Dekker Deep At times disturbing Always stirring Dekker centers this book around the significance of writing, which I loved It has a sinister creepiness from the first page, and it doesn t let up as the suspense and fear builds As with most of his works, I often feel like a fool trying to grasp the secrets of the universe while reading his intriguing thoughts and pondering the subtle and not so subtle knowledge his stories impart on the reader It s always an interesting experience when I pick up anything with his name on it This is no different You ll find yourself changed by the last page Ignorance is bliss or is it The first thing I would say about this author is that he is definitely different This is the first Dekker book I ve had the pleasure of reading and I really liked how he was able to combine horror with a religious spin in a tactful way without being preachy I did get lost in just a couple of places trying to keep up with the personalities of the characters However, this was a very good read for me and I especially liked the ending, although it was somewhat predictable When I first started reading this book, I was well aware of the fact that it was part of a series, so enough said about the ending Those of you who have read the book will get what I mean It might take me a while, but I do plan to finish the series. When A Stranger Named Marsuvees Black Appears In Paradise, He Brings With Him A Message Of Hope And Love Or Is It Death And Hate Perhaps Neither Perhaps Both He Seems To Know Too Much About The Town S Many Unspoken Secrets, And He Himself Holds The Greatest Secret Of Them All As Black Clouds And Sandstorms Envelop The Town, It Becomes Almost Impossible To Get In Or Out It Quicky Becomes Apparent That Paradise Is Being Isolated For A Reason But Why Signature Edition Oh boyI picked up this book because it was on someone s best Christian reads of list I was sorely disappointed Dekker is no different than many of the novelists of today The book has all the marks of the hastily written, sloppily edited pulp that fills the racks of airport bookstores The back of the book jacket says that Dekker is known for novels that combine adrenaline laced stories with unexpected plot twists, unforgettable characters, and incredible confrontations between good and evil I probably should have known at that point this wasn t likely to be the book for me It certainly was adrenaline laced and I m unlikely to forget some of the characters, but the plot itself is so ridiculous one can hardly read a page without rolling one s eyes in disbelief.Dekker s story is like a violent A Separate Peace on hallucinogens A coming of age moral tale in an altered, doped up, wild west world replete with worm psychedelic worm goop, eye pulled from your sockets violence, and a magical traveling preacher fitted out head to toe in leather.All of that might be excusable if there were some significant moral themes that were served or philosophical or religious dialogue of any substance Dekker certainly is aiming for that, but he really doesn t succeed as these portions are convoluted at best and adolescent at worst And perhaps most annoying to me, Dekker has a few inane phrases he keeps repeating again and again throughout the book e.g what a trip I sincerely didn t understand the purpose of these phrases as they didn t provide any additional narrative coherence or deeper moral understanding. Disclaimer My rating for this book might not be entirely fair, considering I read only the first few chapters before skimming another 100 pages or so.The cover had me excited, since I m generally a sucker for modern Westerns Unfortunately, SHOWDOWN starts off lousy and only gets worse as the story progresses.I ve read or at least started several other Dekker novels, and while he s adept at coming up with some memorable concepts, his writing style is generally sloppy, and he struggles at making his bizarre plot lines even the least bit believable However, since so few professional authors apart from Frank Peretti are known for writing Christian horror thrillers without any sex or swearing in them, Dekker has amassed a significant readership among people looking for fiction that is edgy but safe Problem is, edgy and safe rarely go hand in hand.Such is the case with SHOWDOWN, a tepid supernatural thriller in which characters say things like Jiminy Cricket when overcome with surprise or terror The book introduces a memorable antagonist in the character of Marsuvees Black, who is actually just a dime store version of Randal Flagg from Stephen King s THE STAND When Marsuvees Black walks into Paradise, Colorado and stirs up mayhem, Dekker is obviously striving to be scary, cool, and thought provoking What he actually comes across as, however, is unconvincing, dorky, and lame Everything about the book seems a bit off, preventing you from becoming invested in the story Dekker compounds the problem by stuffing in as many Christian themes and religious references as possible, with little regard as to whether or not they truly belong within the context of the story From the very beginning, the book seemed totally contrived and artificial After a while, I began to skim, and still nothing jumped out at me as being particularly interesting.Based on my enjoyment of the book THR3E, I believe Dekker is capable of doing good work But SHOWDOWN is not a reflection of this Some may like it for its Christian message and lack of anything objectionable apart from the violence, I mean , but I personally find it sad that the Christian community doesn t demand a little from its authors. WOW, this book was AMAZING to me A very real Classic battle of Good vs Evil It had me, from pg 3, hook, line, and sinker Dekker has a way with drawing his readers in It s hard to escape the intensity that practically oozes out of the pages, and wow I got sucked in hard core And the plot blew me away I could not put the book down This is Dekker at his best IMO In this story Dekker brings to his readers a small town setting with a low population, but with a high risk of evil He made it feel like as you read you could walk out your front door and be immersed into the town of Paradise if it weren t for Marsuvees Black running rampant in the streets What a great character to love to hate The amount of evil this man possesses will baffle you All of the characters in this story were made to feel so