Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chosen-Ted Dekker

I've been a fan of Dekker since picking up Showdown.  He hasn't let me down.  Until now.

The land of the Forest Dwellers has been decimated by the Horde under the watchful eye of the vilest of all creatures, Teeleh.  Thomas Hunter, supreme commander of the Forest Guard, is forced to lower the recruitment age of his army from 18 to 16.  From among the thousands, four new recruits are chosen to lead-and perhaps die-for the greater good.
The chosen four are sent on a quest to prove their character, but their mission takes a dramatic turn when they are intercepted, sworn to secrecy, and redirected to a different endgame.  Now they must find the seven lost Books of History.  Books that have power over the past, present, and future.  Books whose words are alive.  Books sought by the Dark One that control not only the destiny of their world... but that of ours as well.

My Take:
Okay, maybe it was as dramatic as I made it seem, but I was disappointed by the book when compared to the rest of his books.  The only reason I could think why this would be is simply that is is a Young Adult book which is not his normal audience.  Dekker tried to simplify things.  But the problem I have isn't that it was simplified, because it wasn't any more then the average YA book.  It was because his writing quality seemed to drop as well.
Every two or three chapters there was a complete or partial point-of-view shift.  There were also as sense of urgency in the writing.  As if, the book could only be two-hundred and fifty pages and there was too much story, so he had to condense it and quicken the writing instead of simply cutting some out afterward.  I don't know if either of these were conscious or sub-conscious decisions or if it even had to do with the audience of the book at all, but the writing was lacking either way.
That said, I did enjoy the book, and very much at that.  Throughout Black through Green I've always had a yearning to explore the outer reaches of the desert.  So I kept hoping during the books that it would go there.  But it never did.  So when I found out that this book focus's on the outer-most parts of the desert I was excited.
The characters were refreshing.  I enjoyed having someone else doing something besides Thomas Hunter[the protagonist in the previous works in the Circle storyworld] and thought that Dekker handled it well.  On a smaller point of the characters though, I thought they were too skilled.  It was very tacky how well they handled their weapons.  They were brand new recruits to the Forest Guard and while they may be skilled, I thought that it was a little over the top.  Just a pet peeve I guess.  Nothing to hurt the overall plot.
The plot itself was great.  Though it did seem very short, which was due in most part to the fact that the book was some two-hundred and sixty pages rather than four-hundred.
I am very much looking forward to reading the rest of the six-book series.

My Rating:  3.5 Pens
You can buy this book on Amazon or purchase it on the publishers web site.