Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review: Immanuel's Veins

Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Genre: Fiction; Christian; Love; Romance; Suspense; Good vs. Evil
Number of Pages: 367


     He is known for his reputation of being a skilled and fearless warrior, a fighter for the empress of Russia herself, but Toma could never imagine what his next charge will bring him to. What he would do for her. . . for them.

     He is bound by an unbreakable duty. A duty he will not, can not, fail to serve.

     This is a story of love, lust, and what lies in between. It is a story of sacrifice. It is a battle between powerful beings. And it most definitely is an emotionally-stirring book.

Star Rating:

      4.75 stars

Content Rating:

     PG-13 (For mature audiences.)


     I understand why some people found this book controversial. It is definitely different from books I typically read, and did have some sensual pulls and moments that left me begging the characters not to give in. I think this is what happens when you deal with a topic about the world's view of love, human desires and cravings, and what true love is. Most of the book kept me wondering what on earth was going on! I knew what was happening, I could feel that something evil was lurking, but you couldn't place your finger on exactly what it was! Until finally we are given some answers as the main character, Toma, learns them.

    Though this is not the best book I have ever read in terms of quality/writing, it is definitely a good one. The ending redeems any negatives I might have held against its somewhat slow, but necessary, beginning and the fact that Dekker wouldn't tell me right away what was wrong with this picture! He did a pretty good job tying things up in a way that said what he was trying to say about true love versus the misconceptions we have about it, without spelling it out like we went from a fiction novel to a sermon session. (Nothing meant rudely against sermons, I am just saying he didn't have to rely on preaching to us to make his point, which is a good thing when you are writing fiction.)

     The ending was just about perfect. I dislike using that word just because no one and nothing we do can be truly perfect, but it ended the book very well. It suited the story. (If one of the things hadn't happened, it would have felt too cheesy. Or if something else had happened, it would have been a bit too typical.)

     But it was unique, satisfactory, insightful, and compelling.

     Overall, I would recommend this book, but note that the topics and content may not be for everyone. I would not recommend it for younger teens, since most of Ted Dekker's books are for a more mature audience. So I would say make your own judgement on it, because it really comes down to you and your choices. 

     In the end, I say it is worth reading- even if it does make you squirm a little. 

Iffy Content:

     Some. It really is up to the reader because I would definitely recommend this book. I am a sucker for romances, but even more so for stories that deal with the true meanings of love and sacrifice. I do also enjoy stories that have a good "happy" ending, but are still realistic. . . Books that allow for a lot of emotional tension and have feeling to them, like any girl I guess. Yet I am drawn to books that deal with topics that run deep, through all of us, and thus allow for a stronger connection between them.

     As far as what Ted Dekker wrote about in this book, I will say there is no apparent sex-scenes. There is some sensuality and some of the characters do not come home at night for various reasons, but I do not feel that it is really there for enticement. It serves a purpose in the story. Also I will note that there are a few "bad" words when referring to some of the women who are. . . well, bad girls. But no misuses of God's name or anything like that I don't think.

     The sensuality is used in displaying some misconceptions about love and how the devil tries to woo us away from God, and without it I fear the story would have been seriously lacking something. However, there is a lot of desire as some of the characters are being encouraged to embrace this so called "love." Some of them do come to believe that this is true love in its most raw, powerful, and fulfilling form, but we see that there is something missing. Something is not right about it all. 

Is not the best lie one that has a bit of truth in it?

     There is some nudity, though it is not the stuff of Hollywood movies; it is used in a somewhat different context I guess. There are several "kiss scenes", some for fulfilling the characters' desires and a few others that are for good.

     I do not find this book "ban-worthy", if you are worried about that. It is sort of a taboo thing to talk about (love, lust, evil, human desires), so I see how some people would just avoid it all together. You have to decide for yourself and listen for how God leads you on whether or not to read this story. The worse part about it is that you really have to read the whole thing in order to see where Dekker is going with all this stuff. The "evil" may be controversial, but it's not something I can explain without giving the story away. I would recommend that if you are going to give the book a shot, read it all the way through. If you do not, you won't be left with a very good picture of what the book is about nor its quality.

     Again, in the end, I say Immanuel's Veins is worth reading- even if it may make you a bit uncomfortable at times. For there is a powerful message behind it.

Have you read Immanuel's Veins?
Any related books about taboo subjects? What were your thoughts?
I'd really like to know! Please comment and share!

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. I purchased this book myself. This review was not paid for or endorsed by anyone.

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