Tag Archives: Ted Dekker

Top 10 Tuesday — Numbers in Book Titles

14 Sep

Happy Tuesday! Numbers in Titles was a TTT topic almost 2 years ago (here’s my post). I wasn’t sure I could come up with 10 different titles, but I took that challenge. Included in this list is a book with Number in the title too. 😉 With the variety in genres, I hope you find a book to pique your interest.

For more Top 10 Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books with A Number in The Title

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

One Little Lie by Colleen Coble

Two Steps Forward by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Three by Ted Dekker

Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson

Death of A Six-Foot Teddy Bear by Sharon Dunn

The Lights on Tenth Street by Shaunti Feldhahn

Twelve Days at Bleckly Manor by Michelle Griep

2020 Christy Award Winners!

16 Nov

Congratulations to the very talented Christy Award authors. This list represents the best of the best in Christian Fiction. You now have a great TBR list! You’re welcome!!

2020 Christy Award Winners

Book of The Year

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Contemporary Romance

Now And Then And Always by Melissa Tagg

First Novel

A Long Time Comin’ by Robin Pearson

General Fiction

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Historical Fiction

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

Historical Romance

The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

The Girl Behind The Red Rope by Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker

Short Form

A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

Visionary

Hidden Current by Sharon Hinck

Young Adult

The Means That Make Us Strangers by Christine Kindberg

2020 Christy Award Nominees!

8 Oct

Well, my TBR list just got bigger! So excited for the 2020 Christy Award nominees. I have read some of these books (and they are great), and now have many more to get on with. A big congratulations to all the talented authors!

Contemporary Romance

Just One Kiss by Courtney Walsh

Now And Then And Always by Melissa Tagg

Sweet on You by Becky Wade

First Novel

A Long Time Comin’ by Robin W. Pearson

The Means That Make Us Strangers by Christine Kindberg

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

General Fiction

All Manner of Things By Susie Finkbeiner

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels

Historical

The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson

My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

Historical Romance

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Echoes Among The Stones by Jaime Jo Wright

The Girl Behind The Red Rope by Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker

Smokescreen by Terri Blackstock

Short Form

A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

A Flood of Love by Tracie Peterson

Intrigue A La Mode by Regina Jennings

Visionary

Cry of The Raven by Morgan L. Busse

Hidden Current by Sharon Hinck

The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin

Young Adult

The Means That Make Us Strangers by Christine Kindberg

The Piper’s Pursuit by Melanie Dickerson

The Winter King by Christine Cohen

Top 10 Tuesday — Reasons to Love Speculative Fiction

19 May

I am a very eclectic reader. I will read just about any genre. I do have some exceptions, but since I read Christian fiction almost exclusively, I don’t have to worry about some of the more explicit scenes/language that can crop up. 😉 While my time is spent mostly in reading real life stuff, whether contemporary or historical, I do like a good speculative novel as well. So what is speculative fiction?

Speculative fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements.

The speculative fiction genre includes allegory, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, time travel, alternate history, dystopian fiction, etc. While the general market has lots of speculative fiction, there is not as much published in the Christian market, so you have to look for it. Enclave Publishing is one imprint that publishes spec fiction exclusively and is a good place to go to get your fix or to get you started on a new adventure in reading. Note: while the definition of spec fic states that the settings of the book are other than real world, I think some of the best examples of the genre take the real world and pull back a curtain that keeps us from seeing the whole picture. Those books use creative elements to help us process and imagine those things we just can’t see.

For my Top 10 Tuesday post, I have included the reasons I like spec fiction, as well as some suggested books for you to check out. Hope you enjoy!

Top Reasons to Love Speculative Fiction

 

Takes you to another world.

Prophet by R. J. Larson 

Ela Roeh of Parne doesn’t understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She’s undignified and bad-tempered, and at age seventeen she’s much too young. In addition, no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as Parne’s elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite’s prophet, Ela knows she will die young.

Yet she can’t imagine living without Him. Determined to hear the Infinite’s voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite’s word to a nation torn apart by war. There she meets a young ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela battles how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.

The Story Peddler by Lindsay Franklin

Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down . . . and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers . . . and they’re after her too.

Allows you to travel in time and space.

The Bright Empires Series (5 books) by Stephen Lawhead

It is the ultimate quest for the ultimate treasure. Chasing a map tattooed on human skin. Across an omniverse of intersecting realities. To unravel the future of the future.

