Showdown (Paradise Series #1)

Showdown (Paradise Series #1)

3.8 79
by Ted Dekker

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Welcome to Paradise.

Epic battles of good and evil are happening all around us.

Today that battle comes to town with the sound of lone footsteps clacking down the blacktop on a hot, lazy summer afternoon. The black-cloaked man arrives in the sleepy town of Paradise and manages to become the talk of the town within the hour. Bearing the power to


Welcome to Paradise.

Epic battles of good and evil are happening all around us.

Today that battle comes to town with the sound of lone footsteps clacking down the blacktop on a hot, lazy summer afternoon. The black-cloaked man arrives in the sleepy town of Paradise and manages to become the talk of the town within the hour. Bearing the power to grant any unfulfilled dream, he is irresistible.

Seems like bliss . . . but is it?
Or is hell about to break loose in Paradise?

Editorial Reviews

When a charismatic preacher named Marsuvees Black arrives in the lonely mountain town of Paradise, Colorado, all hell breaks loose. Ted Dekker's Christian novel first hooks us with curiosity and then drastically raises the stakes. Spiritually thrilling.
Publishers Weekly
Dekker's readers will recognize many of his mainstays: mysterious forces causing havoc, characters who may or may not be what they seem and open, faith-based questions about the very nature of reality. In this page-turner, the residents of Paradise, Colo. (a one-saloon town in the mountains), encounter Marsuvees Black, a purported preacher who claims God sent him to bring "grace and hope" to their town. Meanwhile, at a nearby nondenominational Christian monastery, monks fret over a rebellion among the gifted children in their care. Dekker (Thr3e; Blink) impressively paces the novel, maximizing suspense and intrigue by solving the novel's myriad mysteries at the exact point readers will likely be guessing at them. For example, it will dawn on readers by the middle of the story that a certain type of connection must exist between the monastery and the town. Dekker rewards that discovery by explaining the connection, but still leaves enough questions open to keep readers sleuthing to the end. While there are gory scenes and small problems with the story (especially the implausible, unethical circumstances under which the students at the monastery have been procured and studied), Dekker delivers his signature exploration of good and evil in the context of a genuine thriller that could further enlarge his already sizable audience. (Feb. 10) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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Ted Dekker's Paradise Series , #1
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Read an Excerpt


"HOW MANY children?" Marsuvees Black asked, examining his fingernails.

Strange behavior for a man interviewing for such a lofty position.

"Thirty-seven," David said. "And they may be only thirteen or fourteen years old, but I wouldn't call them children. They are students, yes, but most of them already have the intelligence of a postgraduate. Believe me, you've never met anyone like them."

Black settled back in the tall leather chair and pressed his thumbs and fingers together to form a triangle. He sighed. The monk from the Nevada desert was a strange one, to be sure. But David Abraham, director of the monastery's project, had to admit that genius was often accompanied by eccentric behavior.

"Thirty-seven special children who could one day change humanity's understanding of the world," Black said. "I think I could pull myself from my desert solitude for such a noble task. Wouldn't you agree? God knows I've been in solitude for three years now."

"You'll have to take that up with God," David said. "With or without you, our project will one day change the world. I can guarantee you that."

"Then why do you need me? You're aware of my"--he hesitated--"that I'm not exactly your typical monk."

"Naturally. I would say you're hardly a monk at all. You've spent a few years atoning for rather gratuitous sins, and for that I think you possess a unique appreciation for our struggle with evil."

"What makes you think I've beaten my demons?"

"Have you?"

"Do we ever?"

"Yes, we do," David said.

"If any man has truly beaten his demons, I have. But the struggle isn't over. There are new battles every day. I don't know why you need a conflicted man like me."

David thought a moment. "I don't need you. But God might. I think he does."

Black raised an eyebrow. "No one knows, you say? No one at all?"

"Only the few who must."

"And the project is sponsored by Harvard University?"

"That is correct."

David had spent months narrowing his search for the right teacher to fill the vacant post. Marsuvees Black brought certain risks, but the job was his if he chose to take the vow of secrecy and sequester himself in the Colorado mountains with them for the next four years.

The monk stared at his fingernail again. Scratched at it. A soft smile crossed his face.

"I'll let you know," he said.

