Title: Rise of the Mystics
Author: Ted Dekker
“I was the 49th Mystic, and I was searching for the Five Seals of Truth before the Realm of Mystics could be destroyed,” Rachelle remembers in Ted Dekker’s novel, Rise of the Mystics.
~ What ~
Part two of two in the Beyond the Circle series, this four-hundred-and-eighteen-page paperback targets those who enjoy futuristic mystical fiction with other-worldly characters and analogies to Christianity. Using slang words such as crap and heck, topics of dream-control, imprisonment, torture, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending has the author’s biography and advertisements plus Talya’s Journal on the Forgotten Way. Using mainly the New American Standard Bible, the ABPE, BLB, ESV, HCSB, ISV, KJV, NHEB, and NIV are also referenced.
In this sequel to the first book that is set in the future on two worlds that are two-hundred years apart, Rachelle continues to travel between the Earth and Other Earth whenever she dreams to overcome Vlad Smith and his evil plans. As she deals with two worlds of polarity, she surrenders herself to loving without judgment as her memory gets wiped in one world and she turns into one she abhors in another in her quest to uncover the fourth and fifth seal to save the Realm. It is only until she learns True Love that she can save those around her and herself.
~ Why ~
This is a sci-fi fantasy complete with good and evil, love versus hatred, and acceptance with understanding. The author writes with vivid detail, often in first person from the protagonist’s view of having forgotten who she is and what she needs to do. It promotes that true love holds no record of wrong and how hatred is devastating. I appreciated it contains a recap of the first book at its beginning.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like futuristic fiction that involves mysticism, allegory, and fantasy will pass on this read. Some may feel the book gets complicated with two ongoing worlds that do not track as well as the first book. Others may find its connection to Scripture not completely Biblical, sometimes confusing and conflicting.
~ Wish ~
Having read the prior book, I found this one even more of a challenge as it includes out-of-context Biblical theory and sometimes randomly. Some may question if it endorses an accurate plan of eternal salvation as there was no asking forgiveness of sin, Jesus shedding His blood on the cross, or His resurrection but more of a “follow your heart – all is love” concept. Although I liked some of both worlds’ characters, I found the conclusion baffling regarding universal redemption and the journal’s interpretations and applications sometimes misrepresenting. Due to stretching the Bible to accommodate the story and vice versa, I agreed with Vlad telling Aaron and David on page 68, “You must know by now that if you torture any scripture long enough, you can get it to say whatever you want.” I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reference.
~ Want ~
If you like a futuristic book about True Love in two dark worlds, this may interest you, but I found it too confusing, rambling, and perhaps distorted from Biblical theology so cannot promote it as Christian fantasy.
Thanks to Baker Publishing for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.
This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2Yr3NsD