Kit Livingstone’s great-grandfather appears to him in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: that the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks, but pathways to other worlds. To those who know how to use them, they grant the ability to travel the multi-layered universe of which we ordinarily inhabit only a tiny part.

One explorer knew more than most. Braving every danger, he toured both time and space on voyages of heroic discovery. Ever on his guard and fearful of becoming lost in the cosmos, he developed an intricate code — a roadmap of symbols — that he tattooed onto his own body. This Skin Map has since been lost in time. Now the race is on to recover all the pieces and discover its secrets.

But the Skin Map itself is not the ultimate goal. It is merely the beginning of a vast and marvelous quest for a prize beyond imagining.

The Bright Empires series — from acclaimed author Stephen R. Lawhead — is a unique blend of epic treasure hunt, ancient history, alternate realities, cutting-edge physics, philosophy, and mystery. The result is a page-turning, adventure like no other.

Makes you think about the supernatural world.

The Chair by James Rubart

When an elderly lady shows up in Corin Roscoe’s antiques store and gives him a chair she claims was built by Christ, he scoffs. But when a young boy is miraculously healed after sitting in the chair, he stops laughing and starts to wonder. Could the chair heal the person whose life he destroyed twelve years ago?

As word spreads of the boy’s healing, a mega-church pastor is determined to manipulate Corin into turning over the chair. And that mysterious woman who gave him the piece says it’s Corin’s destiny to guard the chair above everything else. But why?

Desperate, he turns to the one person he can trust, a college history professor who knows more about the legend of the chair than he reveals.

Searching for the truth about the artifact, and the unexplained phenomena surrounding it, Corin soon realizes he isn’t the only one willing to do anything to possess the power that surrounds The Chair.

Gives fresh perspective on everyday life.

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings

Lost luggage can ruin any trip. But what if it could change your life?

A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her perfect sister’s perfect house before her niece’s wedding.

A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job.

And a young artist pursuing his father’s sports dream so he can keep his own alive.

When Gillian, David, and Michael each take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed, and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave.

 

Gives you a little (or a lot) of thrills and chills!

The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man’s untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive.

It has been twenty years since Philip McBride’s body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since—Philip didn’t kill himself that day. He was murdered.

Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly’s sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.

Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake’s dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . between truth and lies.

House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker

Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker—two of the most acclaimed writers of supernatural thrillers—have joined forces for the first time to craft a story unlike any you’ve ever read. Enter House — where you’ll find yourself thrown into a killer’s deadly game in which the only way to win is to lose . . . and the only way out is in. The stakes of the game become clear when a tin can is tossed into the house with rules scrawled on it. Rules that only a madman — or worse — could have written. Rules that make no sense yet must be followed. One game. Seven players. Three rules. Game ends at dawn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Dreadful Titles

29 Oct

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday is a Halloween Freebie. While the books I am sharing this week are not all spooky, their titles do give off a decidedly dread-filled vibe. All are mystery/supense/thirller and reside on my TBR shelves. If you have read any of these books, I would love to know what you thought.

For more Halloween fun, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top 10 Dread-Filled Titles

 

A Corpse at St. Andrew’s Chapel by Mel Starr

Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris

Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl

Kiss of Death by Debbie Viguie

Kiss of Revenge by Debbie Viguie

Lethal Target by Janice Cantore

Living Lies by Natalie Walters

Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

The Priest’s Graveyard by Ted Dekker

The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Best of 2016

27 Dec

2016 was a whirlwind of activity for my family. Several weddings, a couple of bucket list trips, and relocations led to a very busy year. Amid it all I did manage to read some great books — some new releases and some new to me. So, I am supposed to narrow my list to just 10. Hmm . . . can’t do it. 😉 So I have come up with two lists — Contemporary Fiction and Historical Fiction. No matter your preference of genre, there is something for you on these lists. To see what other bloggers consider their best of the best, please visit The Broke And The Bookish.

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Top Contemporary Fiction of 2016

 

Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix

Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon

Seeing Things by Patti Hill

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Since You’ve Been Gone by Christa Allan

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

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Water From My Heart by Charles Martin

When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow

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Top Historical Fiction of 2016

 

Anchor in The Storm by Sarah Sundin

AD 30 by Ted Dekker

A Day And A Life by Penelope Wilcock

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Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert

The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

The Lady And The Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Like A River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart

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The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin

Within The Veil by Brandy Valance

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Best of The Best of 2106

There were two books that I gave Very Highly Recommended ratings to in 2016. Both were from author Mike Nappa. These are great books I would recommend to everyone!

unknown2Annabel Lee

Fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden. That secret’s name is Annabel Lee Truckson, and even she doesn’t know why her mysterious uncle has stowed her deep underground in a military-style bunker. He’s left her with a few German words, a barely-controlled guard dog, and a single command: “Don’t open that door for anybody, you got it? Not even me.”

