©2004 Ted Dekker; (P)2004 Oasis Audio LLC
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
The concept is actually rather fascinating. I just wish the writer was better.
There are 2 "realities" in the story - the modern day "realistic" one is actually well-done and quite interesting. The fantasy world is a bit too... err... poetically Christian? In the "realistic" world, Thomas Hunter is being shot at, but then when he sleeps and pops into the "fantasy" world, there is page after page after page of "The Great Romance".
This is the part that bothered me the most. Of course, it is Christian fiction so there is lots of God and feel-good-ness abounding throughout the story, but.... the whole "Great Romance" part of the story feels like the author was trying to pretend he was writing as a (bad) female romance novelist - "oh woo her Thomas!" "Oh, fight imaginary monsters to protect her Thomas!"
GAG!!! This foray into a bad imitation of chick lit romance ruined what was otherwise a very decent and interesting story. I won't read the rest in the series - it's just not good enough to waste time on.
Oh, and the narrator is pretty good - a bit dramatic sometimes, but overall good.
While the author's descriptions of the Green and Black Forests are beautiful and vivid, the characters in this book are very one-dimensional-- inadvertent 'Everymen'. In addition, some of the necessary plot developments are highly improbable. World leaders gathered to listen to this young prophet-- due to his 'proof' of knowing the future (predicting the winner of the Kentucky Derby)-- would never happen. My third problem with the book itself is its length: the action would have been better served by stricter editing.
The narrator's monotone didn't add to the story. Although a huge fan of audio books, I will not be purchasing the next two in the trilogy.
The comparison to C.S. Lewis' gorgeous and engaging Narnia books is, in my opinion, totally unwarranted.
I quit listening to this book due to the thick flow of cheese that oozed out of my speakers every time I turned it on. We all know what over acting is, and its annoying to watch. Well, this book proves that there is over writing as well. Its sad that one of the most famous christian writers has to be so cheesy. The ending may have been good, but I guess I'll never know.
The "pre-fall" other world was very cool. I listened to the entire series after this and really enjoyed it.
I also though Rob Lamont did a great job.
The story took some getting used to with the split realities but it was interesting after you've listened for a couple chapters.
Classic Good vs. Evil and how our actions have consequences. Highly recommended for long car trips with kids. Enjoyable for adults as well
I found the first ten minutes awkward and almost quit, but fortunately hung in there. The rest of the book and series is awesome! AMAZINGLY CREATIVE, and in a zany way, uplifting. I found myself in an extra chipper mood after listening, and even looked forward to driving to hear the next chapter. This is my first Dekker book, and now I'm a big fan.
I have one major problem with this book that completely shatters its already shaky plot. A man that steals 100,000$ from the mob to protect his beloved mother and sister would NOT be confused over what reality is. But through the book he shows nothing but contempt for his family. They are irrelevant to Tom. He could not seem to care about them in the least. He keeps claiming he does but when it comes down to it, when your "beloved" sister says THIS is reality, for me thats the end of the argument. For me my sisters word is gold. There is no other argument. The bats can say all they want, present all the proof they want, but I do not love them. I do not love their land or their people. Sure it may seem "overly" real, but when it comes down to it they are not family. You can make the argument that he thinks one or the other reality is real. But that argument boils down to one thing, who is he going to believe. Tom blatantly shrugs off his family for this alternate reality, he seems so ready to get rid of his family I began doubting his motivation for anything. He seems overly ignorant of the things going on around him and lives in his own little fantasy world outside of the two that he already "exists" in. If Ignorance is Bliss, then Tom is Ignorance and his "dreams" are his Bliss.
Plus the 50 or so mentions of the "Matrix" within the story made me roll my eyes every time. I mean, honestly, dig up a few more references... maybe some well written literary references, instead of a pop culture hodgepodge of ideas.
The religious allegories were almost as bad. I would say go back to the drawing board, do some more research, flesh out the characters motivation a little more and try not to ham it up. Reading this book is like watching a Hollywood Summer Blockbuster. Lots of flare and things shoved in your face for shock vale, but in the end the overall story and character development are left wanting.
I found the novel extremely boring. Reads at a 5th grade level. I knew what was around the corner at every turn. This is a Christian based fictional novel. Be prepared to see parallels to biblical stories in the bible. After being able to predict what was going to happen next at several places in the story, I could not take it anymore and stopped after reading about 85% of the book. If you like Tim LeHaye's Christian based 5th grade reading level books, then you will like this one. Wow and it is a trilogy.
I love cozy mysteries, historical fiction, autobiographies, and biographies. I enjoy getting lost in a great book!
I have to admit that I usually don't buy books in the fantasy genre, but I decided to give this one by Ted Dekker a try. I'm glad that I did! The book grabbed my interest from the start and held it to the end. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to keep up with which reality Thomas Hunter was in each time he woke up. That wasn't a problem at all! Ted Dekker does a great job guiding his audience through each reality so that you don't get lost or confused. Rob Lamont does a good job narrating this book. I think I just discovered a new interest in Fantasy books. Now onto book 2 in the series!
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