Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: Outlaw by Ted Dekker

Where do I start? That is all that goes through my mind when I read novels I'm not sure I want to stop reading, or am so happy that they have finally come to an end. Ted Dekker is one of my favorite authors and I have read many of his previous thrillers such as Thr3eThe Bride Collector, and Adam. I've enjoyed each tremendously and have since planned on reading as many Dekker works I can get my hands on. Outlaw is nothing like those books. Sorry fans! 

Julian Carter is the least likely person to be drawn to missionary work in the far away land of New Guinea where life was both pure and lost at once. After the death of her parents, and her husband, the southern belle takes her less than a year old son, Stephen, on a journey that she was drawn to after having a vision... and a missionary who tells her church about the wonderful work done on Thursday Island. A storm rages that sends her shipwrecked into the valley known as Tulim during August of 1963. She is taken as a slave into the hands of a tribe living in this valley where she stuggles with the will to survive daily as she's lost her only son. The constant threat of being killed because of their laws and practices are a constant source of fear and suspense.

Ted Dekker spares no expense at bringing to life Julian and a few of the others she meets in this harrowing tale of a woman leaving behind to wake up in a nightmare, but still never loses faith. Her journey had my eyes glued to the page as she learned about this new, and frightening culture. Dekker is a master at drawing people in with his attention to detail and nail-biting suspense. I couldn't help but wonder what experiences in Julian's life were true to Dekker's own as he'd been raised in a setting similar to that described as Tulim Valley.

All was well until I came to the latter half of Outlaw. The last part of the novel had me wondering for a long time where is Dekker going with this. It seemed not to be from the same novel. I was still mesmerized by it because of Dekker's voice, but I was often times wondering if what I was reading was real or imagined. The character used is not reliable enough at times and leads to a pretty weird ride.

Ted Dekker uses Outlaw to further push the boundaries of what it means to love, forgive, and believe. Known for novels that chronicle the never-ending fight between good and evil, love and hate, Outlaw is no different in this respect. Losing the world as we know it only to find something more beautiful and powerful than we ever imagined. Isn't that a story worth reading about?   ****

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