and longer) journey.

As for us, we hope that they make this book series into a movie series (much like they've done the Narnia movies), I believe it would be spectacular to see a computer generated colored forest with all of it's rare animals and humans with amazing abilities!

I highly recommend this book, but for parents with younger readers you should be aware that there are some scenes that might be too scary as evil is made into living characters and their acts are described with frightening detail.  There is also quite a bit about 'romance' and although not inappropriate, it may be uncomfortable or uninteresting to a younger audience.  I liked it, but then again......I love that sort of stuff.

So, if you're looking for a good book.....check out BLACK.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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