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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book Review: Ted Dekker's A Man Called Blessed

It's a new cover on an older Ted Dekker novel. It's pretty obvious though that this one features a co-writer as it doesn't seem to have the vibe that other Dekker novels have. It's probably one of the weaker ones from him that I've read. Nonetheless it is intriguing, but the writing seems very forced and at times I feel they are rambling to make a book. Like the conversation features dialogue that seems more suited for narrative instead of two characters talking. At these moments I wonder how much Bright was responsible for the writing as I hope Dekker isn't like I remembered him to be.

Summary: In the follow up to Dekker and Bright's first novel in the series, A Man Called Blessed, has us on a search for a man who may be the key to finding the ark of the covenant. That is if Rebecca can find him. This man though also has some past experiences he is hoping to face like his childhood ability to have faith that he seems to have lost. Finding him though and seeking to find this artifact will effect everyone in ways they don't expect though. It's another masterful journey from Dekker that explores complex themes.


Characters:  The characters don't seem like anything that need expanding on after the first book. Leiah and Jason are still bland, but their conversations are at least better written. Caleb has turned into what is an attempt at a more interesting character. The thing is it always feels like the author's are holding back on making him more complex. He has these doubts, but then quickly is over them. Rebekah is a new character introduced and lacks a lot of female characteristics that would make her more interesting to read. She says things that dumb down the writing quite a bit.

Writing: The writing for some reason just drones on and on. I really wanted to be done with this book, and that isn't my usual feeling toward Ted Dekker. I definitely wouldn't read any Bill Bright considering I think it was his contribution that did it. The thing they did improve on was making the narrative work better and the conversations. While it's not the most interesting of books they at least seem to be having realer conversations.

Plot: Again, the plot was just dull. I think the plot was trying to mimic Indian Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark, too much in vibe. The characters felt very one dimensional though, and because they are limited in what they can react and do since it is supposed to stay family friendly it limits the possibilities of conflict that can be encountered as well. You have Rebekah awkwardly try to seduce Caleb, and the whole scene just feels out of place and weird to a character who claims she hasn't been that physical with a guy, and then you have characters with stereotypical names like Abu. I hate to say, but it's difficult to part that name from Aladdin.

A Man Called Blessed has a more mature vibe to the writing than Blessed Child did, but overall it says it's a series that is better left behind. Dekker has much stronger series to invest time in and check out. This one just seems like one he teamed up with someone with to pass the time. It tries to explores doubt and faith, but as someone who has dealt with that it never strikes a chord with me.

Rating 4 of 10.

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