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Jesus-powered superkids, demonic assassins, and faith-propelled boulders? They’re all in a day’s work for Ted Dekker, one of Christian fiction’s most talked about writers. There is some uncertainty when trying to define Dekker’s writing; some say he’s a horror writer, others think he writes science fiction, while most just see his work as flat out strange literature.

What isn’t uncertain is that he is quickly becoming a literary powerhouse within Christian circles. With a growing fan following and two Hollywood titles to his name ( Thr3e and House , both still in production), there is no better time than the present to get familiar with his work.

His latest book, Saint (WestBow), can best be described as an action/suspense/political sci-fi thriller with a dash of Christian theology. Readers are pulled into a high-octane adventure that doesn’t let up for a second. Still, another certainty about Dekker’s books is that they are painfully cheesy. There’s something undeniably laughable about a man shouting “I believe!” in order to levitate heavy cyclopean objects, no matter how entertaining the story may be.

Dekker’s problem is one that many writers share. Somewhere out there, in the secret places of authors’ minds, is a formula box that has convenient equations for producing certain types of work. Comedy, romance, and even action/suspense/political dramas can be produced with this process. What Dekker seems to be doing is taking out some of the original values of the equation and substituting them with the Christian faith. Rather than creating a new breed of animal, he gets a mutant version that eventually falls short.

The verdict: bold and unorthodox, Dekker is a good writer with a knack for gripping the minds of his readers. However, he’s no Chuck Palahniuk ( Fight Club ) and should not even be compared to the likes of Stephen King. Fun and easy to read, Ted Dekker is a guilty pleasure of the highest caliber. For those already well-read in Christian suspense novels, his works are a must. For those less acquainted with the genre, you might as well start here.

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