Above ground, a former Army sniper called The Mute and an enigmatic “Dr. Smith” know about the girl. As the race begins to find her, the tension builds. Who wants to set her free? Why does the other want to keep her captive forever? Who will reach her first?

Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill need to piece together the clues and stay alive long enough to retrieve the girl–before it’s too late.

41jklpz8chl-_sx322_bo1204203200_The Raven 

As part of his regular street performance, a deception specialist who goes by the name The Raven picks his audience’s pockets while they watch. It’s harmless fun — until he decides to keep the spare wallet a city councilman doesn’t seem to miss, hoping for a few extra bucks. When he finds not money but compromising photos of the councilman and his “personal assistants”, The Raven hatches a plan to blackmail the man. However, he quickly finds himself in over his head with the Ukrainian Mafia and mired in a life-threatening plot code-named, “Nevermore”.

Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill must scramble to sort out the clues — and their complicated feelings for each other — to rescue The Raven and save hundreds of lives from a wildcard bent on revenge.

 

Book Review: A. D. 33

7 Jul

51J15H4+fvL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_They call her the Queen of the Outcasts. Maviah, a woman whose fate was sealed on her birth by this world-unwanted, illegitimate, female, a slave-subject to the whims of all. But then she met a man named Yeshua who opened her eyes. She found strength in his words, peace from the brutal word around her. Because of what he taught her, she has gathered her own traveling kingdom of outcasts deep in the desert, wielding an authority few have seen. But when her growing power threatens the rulers around her, they set out to crush all she loves, leaving her reeling as a slave once more. She must find Yeshua to save her people, but when she does, she will be horrified to discover that he faces his own death.

Enter a story full of intrigue, heart-wrenching defeat, uncompromising love and staggering victory-one that re-examines everything you thought you knew about the heart of Jesus’s stunning message and the power that follows for those who follow his easily forgotten way.

 

tedTed Dekker (born October 24, 1962) is a New York Times best-selling author of over thirty five novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans. Ted’s latest work, a historical fiction based on the teachings of Jesus, is a radical departure from previous outings and is receiving critical acclaim.

 

My Impressions:

A.D. 33 by Ted Dekker continues the story of Maviah that began in A.D. 30. Maviah has gathered outcasts from the desert and seeks to build a kingdom from the ruins of her father’s reign. But she has many enemies that want to crush, humiliate and eventually destroy her and all she loves. Told in alternating first and third person points of view, this novel is more intellectual for want of another term than the first book in the series. There is still a great historical context and suspense, but there are many long passages devoted to the teachings of Christ, His final days, and what it means to be His follower. Old and new characters are included, but it is Maviah who is the center of the story. A good conclusion to the series.

The center of the story, despite the story line of Maviah and her quest to rescue her son, is the Way of Jesus. Many people at that time (and today) did not understand Jesus’ teachings about His kingdom and coming death. Dekker does an excellent job of showing the emotions of His followers as they experience the exultation of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the dismay over His silence during His trial, and the despair following His crucifixion. Jesus’ radical teachings were (and are) hard to understand and even harder to follow. A.D. 33 will make you re-examine who you think Jesus really is.

A book that combines gritty hardship, emotional turmoil and the triumph of Christ, A.D. 33 is a recommended read.

Recommended. 

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to the publisher for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Audiobook Review: A.D. 30

6 Jul

61qwuBzVwmL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_The outcast daughter of a powerful Arabian sheikh, Maviah is called to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch an attack, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors. Their dangerous journey takes them to a brutal world subjugated by kings, where Maviah must form an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews.

But Maviah’s path leads unexpectedly to an enigmatic teacher, who speaks of a way of life that offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, it may be the only way for Maviah to save her people–and herself.

 

tedTed Dekker (born October 24, 1962) is a New York Times best-selling author of over thirty five novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans. Ted’s latest work, a historical fiction based on the teachings of Jesus, is a radical departure from previous outings and is receiving critical acclaim.

 

My Impressions:

I have read a lot of Ted Dekker’s books. He has a unique way of exploring spiritual truths, and A.D. 30 is no exception. For those of you who are expecting a speculative novel, you may be a bit surprised. With a setting of 2000+ years ago, this novel fits the historical genre, yet has aspects of suspense, while incorporating some mystical elements as well. I found the audiobook riveting, making this one hard to turn off. It is definitely a recommended read.

