Thursday, March 13, 2008

Book Review: Infidel by Ted Dekker

Book ReviewI've just finished reading the second book in Ted Dekker's The Lost Books of History series, which is really an extension of The Circle trilogy, which is really so much more than just a trilogy.

The Circle
trilogy consists of the books Black, and Red, and White, and is followed up by Showdown, and House (co-authored by Frank Peretti), and Saint, and Skin. And a new book to be out either later this year or next year, titled Sinner. And the Lost Books consist of Chosen, and Infidel, and (coming out in May Renegade and Chaos.

Yes, Ted Dekker has been quite busy creating his history of Other Earth.

While the Lost Books are marketed in the Youth Fiction genre, it was of course well-known to Dekker and his publisher, Thomas Nelson, that millions of Circle fans of all ages would flock to bookstands to pick up the latest installments. In fact, by marketing the Lost Books as Youth Fiction, Dekker and Nelson stand to pick up even more readers than before, as the appeal of The Circle spreads to younger readers.

I, for one, have been captivated by Dekker's Circle trilogy, as well as many of his other works. A quick browse through my review list will turn up almost every book written by Ted Dekker. But you didn't come here for that, did you? You came here to learn more about Infidel.

I was at first a little confused as to whom the title referred. According to, the number one definition of the word infidel is "a person who does not accept a particular faith." The several Dekker books surrounding Other Earth are filled with people who don't accept the faith of the Forest Dwellers. It was hard for me, in Infidel, to determine just which character was the infidel. I'm still not altogether sure.

And while I understand that weaving a story takes considerable character development and that several threads of the plot line must be laid in order to get to the culmination, I found Infidel to be a very interesting work, but just not quite up to the standard that other Dekker books have set.

Infidel is, no doubt, critical to understanding the history of Other Earth, and I can't imagine reading the next two books in the chronicles without first reading Infidel, but I just wasn't grabbed by it like I was the original Circle trilogy, or most of Dekker's other works. I found Infidel to be more about laying the foundation for coming installments than furthering the story.

What makes the whole thing even more interesting is the marketing ploy that Dekker and publisher Nelson have developed in order to drive the hype behind the stories. There's a massive online search for the Lost Books of History, with multiple sites and characters created for the sole purpose of guiding readers through the search for the ultimate discovery -- the last Lost Book of History -- and the ultimate prize -- a brand new Chevy Cobalt.

I have, of course, registered for the search, but I haven't been very active in it. I found on the first day that I could easily spend hours of my day just digging and digging through the clues online in search for the Lost Book. As much as the search intrigues me, I just don't have that kind of time on my hands.

But what I do have time for is reading the next Dekker book when it comes out. Adam hits bookstores next month.

In the meantime, Infidel is definitely worth the read, but only if you've read the rest of the epic first.


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