Meet the Author

Ted Dekker is known for novels that combine adrenaline-laced stories packed with unexpected plot twists, unforgettable characters, and incredible confrontations between good and evil. He is the best-selling author of The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, and White), Blink of An Eye, Heaven’s Wager, When Heaven Weeps, and Thunder of Heaven and the co-author of Blessed Child and A Man Called Blessed. Raised in the jungles of Indonesia, Ted now lives in Texas with his wife and children.

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Showdown [With Headphones] 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Corban-Storm More than 1 year ago
"Showdown" is a Ted Dekker novel set within a non-sequential series called "The Books of History Chronicles." It is the story of a Harvard Professor, David Abraham, who has been commissioned to conduct an incredible experiment: together with twelve of the best faith-based minds in world, raise thirty six orphans in a controlled environment void of any of the "evil" influences of the modern world. The question is, will children saturated in an environment of beauty, truth, and love shun the evil impulses within each of us as a result of our fallen natures through original sin? And if so, once released at the threshold of adulthood, would these young men and women have the interior strength and grace-filled spirits to transform the world? In "Showdown", we see how a town called Paradise is impacted by the seemingly unrelated battle going on within this secluded project of innocent children (called "Project Showdown") who have now reached adolescence. The analogy of how the war in heaven impacts our lives on earth is excellent, and by weaving in elements (and even a character) from his Circle Trilogy, Dekker certainly will keep his fan-base happy. The question of whether truth (including sound reason/philosophy) necessarily leads to love is pondered throughout the story, and the more worldly arguments against are given room to play out as they do in our contemporary society today. There is a good message here; a person well-formed in Faith and morals is without question given a solid foundation to embark on a journey towards God. But unless that formation is imbued with love-not as the world defines it (laden with sentiment and emotion), but a self-sacrificing crucified love-all the "truth" in the universe, whether temporal or eternal, will not suffice. Dekker has quite a gift for presenting "adrenaline-laced" thrillers which are modern day analogies of humanity's Salvation History. His stories are very creative and exciting (at times, I found I could not read quickly enough in the midst of intense scenes), yet what impresses me more is that Dekker is able to avoid the "predictability" of the plot; a reality common to Christian analogical stories. As well, Dekker avoids the over-sanitization of evil which often is found-understandably-in novels delineated as "Christian". It is the difficult challenge of a good Christian writer to portray the reality of evil in a manner which neither glorifies it nor uses it as a simplistic device to shock the reader; I feel Dekker navigates this tightrope well. (That being said, I would not recommend this book for kids under 16, and even then, would use discretion based on the maturity/impressionability of the youth -- evil is not as "comic-bookish" here as in the Circle Trilogy). If I could offer one area of criticism (then seemingly contradict myself) it would be in relation to character development. Though I would not describe the characters in "Showdown" as one-dimensional, I do feel that, after completing the story, I only got to know them on a superficial level. That being said, this very well may have been a choice by the author; plunging into the inner-depths of a character generally slows a story down. As well, I think "Showdown", and perhaps all of Dekker's novels, are more about the story-the analogy-than the specific characters. One final note: though the author claims you can read the "Paradise" novels in any order, I would suggest this one first (it is the earliest in t
Ferris_Bueller-is-my-hero More than 1 year ago
This is a surprising thriller that writes in a fast pace style which leads readers quickly to new developing storylines and plots. Very entertaining and a great read for thriller lovers.
DominiqueVega More than 1 year ago
Although it was darker than I would have liked, I did enjoy this book. Dekker wrote very well!... There's a reason he's so highly acclaimed!!! This story itself had much intrigue and was very much a page turner. Since this is my first Dekker book, I'm not positive on how I feel about the whole series but I finished this one last night and bought Saint today. Knowing this isn't a girly story, I did miss the romance but was glad there were still parts that touched the heart!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first Ted Dekker book I've read, and I was disappointed after all the good things I had heard about this author and his works. The story seemed contrived to me. The concept was intriguing, in fact, if you are a writer, you may find the concept very intriguing. I'd like to see another author put a different spin on this concept I think it has a lot of potential. I know, vague review, but I just can't bring myself to give away the story. I will say this: I'll give Ted another chance sometime even though this disappointed me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the first book by Dekkar that I read. I hurried to get another, expecting another absorbing story. This one is just too weird for me. Not intriguing in my opinion. Could be, but no likable characters. I want to read imaginative authors that can write something besides drugs, sex, ugly language, etc., but this one is just too offbeat to be interesting. After the first several chapters, I just couldn't finish it. I am still trying to talk myself into giving it another chance, but I don't look forward to forcing myself to read it!
