Black: The Birth of Evil (The Circle Trilogy vol. 1) by Ted Dekker

Do not read this book, if you do not have time to finish it! This is a true page-turner! I must say that this is the most enjoyable read that I have read in years. Without a doubt, Dekker has a talent for writing. Dekker actually changes his writing style based upon the current situation in the plot. In some sections, he writes with a standard prose that fits the smooth flow and low tension of that portion of the plot. In the action/high tension sequences, the sentences become short and staccato. He uses quite a few one-word or one-phrase sentences. No, they are not true sentences, but they assist in the punch line of a joke or the rhythm of the story. I do not know how many other authors do this, but I noticed it here. Several times, he could have written a mildly funny sentence, but instead he removed the adverb (or whatever word made the sentence truly amusing) and dropped it after the sentence. The effect was to accentuate the humor and increase the effect of the punch line. (As an aside, Dekker does not use this writing technique in any of his other books).

Black is about a genetically engineered virus that a terrorist organization is trying to obtain and release upon the world. Only Thomas with his strange dreams can stop this from occurring. Whenever Thomas falls asleep in this reality, he wakes up in a future world. When he falls asleep there, he wakes up in the present. Both realities are headed for destruction with Thomas as their only hope. While this plot sounds a bit dull, Dekker makes it engrossing. Do not write off the book, because the plot sounds a bit simple or dull. That would be a mistake.

The future world is an almost perfect place and is reminiscent of the Garden of Eden. Dekker uses the future world as symbolic of the present age and uses that world as a platform to speak to the church. Very little of the symbolism is evident in this book, but the rest of the series begins to open up that symbolism. My only complaint with this book is the “crossover” nature of the writing. A Christian will read the book and read into it much of what Dekker desires you to read. The secular reader will enjoy the book but miss the important theology. Dekker does not include an explicit conversion or explain explicitly his theology. Therefore, an unsaved person would enjoy the book, but miss the important message running through the book. I dislike the attempt at making material “crossover.â€? The Christian should be distinctive and the World should know it. Of course, C. S. Lewis argued that his books were designed to educate the pagan. He thought that certain values (honor, justice, truth, integrity and sacrifice to name a few) were being lost to society and that this loss would make evangelism much harder. Through his Narnia Chronicles, Lewis hoped to lay a foundation upon which a Believer could witness to the unsaved at a later date. In that sense, Dekker’s series is fine. Still, I struggle with books that seem to be written as “closet” evangelism. Take it as you will. The books are worth reading.

I found is book to be fabulously enjoyable. This book will interest anyone who likes fantasy or thrillers. It balances both very well. This is a true page turner.

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One thought on “Black: The Birth of Evil (The Circle Trilogy vol. 1) by Ted Dekker

  1. Pingback: Conservative Book Talk » Saint by Ted Dekker

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