Ted Dekker was uniquely qualified to write this particular story, having grown up among the headhunter tribes of the Indonesian jungle. A person can write very effectively from empathy alone, but couple that with experience, and a good writer can take the story to a whole new level.
Such is the case with Outlaw.
The physical experience, however, is not the only thing that Dekker has a solid grasp on in this novel. The spiritual truths woven into this story also seem to come from a place of personal understanding. They definitely resonated with me.
Outlaw is easily my favorite of the Dekker novels I have read, and the first one I've given a 5-star review.
Ted's books always keep you on your toes. Just when you think you know where the story is going, it takes a twist or a turn and just surprises you. Sometimes you have to read parts of it twice to really catch what he is saying.
Let me preface this by saying I am a die hard Dekker fan. I love his psychological thrillers and could finish his books in very short order. This book fell far short of my expectations. The story line is so beyond my comfort zone, I have nothing to compare it to. While there is deep thought involved in the plot, it is short on real action. What I found so bizarre is the complete cutoff from one character to another. Then you have 20 years with no details on the original character! I went into the second part of Outlaw wondering what in the world happened to "Julian." I found myself starting to skim (a bad sign, indeed) about 3/4 of the way through. I won't get the sequel, as it can't hold my interest. Very disappointed.
I've read a lot of books in my time and Ted Dekker is one of my favorite authors. I have never read a book as good as Outlaw. The way he writes and reveals the truths of God in this book is incredible. There are so many times it made me stop and think. This is a book that every person needs to read.
Ted Dekker writes some pretty amazing novels. Stuff you don't even think about or consider but by the time you reach the end, you realize you've gone through something pretty amazing. Such is the case for the novel Outlaw. It defines the foundation for his series, the Outlaw Chronicles through even more novels. You need to understand the issues of what makes one an true outlaw. This is the real "Survivor" story and not like the reality series!(Spoiler alert below:)
The story behind Outlaw is one that Ted elaborates on in the conclusion of the novel where he shared his own experiences being the son of a missionaries. He traveled to some pretty remote locations where some tribal people that came upon didn't even speak the same language and their cultural differences allowed him some unusual insight to share with the reader. The main character Julian Carter grew up in Atlanta, Georgia in a prominent and wealthy family in t 1933. Servants were still employed and Julian grew up understanding how her parents treated them as such. Even though they were treated well, they were still considered hired help and had their place in society as well.
She dealt with life as best as she could being pressured by her parents to marry into a suitable family and bear her father a son to whom he could pass along his inheritance and wealth. During this time, Julian was plagued by dreams that she was in a jungle flying high over the tree tops being drawn to someone through a song. She never understood the significance but was puzzled by its meaning. After finally giving birth to a son that she loved more than life, her parents both passed away and her husband feel into a deep depression. When a group of missionaries can to her church sharing the news of their trips to remote locations to share the gospel. Julian felt compelled to go. Little did she realize how much her life would change after that.
Setting sail on board a small sailboat, Julian along with her young 2-year-old son, Stephen, get caught in an unexpected violent storm that threatens their very lives. After witnessing their captain attempt to save the boat and fall overboard, she now realizes it is up to her to save their lives. She hopes and prays that God will answer her prayers to keep them both alive until the storm passes. But the ship capsizes and Julian is injured. When she wakes, she finds herself floating among the debris and her son is no where to be found. Realizing her loss, she is captured by a tribe known as the Tulim who believe that all women are sub-species of pigs and treat them as such unless they can bear children. Now Julian's nightmare truly begins.
I received Outlaw from Ted Dekker compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. I love the direction that Ted took this novel and like all of his books in a great series, you have to really get to the meat of the meaning behind them all. Outlaw does just that.. You learn about the meaning behind "deditio," Latin for unconditional surrender and how the corresponds to the life of Jesus Christ for believers. You realize as well that we are all outlaws in comparison to the world's views and are often treated as such by society that doesn't like that we uphold God's law and belief in the Bible as the absolute truth. We're not perfect, but when we can see things from that perspective it makes things so much easier to deal with when faced with persecution of any kind. I easily rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.