Tuesday Sept 7th Immanuel’s Veins by Ted Dekker releases to the reading world. This book is causing a bit of a stir and not for the reasons I may have guessed and not even in a country I would have thought. More on that in a minute.
Immauel’s Veins is a vampire book. Not along the lines of Twilight, but more like Dracula. 18th century Russia is the setting for the book, which actually even gives it that Dracula feel. If you are a fan of Ted’s then you have been waiting for this book to release. If you are one who doesn’t like Ted’s writing, this book will not change your mind.
Ted loves to push the envelope a bit with every book and this one is no different. In fact that is what is causing all the controversy. The publisher that carries his book in the Netherlands has refused to carry this one because it is “too racy.”
Interesting. I have read this book and didn’t really have any parts that made me uncomfortable. The people in the story are beautiful/handsome and they are very much sexual beings. This story struck me as being almost about the dance that we all seem to have with evil. I know Ted has described it as the story of God’s pursuit for us, but I even had more of a feel that it was about our struggle with the attractiveness of evil. It may seem like something we really want and yet it isn’t something that is good for us.
The hero of this book tries to stand between his two charges and the temptation of the evil that is trying to lure them in. He continues to try to do what is right, what he is called to do, which is let no harm come to them. When the girls are lured to the new neighbor’s castle, Toma knows that trouble will come from it. He had been warned.
There is really nothing else I can say about the storyline without giving too much away, which then would take away from your pleasure of reading this book.
The critics of this book are asking those who read it, what is too much? Ted’s argument that this book isn’t too racy is based on the Song of Solomon in the Bible. He says we were created sexual beings and there is nothing wrong with sex. I am not going to argue that here, but it does make me think about what is right or wrong for Christian fiction. What is too much?
I really enjoy reading books that don’t leave me comfortable. Ted’s books have done that on several occasions. I have read Steven James’ books and they have had lots of complaints about their violence. Yet if you are going to ask tough questions then you need more than a paper cut to have someone sweat over those questions.
If Ted had written a tame book, would it make you think about God’s pursuit of us? If there is no tempation then why worry as we will never have left His side. In this fallen world there is nothing that comes in neat little packages and nothing comes with easy answers. Who hasn’t had that friend ask those questions that we have not had the answers to. Some of them are because we have never experienced something. Sometimes a fiction book can do that for you. Sometimes it can point you in the right direction and sometimes it also offers you a chance to think things through by yourself.
I am not sure where you are on the spectrum of why you read fiction, but each of us reads for different reasons. I like to read to get away, to learn and to understand. I know that fiction has given me insight into things I would never experience. That is when it becomes a learning experience and I can hopefully use that knowledge to help someone else either by answering questions or having some insight into that experience.