Red by Ted Dekker
RedThomas of Hunter and his people live in the forests with the healing lakes. They are constantly at war with the Horde, the Desert Dwellers, the larger number of people who are disease ridden, living in the desert, and abhoring the healing waters. In the past, the Forest Dwellers had easily defeated the Horde, but the desert army was learning and changing their tactics. It is getting more difficult to win these battles.
Thomas has not dreamed of the Histories for 15 years. He has listened to his wife Rachelle and eaten the fruit that blocks the dreams. But now he needs them again. He needs the information he can gain in that time. He falls asleep and wakens in Bangkok, the morning after he tried to rescue Monique Raison, not fifteen years later as in the other world.
Once again Thomas is caught between two worlds. What happens to his body in one happens in the other The knowledge he gains in one can affect the other.
The Raison Strain virus has been released in airports around the world. Without an antivirus, everyone will die within a few weeks. Monique is kidnapped away working on the antivirus for meglomaniacs trying to rule the world. These same meglomaniacs have demanded that countries around the world surrender their arms and nuclear weapons or those countries won’t receive the antivirus, if developed. It is too late to stop the virus. Thomas Hunter finds himself working with the top levels of power in the United States to try to prevent the madness that awaits the world.
In the other world, Thomas of Hunter is trying to protect his people, the Forest Dwellers who love and follow Elyon. But one of his ex-sergeant-at-arms, Justin, is trying to broker a peace with the Horde. The Horde’s new general, Martyn, is teaching them how to fight effective against the Forest Dwellers. Thomas knows that the highest men in the Horde ranks plan on using Justin then turning on them anyway, breaking the peace. Can he prevent that from happening?
If you haven’t read Ted Dekker’s novel Black, don’t read this one. There is enough explanation given that Red could stand on its own, but would be shaky. Black is needed to set the scene up. White is necessary to bring everything together to a (hopefully) “happy” conclusion. Red is the middle progression, ending with hope and frustration for the future. There is some conclusion, not good, in the future world, but the present one hangs is tight balance as Monique Raison works on an antivirus for the Raison Strain.
Dekker has written a tight Christian suspense apocolyptic group of novels that keep the reader pulled in. The Christian themes in the far future are obvious, yet not wimpy in anyway. The Christ figure in the book is strong and loving. The followers are strong, willing to fight as needed, but would rather peace under their creator that loves them. But the religious themes in the near future are ambiguous – until all this happened, Thomas considered himself an ordinary guy with no special beliefs. He is having to rethink his position while he is still alive.
OK, now I’d better contact the library and put White on hold. I can’t wait another two years to find out what happens.