Series: The Lost Books #3
Published by Thomas Nelson on May 2008
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense, Fantasy
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One of the chosen has gone renegade.
Turning his back on all that he once believed, one of the Chosen does the forbidden and enters into a Book of History. They lands in a reality as foreign to them as water is to oil a place called Paradise, Colorado. They have strange new powers given to him courtesy of a mysterious figure known as Marsuvees Black.
The chosen four have survived the desert, escaped the Black Forest, battled the Horde, and added a spirited refugee to their number. But nothing has prepared them for the showdown that the renegade, is luring them into.
Renegade picks up on the cliffhanger left in Infidel and freefalls into a tightly-paced YA novel that dives even deeper into the Dekker mythos. Entranced by the power of the Books of History, Billos cuts his hand and enters a new reality—someplace between his world and ours. Darsal takes off after Billos, binding herself to a promise to return the Books to Alucard in exchange for the one book the tall Shataiki still has.
But her rash decision—much like Johnis’s in Chosen—has some major consequences. First, she has to deal with Karas, the Horde daughter of the Dark Priest now turned Forest Dweller, who has stowed away on the journey. Then she must manage to fight off the Horde in order to get to her beloved Billos.
But in the Skin between the worlds, Billos is having the time of his life. Greeted by a trench coat and cowboy hat wearing figure who calls himself Marsuvees Black, Billos becomes convinced that the power of the Books should be his to control. Armed with the magical weapon Black calls suhupow, Billos descends on the small town of Paradise, Colorado, to get the Book of History hidden in the town. His quest is interrupted when Darsal and Karas stumble into the Skin world through the Books, bringing with them a behemoth of a Horde called Papa. Soon, the entire group finds themselves in the virtual Paradise, a bit confused and still searching for the Book.
Johnis and Silvie—the two most prominent characters thus far in the series—take a back seat in Renegade, as Dekker shifts gears to place an emphasis on the stories of Billos and Darsal. Renegade also contains several ties to both the The Circle Series and Showdown. Marsuvees Black, the primary antagonist in Showdown, appears in the Skin world and attempts to lure Billos under his control. Dekker also throws out references to two of his standalone novels—Skin and House—noting that the primary antagonists of those novels were creations of Black, written into reality through the Books of History.
As a whole, The Lost Books are the twine the binds Dekker’s two general series—The Circle Series and Project Showdown—together into a cohesive whole. They flesh out the history of Other Earth and help explain the power and nature of the Books of History that figure prominently into both series. While it is not absolutely necessary that a reader first read these other novels, I would certainly recommend it—especially Showdown. The full scope of Dekker’s mythos can only be appreciated when one reads Renegade in the proper context.
While Renegade contains some of the great thematic imagery first brought up in Infidel, it changes pace to take itself less seriously and includes several hilarious scenes of the young Forest Guard’s reaction to modern technology. Dekker never loses his focus, driving the story to climactic showdown with Alucard that results in the power of four Books being experienced. When the dust settles, the effects are worlds-shattering. The worlds have been breached and our reality may never know what hit it. While lacking the thematic depth of Infidel, Renegade does well in explaining the technicalities of the mythos—what the Books of History are and how they may be used—and sets up for an epic conclusion in Chaos.
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