Ted Dekker has a big three when it comes to his books; a host of good to great books, and handful of bad ones, but only three books which should always be remembered. Those big three are Thr3e (what a surprise), Black/Red/White (The Circle Trilogy 1-3) and this novel right here, Showdown. In anticipation for Dekkers next Novel, Sinner: The Books of History Chronicles, I decided to re-read this book so that I can familiarize myself with its main characters and themes so that I may better understand Sinner. The allegory of Dekkers earlier years shines through with this brilliant novel.
Johnny lives in a small Colorado town called Paradise, nestled in a little valley in the Rocky Mountains. Life is dull and mundane for the most part until a mysterious stranger walks into town garbed in black and bringing a message of hope and grace. His name is Black, Marsuvees Black, and he is no ordinary travailing preacher. Johnny knows that he's dangerous, but can't convince anyone in town. Meanwhile in a monastery far above the town thirty children are being raised in isolation as part of a project funded by Harvard called "Project Showdown" which is designed to raise children outside the influences of society in order to raise "noble savages" who may one day change the world for love. Unfortunately one of the students has decided to disobey the rules of the monastery by going into the forbidden dungeons.
Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but trust me, it's great. The story takes one huge twist after another until reality itself is called into question, and everything you know about love and hope will change. If I were to be picky I guess I could call into question some of Dekkers philosophical views about love and free will and liberty, but the very fact that I can nit pick at these ideas is what makes this book so enthralling. This is a must read book for any Dekker fan, and for all those who simply wish to have a good read. PS; it might be best to read the Circle Trilogy first as it will defiantly make the book more enjoyable, and easier to understand.