cover image Red


Ted Dekker. Thomas Nelson Publishers, $19.99 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-8499-1791-2

In the second part of his three-book Circle trilogy releasing this year, Dekker pens an absorbing thriller that convincingly blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. In Black, readers met Thomas Hunter, whose dreams move him from a contemporary world to a strange other-world and back again. In this sequel, Hunter finds himself again torn between two realities after a 15-year respite from his dreams. Pitted against the New Allegiance, which has intentionally spread a deadly virus known as the Raison Strain that threatens to destroy the modern world, he launches a desperate search for the scientist who can provide the vaccine. In Hunter's other world, the savage Horde with its loathsome skin disease is on the brink of overpowering the Forest People, who hope for Elyon's deliverance. But the Forest People's""Great Romance""-love of Elyon-has degenerated, and when the controversial, messiah-like Justin proposes a truce, things quickly disintegrate. Although there's gruesome violence (a torture scene paralleling the crucifixion and another torture scene involving a needle), Dekker steers clear of sexual situations and profanity. His writing has improved tremendously in a short period. The Christian symbolism woven into the story will delight readers of faith, and the intriguing plot will interest general fantasy readers.