This novel is another great one from Dekker. It has layers of action and spiritual insight that make it interesting to read on several levels.
Eden is one of the orphans from the Project Showdown. She is now a thirteen year old in the foster care system. As the novel opens, she is kidnapped by the man married to her birth mother. The FBI is left far behind as Eden is taken to a cult setting in the swamps of Louisiana. Her mother is under the power of the group's leader, a harsh man who mixes hints of Christianity with suffocating authority. Her mother is obsessed with being cleansed and Eden is an essential part of the process.
I have at times had trouble understanding the Christian nature of some of Dekker's novels but in this one it is very clear. The spiritual lessons deal with being imprisoned and harmed by our own thoughts. Outlaw helps Eden understand what it truly means to be an overcomer, to truly forgive and live in the freedom that brings. Hurt can result in anger and a desire for revenge that really imprisons a person. But through Jesus, those spiritual bonds can be released, even if the outer situation stays the same.
I was put off at first by the strange cult in which Eden's family is involved but then realized it was not all that different from ones I'd read about over the last few decades. It was another case of spiritual authority gone bad.
We met Eden (who starts out in this novel as Alice) in Eyes Wide Open. This novel reads well on its own so you don't have to read that one first. Outlaw makes a couple of appearances in this story but you don't have to read earlier books about him to get a good understanding of his role here.
A novel with lots of action and spiritual insight, this is a good one to read. The ending is a bit abrupt but is a minor glitch in an otherwise fine novel.
Ted Dekker is a New York Times bestselling author of over thirty novels. He was born in Indonesia, son of missionaries. He and his family live in Austin, Texas. Find out more about him and his novels at Teddekker.com or follow him on Facebook.
Worthy Publishing, 304 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.