Pages of Awesome

Monday, September 13, 2010

Immanuel's Veins - Ted Dekker

Yes, this is another book review. But this is not just another book. Bear with me.

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.

Sacrificial Love
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 ( 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,


everlastingscribe said...

Glad you liked it Nathan, but I'll never read him again. He really burned me with the Circle Series, and I still wonder what his theology is, exactly.

Galadriel said...

Circle Trilogy is great! I love it. I have to get a copy of that sometime.

Noah said...

Oh, I can't wait for it! It sounds awesome! Thanks! (I am entering!)

Seth said...

I don't really need another shirt exactly the same... but go ahead and enter me anyway. *Pokes* You were a day late on your posting of the review though haha. Good job covering it up with the scheduling though ;) I just messing though.

The book, on the other hand, has to be the best non-Bible book I've ever read, or at least the one of the best. On Dekker's theology, I dunno. That's shady and I haven't gotten a chance to email him back about his request to do an interview with me (Just kidding...) but in this situation I think the good outweighs the bad, at least for me.

Eldra said...

Oooh, I'm in!

♥Bleah♥Briann♥ said...

Oh my gosh... I ct. LOL Ted Dekker is seriously The BEST OF THE BEST... well tied with Bryan Davis. but... yeah. Anywho, how'd you get your hands on the book early? I'd love to know your secrets mauhauahauhau (that was an evil laugh BTW).

Anywho. ENTER ME!

Bleah Briann @

♥Bleah♥Briann♥ said...

did you get Immanuels Veins on Booksneeze? I don't know if I read right... because I'm on booksneeze and I wasn't given the opportunity to get this book... hmm.
Anyway, get back to me if you can. Just leave me a comment on my blog. :)

With Love and Blessings,
Bleah Briann

Jake said...

I'm not commmenting for the shirt, just so ya know. Don't enter me. :)

But what is this about Books of History answers? I wasn't going to read this book, mostly because I really don't like romance and am not a fan of Dekker's other fiction...but answers? :P Puts me in a corner.

Beorn said...


Well, yes, they are in a sense "answers" to some of the questions presented in the Circle franchise, but mostly they are tie-ins that don't matter a whole lot (though it is cool to know about them).

As for my thoughts on the book, the first half was a bit boring and... well, gross. But I really enjoyed the second half and thought that there was an important message presented that everyone needs to know.

Melissa Rose said...

I'd like to enter. I still haven't read any of his books yet but this one sounds interesting.

Seth said...

Oh, I almost forgot. Since Nathan can only give away one T-Shirt you can go enter other giveaways here- It'll list quite a bit of reviews and about half of them will have shirt giveaways with the reviews. Or you can go to my blog (self-promoting never hurt anyone, well, maybe.) here- and it will most assuredly have a giveaway.

R.P.H said...

My friend you truly write the best book reviews! I'm not really a Ted Dekker fan... please don't hate me for that ;-) But I really want to read this book!

God's care,

Nathan R. Petrie said...

@Scribe, what do you mean? I LOVED the Circle trilogy LOL What kinds of theology issues did you have?

@Seth, actually I wrote the post on time...just forgot to actually, you know, publish it LOL

I thought the theology was spot on. The places most reviewers had issues weren't his theology at all, they were Dekker making fun of religious bogus. So I saw no issue. The lust topic however is debatable but if you take the story as a parable, as it truly is, it's all good :D

It's not my favorite allegory. Red might have to take that spot LOL

@BleahBriann, yup. It was booksneeze :D They went fast haha I found it early LOL

@Jake, yeah some great stuff about where the Books were at different poitns in time, the origins of the Shataki (sp?) and a very interesting mysterty concerning Thomas of Hunter.

@Ryan, Thank you so much! Means a lot :D
and yeah, whether or not you like Dekker usually depends on the selection of Dekker works you've read. He does just about everything so...
I just love everything he does :D LOL

Seth said...

Yeah, I assumed so haha. After I finished the book, well first I sat in awe for about ten minutes. But right after that I wrote my review longhand. I uploaded it a day or two before posting time. The problems that I saw most people having was that the lust part was a little edgy. I would admit, it was definitely edgy, but I don't think he necessarily crossed a line.

Yeah, it went quick on Booksneeze. I posted the opportunity on your wall, checked back and saw that it was gone like right after-I was surprised you even got it in time haha. They didn't put out that many books though. There were like, 100 reviews through booksneeze? Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado had 1000 copies available to review through Booksneeze haha.

Speaking of the Circle though, it depends. I can't really think of anything that would be conflicting theology wise in the first three, but in Green it's possible. Green was a little edgy-er.

whisper said...

All I've read of Dekker is his Lost Books series, and I am proud to say I didn't like them and thought they were poorly written and that the plot was lame. However, seeing as how some of his other works have completely awed half of my society (and many of them friends whose opinions I respect) I may have to read a different book of his and rethink my standpoint.

As things are, however... I am anti-Dekker and happy to be so. :)

-whisper said...

I haven’t read a lot of Ted Dekker before and I would have to say that Immanuel’s Veins was the best book that I didn’t like.

The writing is really quite superb: descriptive language, active plot, interesting characters all worked together. It was just all the lust, blood, and even more blood that just smothered me.

I wrote a review of this book on my own blog here:


EvanDouglas said...

Veins use valves to control their blood flow. If the valves can not accumulate in the blood pressure, engorging and distorting the blood vessels.


"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."