Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Book Review: Blink of an Eye

Today I am reviewing Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker. This is actually a reprinting of his book Blink. I'm not sure how much was changed between the two versions, but I do know that he made some edits to Blink and created Blink of an Eye just before the movie based on this book came out. I haven't read Blink, or seen the movie, but I did just finish reading Blink of an Eye.

Sorry if that was a tad bit confusing.

So what is this book all about?

The future changes in the blink of an eye...or does it? Miriam is a Saudi princess promised to another, a pawn in a political struggle that could shift the balance of power in the Middle East. Seth is a certified genius with a head full of numbers, a life full of baggage, and an attitude born on the waves of the Pacific. Cultures collide when they find themselves thrown together as fugitives in a high-stakes chase across Southern California. A growing attraction and a search for answers fuel their fight to survive...but with no sleep and a massive manhunt steadily closing in, their chances of surviving any future are razor thin.

This isn't in the description of the book (spoilers? What I'm about to say is in the description of Blink, just not Blink of an Eye for some reason...), but I'm going to add that Seth is given an incredible and unfathomable gift of being able to see the future. Not completely and not distantly, but he can at least see more than what is happening to him in the present.

First Impressions? I really enjoyed this story and I couldn't put it down.

It took me all of two days to read this book. I wasn't surprised by that at all, because Ted Dekker is, among every author I've read to date, the most skilled at creating irresistible page-turning stories.

The characters in this book are vibrant and leap off of the page. They all felt very real; beautifully so when it came to Miriam and Seth, the main characters, and rather terrifyingly so when it came to the antagonists. I believed this story because it felt just that; real.

I have already mentioned this, but I could not put this book down. The intense, spell-bounding tale of political intrigue had me turning pages at a rapid rate; and Seth's uncanny ability to see the futures--and yes, that is plural--had me on the edge of my seat. You might think a story about a boy who can see the future would be pretty straight forward--what could happen that Seth and we as the reader don't already know--but Ted Dekker just kept throwing plot twists in my lap and it was amazing. This was an incredibly fun read.

Now let's talk about the meat of this story: Faith. Seth is not a believer in Jesus and Miriam is deeply Muslim. They aren't particularly searching for the truth throughout the story, but they are struggling with what it means to love. Miriam is betrothed to another man for political reasons if nothing else, and has never even met him. Seth is just a college kid who is too smart for his own good. On this crazy adventure that they find themselves on, the two of them discover something simple. Love. I'm not talking about romantic love or any other specific element of that four letter emotion. Just love. I thought it was truly beautiful the way that Dekker didn't try and make the characters run into some sort of evangelical on their journey who would lead them to salvation; Jesus wasn't shoved down their throats. They came to their conclusions on their own in the most natural and simplest way possible. I loved it. I feel that a lot of times Christian fiction doesn't seem plausible. People become believers simply because that's what the author intended of them, but it doesn't feel natural. This story, however, felt more natural than any other I've read to date. And I loved it! I am an avid lover of Jesus, but sometimes Christian fiction is too preachy even for me. This story, however, was not that way.

I will also add that I found Dekker's take on the Muslim community refreshing in the sense that every one of them wasn't portrayed as a terrorist. They were people. Some of them radical in their faith, some of them simply deeply involved in it--as many Christians are in their own--and some of them simply going through the motions.

Now, with that being said, I know very little about Islam myself. I haven't studied the religion or culture, I haven't met many people who are a part of it. I can't say that a Muslim reading Blink of an Eye would agree that it is a realistic or authentic take on Islam. So take everything I just said with a grain of salt and the understanding that I'm not an expert on this subject at all. I was just relieved to find a group of Muslims portrayed as a group of people; some of them passionate about their faith, some of them less so. Each one of them unique; as real people are.

Would I read this book again? A thousand times, YES.

Would I recommend this book to others? Without hesitation. Please, go read it. It's AMAZING.

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