The Lost Books Visual Edition – Ted Dekker

The Lost Books Visual Edition by Ted Dekker
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
Published by Thomas Nelson on December 2010
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Fantasy, Graphic Novel
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The Circle universe made popular by Ted Dekker in his New York Times best-selling series (Black, Red, White, and Green) is brought back to vivid life--this time from the vantage point of four teens. And never have the stakes for survival and destruction been so high.

From thousands of new Forest Guard recruits aged 16 and 17, Thomas Hunter chooses four to lead a special mission against the Horde. But before that mission fully begins, it abruptly changes to an even greater endgame. Now these four teens must find the seven lost Books of History before dark forces do. For these seven books have immense power over the past, present, and future--controlling not only the destiny of their world...but that of ours as well.

Prepare for a stunning visual adventure as the Chosen face renegades and betrayals across two realities in their quest to find what's been lost.

Following the release of the Circle Trilogy Visual Edition, Ted Dekker and Thomas Nelson continued the graphic novel trend by releasing a graphic novel version of the first four books in the six-book Lost Books series—Chosen, Infidel, Renegade, and Chaos. Lunatic and Elyon did not get the visual grow-up treatment, which is a disappointment if only for the fact that seeing Shaeda in living color would have been amazing. The decision to stop at four books, however, does make sense. First, the four books are their own self-contained storyline, with Lunatic and Elyon being a separate two-book duology cowritten with Kaci Hill. Second, the graphic novels were published about six months before the publication of last two Lost Books. There was some debate at the time about whether this would be a four or six book series. The novel versions got two extra books. The graphic novels ended with four.

Also like the previous visual editions, they were originally published in larger-sized individual books, then repackaged into a smaller omnibus volume. Get the originals if you can, although they’re out of print and difficult to find. I’m not going to talk much about the story. If you want that, read my review of the books here: Chosen, Infidel, Renegade, Chaos. Here are the major players who worked on the books:

  • Chosen. Adapted by J.S. Earls and Kevin Kaiser; edited by Kevin Kaiser and Jocelyn Bailey; illustrations by Caio Reis.
  • Infidel. Adapted by J.S. Earls and Kevin Kaiser; edited by Kevin Kaiser and Jocelyn Bailey; illustrations by Cezar Razek.
  • Renegade. Adapted by J.S. Earls and Kevin Kaiser; edited by Kevin Kaiser and Jocelyn Bailey; illustrations by Eduardo Pansica.
  • Chaos. Adapted by J.S. Earls and Kevin Kaiser; edited by Kevin Kaiser and Jocelyn Bailey; illustrations by Ricardo Ratton.

I sort of get the impression that all four books were a simultaneous effort, with one artist taking the lead on each book. Ratton and Pansica were both part of the Big Jack Studios team that worked on Black and Red, but aren’t affiliated with Big Jack this time around. While there are stylistic changes that each artist brings to the table, they all come across as compatible and make sense for each novel’s tone and background. Caio Reis doesn’t have much of a CV beyond this one title. Cezar Razek has worked on a number of Battle Galactica comics. Eduardo Pansica is currently a penciller at DC. And Ricardo Ratton is another relative unknown. The Lost Books offer the opportunity for the artists to dive into Other Earth in depth that we don’t see in the Circle trilogy and the artists do a great job of making OE come to life. I would like to point out that the teenage girls (Silvie, Darsal) do not exactly look like they are 16, but…that’s comics, I guess.

J.S. Earls and Kevin Kaiser adapt. Earls serves as the experienced editor/adapter, while Kaiser serves as the lore-keeper for the Dekker mythos. Like always, things have to be cut, but the two show a deep knowledge of the series and trim away the fluff while retaining the story’s core—the extraneous and unnecessary reference to Dekker’s novel Skin notwithstanding. Adapting this series couldn’t have been easy. It’s a YA series that Dekker uses as a vehicle to tie together two other series, has Easter eggs for other Dekker books, and offers the deepest look into Other Earth we’ve seen to date. Not to mention that the story kinda goes off the rails a bit in Renegade.

Coming to the graphic novels with a good knowledge of the books, I found it easy to follow. I don’t think that someone starting with the graphic novels would be able to follow. Perhaps that’s why this series terms itself The Lost Books Visual Edition. It’s not a self-contained story, but a visual layer that goes over the top of the story you already know. It’s not a good standalone product. Altogether, though, they’re a fun series that pairs nicely with the books. I read these alongside reading the novels and found it to be a delight.


About Ted Dekker

Ted Dekker is a New York Times best-selling author of more than forty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans. Dekker’s novels have sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.

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