By now most readers of all walks of life have heard the name Ted Dekker. Author of more than twenty-five New York Times bestselling novels, Dekker has captivated the hearts and minds of readers for years now. He practically invented the genre of Christian Suspense/Spiritual Warfare and continues cooking up a tantalizing blend of adrenaline laced thriller, amazing fantasies, and profound allegories.
I am writing this post a week or so before today, a little over an hour after I finished the book. I must tell you, I will never again doubt Dekker's abilities to deliver. He is by far the greatest storyteller I have ever read.
I don't want to spoil plot by giving such an in depth review as typical. So I'll just give you the back cover along with a sentence or two giving you the actual plot.
From the Back Cover
This story is for
everyone--but not everyone is for this story.
It is a dangerous tale of times past. A love story full of deep seduction. A
story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice.
Then as now, evil begins its courtship cloaked in light. And the heart
embraces what it should flee. Forgetting it once had a truer lover.
With a kiss, evil will ravage body, soul, and mind. Yet there remains hope,
because the heart knows no bounds.
Love will prove greater than lust. Sacrifice will overcome seduction. And
blood will flow.
Because the battle for the heart is always violently opposed. For those
desperate to drink deep from this fountain of life, enter.
But remember, not everyone is
for this story.
Immanuel's Veins, in its simplest form, is a love story. Dive deeper and you find a suspenseful conflict between good and evil. Dive even further and you find an allegory to God's immense love. Toma Nicolescu, warrior in the 1772 army of Russia, has fought many battles, but none so difficult and draining as the inward struggle he faces upon meeting his new charges. Tasked with protecting a small family from an unknown evil, Toma finds himself locked in a new kind of warfare--one over the heart. But there is another suitor, masquerading as a being of light and spewing words of darkness. Who will win the lady's heart? Who is good? Who is evil?
Once again, Dekker has crafted a beautiful fable of the love of God for his bride and the raging battle for its heart and soul. Opening with a haunting letter and prophecy, Immanuel's Veins latched onto me and didn't let go. There are slow points in this book, but expertly placed mysteries, foreshadowings, and clues dragged me through them, begging for more. I won't ever doubt Dekker's ability to deliver an excellent story again.
Books of History fans will find much deserved answers and more questions. New fans shouldn't be lost during the reading of IV and will likely be hooked onto Dekker lore. For most enjoyment I would suggest reading the Circle books before IV though.
The story contains several interesting topics of discussion from vampires to the modern day condition of the church.
All in all, with this final book in the Christian market Dekker has won my heart forever. I doubt I could read a thousand more books and find someone his equal. Crying, laughing, cringing with dread I read this book like lightining. And I can tell you now--Immanuel's Veins has changed my life.
As part of the Booksneeze review program I was able to get this book for free (what a deal right?). Not only for free, but before publication! Their stipulations included my posting this review on this exact date and telling you I didn't buy it, etc. But one of the other things that they asked was that I answered a very simple yet profound question:
What is sacrificial love?
And I will tell you :-) In my next post!
For now, how about I give you something? Say....a limited addition Immanuel's Veins T-shirt? Yeah that sounds good.
The shrit features a heart (like...an actual blood pumping heart) interwrapped with flowers/thorns of sorts and the words "Spread the Love" to the bottom left of it. All in all pretty cool. I"ll try to upload a picture shortly.
All you have to do is comment to enter. Who's in?
To the end,