In his novel Black, author Ted Dekker has created not one, but two distinct worlds. Two diametrically opposed realities. One world is the here and now. The other is a distant future earthly kingdom. These worlds are connected by one man, Thomas Hunter. The portal to each is entered when Thomas falls asleep. While asleep in one world, he exists in the other and vice versa. But it is not initially clear which, if either, is a dream. Is he losing his mind?
The story begins with Thomas and his sister Kara in Denver. These siblings were raised in the Phillipines, the children of a military chaplain. They ultimately relocated to the United States after their father betrayed them. They were finally starting to make a life for themselves, returning to normalcy, when some heavies, perhaps from Thomas' past, catch up with him and try to take him out. A bullet wound to the head and they believe they have done their job. While Thomas is passed out, he awakens in a world of innocence and light and love. A village filled with a new humanity, whose purpose is to worship their creator, Elyon. Separated from this eden, across a river, lies the black forest. A hell on Earth, filled with evil, flesh-eating bats, and their leader Teeleh. In his time here, Thomas learns the distressing fate of humanity. Done in by the release of a deadly virus by a meglomanical madman, bent on world domination. Thomas may be the key to stopping this fate, but we learn that he may also be the one responsible for it in the first place.
When Thomas gets back to the present he learns that this virus, developed from a mutated air-borne vaccine, is more than just a bad dream. As he tries to convince those around him of what he discovered in his dreams, nobody believes him. Just another crazy. When backed into a corner, he takes matters into his own hands and kidnaps the chief virologist of Raison Pharmaceuticals, the company that had developed the vaccine. Eventually as Thomas' predictions of the future continue to come true, he is finally taken seriously. But it's too late, the virus has been released and everyone on the planet will be infected within a week. Within three weeks, everyone will be dead. At the same time, Teeleh has duped the leader of the village into giving him and his horde access to overtake the forests of light. Likely, this too has occurred due to Thomas' influence and presence. Both worlds are under full attack and in danger of falling; all hope seems lost. Everything is painted an inky black.
Now, onto the next book in Dekker's Circle series, Red.