bbnetman More than 1 year ago
Something about the cover gave me high hopes for this book. I bought this in hardback at the same time I bought "Comes A Horseman" (by Robert Liparulo and great book). I tried to get into Showdown, I tried really hard. It just was not meant to be. The book is boring and lacks any kind of feeling that you get when you are reading a good novel. The main villain is ok at first but eventual you are sitting there wishing he would just conquer all and end the story already. The children and the plot are just ridiculous. Oh, did I mention the slime? yeah, it has slime in it. I give myself credit for finishing it but at the same time it hurts to think I did and what a waste of time. but it happens. Some people that have reviewed this book actually liked it. A matter of taste. A taste for slime.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first book by Ted Dekker I've ever read. I thought it was pretty good myself. It took me a while to fully grasp what his concept was. Over all I think this was a great book and I recommend it to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have several questions concerning the plot twists. If a mind altering substance is used, then can a experiment of good and evil be legitimate? Or, is evil, the mind altering substance?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
brakeboy More than 1 year ago
Awesome Story! I like the characters and the plot. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the book entertaining but pretty slow at a couple spots. I stuck it out and wasn't disappointed. The follow up books get better (Saint then Sinner).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
if your going to read this also read the lost books....yes all 6. oh and black,red,and white and then you will get the whole story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my fav dekker books. Not for faint of heart. Would be R if movie for violence. Marsuvees Black rips out a guys EYEBALLS in beginning. Very good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Showdown is the best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this a joke? Unbelievable. I paid waaaay too much for this pos. Forget the star i was forced to post
GrandmajoTX More than 1 year ago
I could not finish it. It was too scary and traffic for me, but I'm old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marsuvees black is scary.
Jenny_Rose More than 1 year ago
The laid back town of Paradise, Colorado seemed stuck in a rut. A monastery hidden deep in a canyon seemed isolated from the outside. Yet Dekker entwines these two in a story that straddles reality and fantasy. Something happened in Paradise years ago that was swept under the carpet. In doing so the heart of soul of the townspeople began to grow cold and hard—and Father Yordon the preacher is in the middle of it. David Abraham is the head of the monastery, a project to see if the innocence of children could be cultivated and encouraged in a pure and loving environment. This story borders on allegory as many scenes bring to mind Biblical events or scenarios: choices, sacrifice, worms and characters. As a thriller, however, it is not for the faint of heart. More than once I was tempted to quit as certain scenes were described in such graphic detail. But there was a twist halfway through that had me hanging on for dear life.
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Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Along a dusty road, walks a stranger dressed in black. He's wearing a cowboy hat pulled down low over his eyes and aside from hearing his crunching of his boots on the gravel street, there isn't much else going on outside the town of Paradise. Sitting on the only bench outside of the town's drinking establishment, Cecil Marshall watches the stranger walk into town. The only other person sitting with him on that unseasonably hot summer day is a Johnny Drake. "Looks lost." Johnny says to Cecil, who merely nods his head towards Johnny. He can't speak since he's a mute some eighty-one years ago. He and Johnny alone are the only ones watching the man in black walk into town. Yet there is something there that tells them today is about to change in the lives of those living in Paradise, for better or worse remains unknown but Johnny and Cecil believe it to be worse. Is all hell about to break lose in Paradise? I received the novel Showdown by Ted Dekker, one of my all time favorite authors from my husband Steve for my birthday and honestly couldn't wait to find time to enjoy and savor the flavor of this book. Within the first chapter, you suddenly realize that once more Ted Dekker has masterfully captured the very essence of evil as it strolls into Paradise and with every page that turns after that brings you closer to what lies in store for the citizens of Paradise. Hands down another award winning book by Ted Dekker. This one rates 5 out of 5 stars with a word of caution. Read it with the lights on!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago