Black leaves the reader with one world torn apart by Shataiki, Paradise lost, and another beginning to suffer the effects of a deadly virus. Red wastes little time plunging the reader back into both worlds, beginning with a concentration on all that has gone on in the Other Earth. The midpoint of Dekker’s epic trilogy serves to be more than just a bridge between introduction and conclusion, but rather provides redemption from the past and looks forward to the hope of the future.
In our earth, the stakes are raised as the world panics over the Raison Strain. Thomas Hunter, the man who prophesied its release, stands at the forefront. All of a sudden, the man with whom no one would discuss the Raison Strain now has international leaders clamoring for his advice and help. But for Thomas, the destruction of this world is only a distraction for the troubles of Other Earth.
It has been several years since the Shataiki ravaged the earth and brought sin into the world. Through the providence of Elyon, green pools had been set up throughout Other Earth to assuage the scabbing disease that came to all men as a result of Evil. Red pits brother against brother as those who refuse to bathe in Elyon’s water and accept the scabbing disease form a people group known as Horde, while those who have followed the instructions of Elyon call themselves Forest Dwellers.
In the passing years, the Horde and the Forest Dwellers have become mortal enemies. The Horde greatly outnumber the Forest Dwellers and war against them constantly in an attempt to eradicate them from the earth. The Forest Dwellers also continue the Great Romance of Elyon in the best way they know how, constructing a religion based around the bathing ritual. But one who calls himself Justin threatens both military and religion.
If Black tells the story of the birth of evil, Red tells the story of mankind’s redemption from it through blood. Dekker’s allegory, symbolism, and metaphor are again intricate and flawless. His portrayal of the character Justin is so well-done that many who have read it at first missed—as did Thomas Hunter—what should have been obvious. Red is the story of the heartbeat of redemption, the song of salvation, the psalm of propitiation, the exclamation of expiation, the Story of all stories retold in a fresh new way.
But at the end, the worlds still hang in the balance. All has been changed, but this had things only more difficult. The Raison Strain has infected most of the known world; Other Earth has been rocked with the heresy of Justin. The ultimate fate of history—and the future—lies in the hands of Thomas Hunter…a man who has already died twice.
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