Monday, December 27, 2010

book review: Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge Dekker fan.   His work in Christian fiction has been ground-breaking to say the least.  But in the last few years I have noticed a shift in Ted that seems to border on self-importance.  From  his web-site, to his yearly gathering, to his physical appearance in photos, it seems to me like he has become somewhat of a literary rock star.  Also, the last two books I have read...BURN and BONE MAN'S DAUGHTERS have been pretty disappointing.
However, with that being said, I still look forward to reading a new Dekker novel as soon as they come out. I think that is one of the hallmarks of a good author...the anticipation of the book before you read it.  Ted has redeemed himself, at least in this readers eyes, with IMMANUEL"S VEINS or IV has members of Ted discussion form "The Circle" call it.  It is really good book from start to finish.
Let me start off with the bad.  There are few complaints that come to mind after reading the book.  My biggest is the time in which the setting takes place.  I'm not talking about the time period either.  I mean from the start of the story to the end doesn't cover but a few days real time.  this is not really a bad thing in itself, because once you read the book and get a feel for what is going on, it obviously doesn't need to be drawn out, but...this leads to the major flaw with the love story.  Basically it isn't fleshed -out enough.  There just aren't enough pages in the book to do it properly and move the plot along and the pace which makes the book so great.  The two main characters just don't have enough time together to make the star-crossed lover thing all that believable.  The only other gripe I have with the book is a minor one.  Sofia, one of the supporting characters isn't given nearly enough story.  Thea reader has no idea at the end why she did the things she did.  Trust me when you finish, that will be on your mind.  Knowing Ted though he may come back to this character in a future story.
Now, I move on to the good.  The setting of the story is a step in a different direction for Ted. It works.  The book makes the 18th century come alive in the readers mind.  Also, true to form Ted throws in just enough morsels of his works in the circle trilogy to tie this book to that series.  If you haven't read any of that series,  do it now.  Not only will you understand some of the back story for IV, but you will be thoroughly entertained.  the ending of the book is very heart felt. It has redemptive quality that the reader will want to soak up.
Overall, this is one of Dekkers best works.  I strongly suggest to anyone to pick it up for a good read.  It will be in my library for years to come, as i am sure to reread it.  Hopefully there will be a sequel to answer some of the questions left with the ending.  Knowing Ted it is already in the works.

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