Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Book Review: Chaos by Ted Dekker

Book ReviewTed Dekker wraps up his Lost Books of History series -- and continues his epic saga of The Circle -- with Chaos.


As the chosen four -- Johnis, Billos, Silvie, and Darsal, and the Horde child they rescued, Karas -- defy the rules of the Roush and not only open the Books of History but touch the pages of the books with their blood, they find themselves no longer on Other Earth, but instead in the dry desert of a strange place called Las Vegas. Separated on their journey from Other Earth by a few mere moments, they find themselves arriving in the Earth of the Histories as much as ten years apart.

The first to arrive in the Histories, Karas and Darsal, both find themselves lost and alone in a world totally unlike Other Earth. With ten long years to struggle in the cruel world of the Histories, both Karas and Darsal follow their own paths to success, individually, all the while keeping watch for their compatriots while trying to make themselves easier to be found by the others.

We learn early on of a suspected threat to the chosen, as we witness what eventually turns out to be the Shataiki Alucard (interestingly enough, read "Dracula" in reverse) in a lair somewhere in the Histories, plotting the downfall of the chosen with as yet unknown Miranda Card.

Dekker takes us on a wild ride with Johnis and Silvie as they have their first experience with the Histories technology behind the wheel of a cherry Chevy, only to be rescued later by the very successful, now twenty-year-old Kara Longford, a.k.a. Karas.

I won't spoil the whole story for you. I won't tell you the name of the traitor that the chosen come face to face with in the closing chapters of the book. I won't tell you the fate of each of the four. I won't tell you how the Histories are affected by the invasion of the Shataiki in the form of Alucard.

What I will tell you is that this volume in The Circle epic is full of plot twists, turns, and surprises. It is nothing as I expected it would be when I first picked up Book One of the Lost Books of History. As I read it -- and I read it quite quickly -- I couldn't help but feel that Dekker was trying to quickly tie up several loose ends in the story. Like maybe the story had been heading off into other directions, and the author corralled the characters and got them back in line with where he wanted to take the story.

There's nothing wrong with that, really, but it just shouldn't feel like that's what happens when you're reading a novel. I'm an avid Ted Dekker fan, and an avid reader of Christian fiction. I'm also very drawn in to The Circle epic and would probably read another hundred offerings in the saga, if Dekker penned them out. But I must say, of the several books in this series, Chaos ranks very low on my list from best to worst.

Luckily for Dekker fans, September 2008 promises yet another offering in the saga, in the form of the long-awaited Sinner.

I promised in my review of Renegade to give you my own recommended order of reading for The Circle saga. Though the author and publisher invite you to "Enter Anywhere," and what follows is not the order in which they were published, I have read most of the books several times and, while I'm by no means an expert, I feel that they can be best followed and enjoyed by reading them in the following order.

Just my two cents worth. I hope to work my way through the series in this order between now and the release of Sinner in September.


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