Also by this author: The Promise, The Drummer Boy, Sinner, Green, The Dream Traveler's Quest, Into the Book of Light, The Curse of Shadownman, The Garden and the Serpent, The Final Judgment, Millie Maven and the Bronze Medallion
Series: The Lost Books #4
Published by Thomas Nelson on May 2008
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Fantasy, Suspense
Buy on Amazon
Deep in the mountains of Romania stands a fortress, and deep within that fortress lies a chamber. In that chamber, ruling the dead for over two thousand years, live one Shataiki bat straight from the bowels of the Black Forest. He seeks the final Books of History with which he will destroy the world.
But there are four who stand in the way.
The chosen are trapped in a new world of high technology and weapons of mass destruction. In the midst of chaos, they must find the last book before the Dark One can in this final test to save the world.
The Lost Books were released two books at a time with each pairing forming their own distinct story arc. Chosen introduces readers to the world of Other Earth and sets up the characters and the overarching quest the series will take. Infidel actually sets about that quest after some adventures are taken care of, but remains in Other Earth. Renegade and Chaos bring the story to Real Earth in 2033, some twenty years after the RE events of The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, and White), two years after Showdown, and just before the events of Saint and Sinner. None of this is particularly necessary to know, but setting the book in the context of the larger Books of History Chronicles is always a lot of fun.
Beginning with the conclusion of Renegade, The Lost Books jump worlds through the Books of History to carry on the quest to find the three original Books of History hidden in this reality. Johnis and Silvie find themselves catapulted into an utterly foreign world—namely Las Vegas, Nevada, in the year 2033. The duo quickly get into trouble beginning with a hilarious scene where they figure out automobiles—known to them as Cherry Chevys—and it all goes downhill from there.
Johnis escapes death but finds himself in jail, while Silvie takes just as drastic measures to save him. Luckily, they find that they are not without friends in this new world. Karas, known to this world as Kara Longford, made the crossing just minutes before Silvie and Johnis but has been on Earth for ten whole years. She has managed to work herself into a position of considerable influence and wealth, and has been using that power to help track down the books.
But Karas wasn’t the only one who crossed before Silvie and Johnis. The black bat called Alucard has brooded for over 2000 years in his lair in Romania, giving rise to awful myths and legend of creatures of the night. He too has been seeking the Books—for when all Seven are together—the rules that define reality can be broken and allow evil to triumph ultimately. It’s a race to the final Book, trickery and deception abound, and stakes are raised even greater as Alucard’s master plan to destroy the Earth is unveiled.
While only book four in a six-book series, Chaos serves as a natural conclusion to the primary storyline in The Lost Books. The series was originally conceived as six books, shortened to four, then re-expanded to six with Kaci Hill coauthoring the final two. Because of this, the main story arc introduced in Chosen—finding the Seven Original Books of History—finds its conclusion in Chaos.
The novel suffers from the same problem as Renegade, but not to the same extent. Alucard’s plot is complicated and unraveling it all within the confines of a YA novel, particularly one that’s geared toward the younger YA crowd, isn’t an easy task. One thing that Dekker never really explains well is why there are seven “original” Books of History or where they came from. The lore of the Shataiki gets a deep dive and it’s a fun one, but the Books continue to be a mystery.
As in Renegade, Dekker employs humor well. It’s a bit goofy, but it’s perfect for the tween/young teen age range these were aimed toward. Some other things of note is just how things seem to happen without much foreshadowing or reason behind them. Again, I think that’s Dekker trying to write a simpler storyline for a younger audience, but that’s no excuse for unrealistic character development! Namely, both Darsal and Karas get thrown to RE a decade before Johnis and Silvie. While the latter immediately attract all sorts of attention and fail dismally at fitting in, Karas and Darsal both—independently of the other—become powerful and wealthy people. How? Plot reasons? It’s not even a necessary part of the plot. It’s just how it works.
All in all, Chaos—and the first four Lost Books in general—are entertaining and a fun, if flawed, foray into the world of the Circle. For YA novels intended on being the introduction to the mythos, they’re a bit too complex and rely too much on readers having knowledge of other books. As Circle lore, they’re the deepening of the series that readers had long awaited—a core element to The Books of History Chronicles. But it’s not quite the end, for when Johnis and his friends return to their own world, they will discover just how much things have changed.