Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Saint by Ted Dekker

Saint is the second book in Ted Dekker's "Paradise Series."  I have already talked about Showdown a few months back, and this book is a continuation of that story.  In Showdown, a strange man comes into town and people begin acting weird, evil almost.  Children in a monastery find books where what they write in the book, it comes true.  The children are a part of an experiment to see if they will remain innocent if they are secluded from the influences of the outside world.  Carl has been recruited for Black Ops and given his life to the most brutal kind of training any man or woman could endure. He was here because he belonged here. To the X Group, an assassin. The most effective killer in the world. And yet . . . Carl Strople struggles to retain fleeting memories that betray an even more ominous reality. He's been told part of the truth, but what's the rest. Invasive techniques have stripped him of his identity and made him someone new for this he is grateful. But there are some things they can't take from him. The love of a woman, unbroken loyalties to his past, the need for survival.

This second book in the Paradise series is just as amazing as the first.  The story is a little different and stems away from the kids in Paradise, and the kids in the monastery, but the reader gets the feeling that this story is equally important for the final showdown. This novel has a strong start and middle, but sadly the end starts to unravel and fall very short of expectations and the quality we tend to expect from Dekker.  It is a Christian novel, so there is a lot of emphasis on love and grace.  Some may think this takes away from the novel, but I think it adds a different quality to the thriller.

This is the second book of Ted Dekker's that I have ever read, and I read it a few years ago and still absolutely love Ted Dekker as a writer.  That being said, this is probably one of the novels I like the least.  As mentioned it is a part of series, but doesn't follow the story of the first book which threw me off a little but still helped cement my love for this author.  He has a way of writing that draws the reader into the story.  You will almost feel as if you are standing beside Carl as everything happens and that you are experiencing the same things that he is.  Dekker has the ability to implement the Christian elements without making it feel like the reader is being preached to, or overdone.  It is the right amount, at the right times.  While it feels like this is one of the less enjoyable books to read of his it still shows his mastery of the written word.

I don't think there has been a book of Dekker's that I have not recommended and this is no different.  You don't have to read the books in order to understand what is happen you could read this one first and then Showdown then Saint or Saint then Showdown.  But you do want to leave Sinner for last because it does tie the other two stories together.  I highly recommend this for those who haven't read Dekker yet as well as those who have.  I give this book a 3.5 out 5 because it does fall short at the end and becomes disappointing when knowing the skills of this author.

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