Friday, February 28, 2014

Dancing Through the Jungle

Outlaw by Ted Dekker
Genre: Action/Adventure Fiction (slightly historical fiction)

Insert from inside cover: "The story of how I, Julian Carter, and my precious two-year-old son, Stephen, left Atlanta, Georgia and found ourselves on a white sailboat, tossed about like a cork on a raging sea off of Australia's northern tip in 1963, is harrowing.

"But it pales in comparison to what happened deep in the jungle where I was taken as a slave by a savage tribe unknown to the world. Some places dwell in darkness to deep that even God seems to stay away.

"There, my mind was torn in two by the gods of the earth. There, one life ended so another could begin. Some will say I was a fool for making the choices I made. But they would have done the same. They, too, would have embraced death if they knew what I knew, and saw through my eyes.

"My name is Julian and this is my story. But more, it is the story of my son who was born to change the world."

Well, there you go. That about wraps it up, so I'll be signing off now.... Not really :). Like every book I read, I have opinions, so you better listen up!

Outlaw was both an exciting and enlightening read. I really like how Dekker portrays the flesh in this novel and the war between darkness and light. Although still remaining courteous and in the story, Dekker did get a little preachy towards the end. It was nice, though, to read something from him that's not about serial killers or murders.  So if you're not into that kind of thing, but still want an exciting, meaningful read, pick this book up.

Several of the story-lines and characters seemed to have gotten pushed aside at the end, and I wished Dekker would have gone into a little more detail about them and how one of the mc's felt. This could be because the author switched the point of view about a quarter or so into the novel, which was fine, but he could have switched back or just cleared up a few things; it seemed like he didn't think those characters or obstacles were important anymore.

The characters were very real, and I felt like I could hear the children laughing, feel the humidity pressing on my lungs, and see the beauty of the dark-skinned people of the tribe. Dekker did a good job of bringing the reader into the world, which makes sense, since he lived in Indonesia for a while as a child.

Overall, I rate this novel a 3.5 out of 5 and recommend it for 16 year-olds and up for a brief love scene.

What I learned: Our bodies are merely costumes, not the real us. If we are followers of Christ, we belong to something other than this world and should not let our emotions or anything besides Christ define us.

One of my favorite quotes: "The body makes a better canvas than any flat object, because it lives and breathes."

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