Maviah has been shuttled around from birth. Her mother’s origins and her father’s disdain forced her into slavery in Egypt at a very young age. Reluctantly her father brings her back to his household, but it is an uneasy relationship. Maviah is an outcast and could have easily slipped into the role of victim. But her tenacious spirit and her desire for justice drive her on a dangerous journey through the Middle East to the royal courts of Palestine and an encounter with Yeshua, a prophet who seemingly speaks in riddles.

Maviah is an interesting character. A true outcast, she is also intelligent and shrewd with a mother’s heart that remains open and tender despite the battering it takes. Her first person account lets the reader into all she experiences. The setting runs from the Arabian desert to the courts of Herod Antipas to the cities beside the Sea of Galilee — familiar settings for those who read the Bible, yet in Dekker’s hands are exotic and dangerous. Complex characterization is a big plus in this novel, with Dekker’s portrayal of Jesus the most intriguing. I was often reminded of Jesus’ question to his disciples — Who do you say I am? (Mark 8:29), because of the various reactions from the other characters. A.D. 30 explores God’s role as a true father, the nature of God’s Kingdom, what forgiveness looks like and what it means to really see. Because of the many elements of this novel — rich in historical detail and suspense-filled — I think it has a wide appeal. The reader for the audiobook did a great job as well. All in all, I really, really enjoyed this book!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(I purchased this book from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Ted Dekker on His New Novel, Hacker

12 Jun

tedThanks to Worthy Publishing and Ted Dekker for sharing his thoughts on his newest novel, Hacker.

 

Your main character in Hacker, Nyah, makes a living by cracking the firewalls of major corporations. What role does technology play in her development as a character?

Ted Dekker: Nyah roots a great deal of her identity in technology. In doing so she defines who she is by what she does. She even says so at the beginning of the book. I am a hacker. We all do this. For her, technology is what she knows, it’s what defines her, and provides the comfort zone. But it’s also her prison, which she comes to discover later.

How does personal loss affect Nyah’s view of God?

TD: When we meet Nyah, we find her in a place of great suffering especially for someone her age. That colors everything, just as it does for everyone else. For Nyah, the inescapable question is, “Why is there such suffering in the world?” Or more to the point, “Why is all of this happening to me?” That offense, that feeling of injustice and unfairness, feeds her entire view of the world, including her view of God as a distant, uncaring creator.

952753Why do you consider Hacker a modern-day parable?

TD: Parables are meant to re-frame the world differently so we can experience it again for the first time. Hacker takes a simple concept that many people already believe, that there’s another reality so near to us that we’re unaware of its presence most of the time, and puts it center stage. The story doesn’t have a moral or try to make a point per se, because that’s not what parables are for, but it does ask you to look at the world through new eyes—Nyah’s. The central question in each book in this series is, “Who am I?”

What prompted you to explore that question?

TD: The question of identity is central to all of life and, in fact, most of my own striving and struggle can be traced back to it. We define ourselves, almost without thinking much of it, by what we do. I’m a mother, a father, a man, a woman, a writer, an accountant… The list is neverending. But strip that all away, as death will one day for all of us, and what remains? Are you, at your core, really a mother or a father or an accountant? Or are you something far more and we’ve only bought into the notion that this costume, which we call the body and our careers and talents, is really who we are? The series so far includes a 17-year-old who claims she has been buried alive, a 13-year-old orphan with no memory, and a 17-year-old genius computer hacker.

What are the similarities between these characters?

TD: [Laughs.] You’ll have to read the books to find out for yourself. Ultimately, they are all forced to take a journey that begins in the valley of the shadow of death and ends on the other side of it.

What role does the unseen play in your books?

TD: An enormous role, because that’s how it is in real life even in a literal way. Physicists tell us that the visible universe is a miniscule slice of what actually exists, we just can’t see the rest. But just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s non-existent.

What makes your characters in this series “outlaws”?

TD: It’s their journeys, which lead them “out of the law” of death and suffering into the light. It’s the same journey we all get to take, and which we’re called to.

You grew up as a missionary kid among cannibals in Indonesia. How do you think your unusual upbringing affects your writing and your faith today?

TD: My upbringing gives me a unique way of looking at the world. Understand, I grew up among people for whom spirituality was integral to life. It wasn’t tacked on or part of life… There was no separation. They believed in the unseen, they witnessed its powers, and lived as though the seen and the unseen were woven together in a beautiful, mysterious way.