real, from the things they said to the emotions they displayed You really did become a part of the story My favorites were Samuel and Johnny Wow they had a plateful for sure A couple of teenage boys on the brink of devastation I loved their perseverance and courage.Billy is another character I will never forget So many things describe his character Lost, evil, troubled, powerful, and so many Dekker allows you to peek inside his head and can literally see destruction and desperation as it s foundation A very memorable character.Dekker draws out all of his reader s emotions with this tale And when I say that, I don t say it lightly It was a very profound read that make you feel so much than you could ever imagine Almost too much, to a point of having to walk away for a moment or two Readers won t be disappointed I look forward to the rest of this trilogy Wanna trip like I do Wanna trip Byyyy the way there s a couple spoilers in here.Honestly, this book puts me out a little I don t mind a little blood and gore, but removing warts is considered a miracle Come on I m only half way through, but I figured I d post while it s still fresh on my mind Besides the whole wart miracle, some of the plot is plain ridiculous I find myself laughing aloud in what is supposed to be the most serious places Dramatic horror scenes designed to revolt the audience as the character plods along innocently Decently written, to be sure, but the key word here is designed Some of the plot seems so forced it s like reading a history book I ll have to see if it gets any better Aaaaaaaaaand, drum roll please I FINISHED THE BOOK and that pretty much sums up my impression of the book The writing style was the only thing that kept me reading The plot flowed nicely, but it was kinda ridiculous Again, it seemed really controlled The characters felt like puppets being dragged around a stage, with the possible exception of Johnny But Johnny seemed like he was there to watch the story and dutifully retell it to readers Besides the weird plot and awkward characters, it got a little too mushy for me Anything anyone ever said in the upper parts of the monastery can be boiled down to, Love rocks You should totally ignore the rest of the world because love is, like, rad, man The love theme was so overdone that by the end of the book I was ready to switch sides and bludgeon them to death myself The end redeemed the book somewhat, condensing itself into fast paced action that tied itself up nicely, leaving room for the next one The only complaint I have about this part is Billy s sudden character reversal He goes from inching by millimeters back to the good side to completely changing his entire view in a second Granted, he was no longer writing or under the influence of Black and the worm slime, but not even a remnant of the person he had become was left Kind of plausible, but a little too tidy.My overall impression was a semi enjoyable read that I occasionally dreaded picking up again, but with a good writing style and an interesting, if overdone, premise. Showdown good vs evil another epic saga by Ted Dekker One thing I love about Ted Dekker s book is that he pulls characters from various books of his Somehow, they all seem to be connected to each other, though they are great stand alone novels, as well.Here is the synopsis from the book itself It begins on a lazy summer day in a small, secluded mountain town named Paradise But in Paradise, nothing is as it seems.When a stranger named Marsuvees Black appears and announces he s come to bring hope and grace to Paradise, the town isn t sure how to respond He offers dazzling love, hope, faith, and fun the kind of fun everyone desires but is too timid to pursue He knows the unspoken secrets of each person s heart and has the power to grant them.Tucked deep in the nearby canyons is a monastery long hidden from the world Within its walls is power beyond comprehension Yet that power is quickly slipping out of control.As dark clouds and sandstorms shut Paradise off from the rest of the world, the unthinkable happens Readers will be shocked as they discover the true secrets of this sleepy town The ultimate collision between good and evil begins with Showdown. If there were ever the opportunity to recreate original sin, this may be how it would turn out Showdown starts out enigmatic, and continues to keep you guessing through to the end There were times I had to walk away,thinking how can things get any worse , but was always drawn back to find out what happened next.Read the Circle Trilogy first Thomas Hunter comes into this story line and you will appreciate the background.Ted has given us a fantastic story where many what ifs of mankind and christianity are explored This would make a tremendous movie For my English final I chose to read this novel This was the first novel I ever read by Ted and when I started reading it, I was completely confused However, my friend who I borrowed the book from told me to keep reading and that I would soon start to love it I am very glad I listened to him It took me less than a week to read the book and I can honestly say it is one of the best books I have ever read The way Ted composed the story, the flipping back and forth between the Monastery and Paradise, kept me on the edge of my seat Just as something big started to happen in Paradise, Ted took me up to the Monastery and vice versa, which is one reason I could not put the book down I just had to know what happened next I also loved the way Ted transformed the monumental battle between good and evil into a struggle between and innocent child and an evil adult I thought the symbolism was genius This book kept me up many nights because I absolutely could not put it down, which is how all of Ted s books are Just when you think you have figured something out, he throws a new piece of information at you which turns your point of view 180 degrees around The book keeps you constantly guessing and asking that never ending question of what next I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves mysteries, action, adventures, or simply a good read It will always keep you wondering what trouble the characters will get into next and what situations will be thrown your way If you like action packed, suspenseful, heart pounding, keep you on the edge of your seat thriller movies, then you will absolutely love any one of Ted Dekker s book.