Ted Dekker, a child of missionaries living among the headhunter tribes of Indonesia, grew up to become a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty novels. Best known for his suspense/thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.
Bill Bright (1921-2003) founded Campus Crusade for Christ, the world’s largest Christian ministry. According to his website, in 1979 Bright commissioned the JESUS film, a feature-length documentary on the life of Christ, which has since been viewed by more than 5.1 billion people in 234 countries and has become the most widely viewed, as well as most widely translated, film in history (786 languages).
About this book: The young orphaned boy was abandoned and raised in an Ethiopian monastery. He has never seen outside its walls — at least, not the way most people see. Now he must flee those walls or die.
But the world is hardly ready for a boy like Caleb.
When relief expert Jason Marker agrees to take Caleb from the monastery, he unwittingly opens humanity’s doors to an incredible journey filled with intrigue and peril. Together with Leiah, the French Canadian nurse who escapes to America with them, Jason discovers Caleb’s stunning power. But so do the boy’s enemies, who will stop at nothing to destroy him. Jason and Leiah fight for the boy’s survival while the world erupts into debate over the source of the boy’s power.
In the end nothing can prepare them for what they will find.
Judge this book by its cover? It drew me in and made me want to know more, and the story meshed with the cover art.
Reminds me of…Frank Peretti, Erin Healy
Buy or borrow? Either.
Why did I read this book? For BookSneeze for review. And because I want to read the recently released second book of this series, A Man Called Blessed, and thought I should read the first one first.
Would I read another by this author? Yes. See above.
My take: In their foreword, the authors state: “More than weaving a worthy tale, we wanted to write about the mysteries which lay beyond the skin of this world–to bring into focus that truth which is precious to us who believe in Christ’s power and captivating to those who, as of yet, do not. [This] requires a vivid story of God’s power in our world. It requires a clear message, and it requires a canvas on which to paint our portrait.”
To tell their story with such a big purpose in mind, the authors required not just any canvas to paint their portrait, but a very large one. As a novel, this encompassed a tale revealed in widely varying characters, from multiple perspectives, and placed on a world stage amid a swirl of politics and worldly ambition.
Toward this end, Dekker does a masterful job, populating his tale with complex characters layered with complicated personal histories. He even wove in a love story to satisfy my romance-addicted heart.
There were times, however, when this larger-than-life scope meant that some of what was portrayed on the page struck me as a little over the top. It wasn’t so much that it stretched my credibility. This is, after all, a book that proclaims the reality of the supernatural, a truth I heartily embrace. More, it was that the amplified actions and reactions of the characters became un-relatable. To me, anyway. At the same time, I recognize that if you’re writing a book with this purpose and scope, that is the territory into which you must tread.
In any case, I loved the premise and the style well enough that I will be back for more. Lucky for me, Dekker is an extremely prolific writer, so I’ll have plenty to choose from.
Thanks to BookSneeze and Thomas Nelson for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.