(Thanks so much to Worthy Publishing for access to this interview with Ted Dekker and the review copy of Hacker.)

To find out more about Hacker, including my review, click HERE.

 

Book Review: Hacker

11 Jun

952753My name is Nyah and I’m a hacker. I know things most people would never believe. Things that shouldn’t exist, but do.

Seventeen year old Nyah Parks is a genius hacker whose world is unraveling. Deeply scarred from a horrific accident that killed her father and brother, and left her mother with irreparable brain damage, Nyah is barely holding the last shreds of her life together.

Now, her mother’s health is deteriorating quickly and Nyah faces the grim prospect of losing her, too. One last ditch hope exists–an experimental brain surgery that could buy her mother more time. But Nyah must scrape together enough money to pay for it before it’s too late.

Desperate and with no other choice, Nyah turns her programming skills to cracking the firewalls of the world’s largest corporations. She exposes their weaknesses, and then offers her services to secure their systems from hackers.

But when the most dangerous job of her life backfires and forces her to go on the run, she encounters an impossible reality that shouldn’t exist, but does.

A hack unlike any other. A hack that will take her beyond the firewall of the human brain itself. A hack, which may be the only way to save her mother now.

What if there was a way to tap into the unseen reality that surrounds us all? Would you hack in? How far would you go to find the answers to your deepest questions? The answer lies deep beyond the firewall.

Tap in, strap in, and experience the mind-twisting ride with Nyah. What you find waiting on the other side of the firewall might forever change the way you see yourself and the world you live in.

 

tedTed Dekker (born October 24, 1962) is a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.

Dekker was born to missionaries who lived among the headhunter tribes of Indonesia. Because his parents’ work often included extended periods of time away from their children, Dekker describes his early life in a culture to which he was a stranger as both fascinating and lonely. It is this unique upbringing that forced him to rely on his own imagination to create a world in which he belonged.

After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States to study Philosophy and Religion. Upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree, he entered the corporate world and proceeded to climb the proverbial ladder. But his personal drive left him restless and, after many successful years, he traded corporate life for wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits that included buying and selling businesses, healthcare services, and marketing.

In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before starting from scratch and rewriting both. Now fully enamored by the the process and the stories, he realized that storytelling was in his blood and a new obsession to explore truth through story gripped him anew.

He sold his business, moved his family to the mountains of Western Colorado and began writing full-time on his third novel. Two years and three novels later his first novel was published.

Dekker’s novels have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.

 

My Impressions:

Ted Dekker is an author that will take you on a thrill ride and make you think along the way. In his newest book, Hacker (part of The Outlaw Chronicles) explores the concept of reality. Is there a reality that exists apart from the physical world? Can we reach it?

Nyah Parks is a prodigy. At seventeen she has finished both college and graduate school and makes her living hacking into corporations and then building systems to keep their data safe. But Nyah’s family was torn apart by an car accident that left her father and brother dead and her mother severely injured. Needing $250,000 to enroll her mother in an experimental program, Nyah attempts the biggest hack of her life. But things go terribly wrong. On the run from ruthless corporate enforcers and the FBI, Nyah turns to her brilliant friend, Austin, for help. His self-experimentation may just be the cure for Nyah’s mom.

Hacker starts out like an adrenaline-pumping thriller but quickly takes a mind-bending turn that is classic Dekker. Austin is determined to hack into his own brain to access the reality he believes exists just beyond the physical world. He believes  without observation nothing exists. Nyah’s fixation on her mother’s injury is shadowed by her belief in the randomness of life. Both are searching and when joined together in their hacking experiments come to see the source of reality and its definite plan, pattern and purpose.

Hacker is a tech-heavy science fiction novel. There are lots of concepts I didn’t really get; but that was okay. I was able to enjoy the ride without having to know just how everything was supposed to work. But I did get the spiritual concepts that Dekker expressed. His subtle introduction of God and His word is very effective for this very science-focused novel. The characters are very interesting and despite their genius IQs, are very  relatable. I think Hacker will appeal primarily to the YA and New Adult demographic. At the end of the book, both main characters learn just what it means to surrender. And the action never really slows. I can really see Hacker being made into a movie.

A  good bet for the young adults in your life and a good choice for a book discussion group, I recommend Hacker.

Recommended.

Great For Book Clubs.

(Thanks to Worthy Publishing and First Look for my review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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