In his novel Black, Ted Dekker introduced us to Thomas Hunter and his co-existence in two different worlds. As Black ended, both were in trouble. A virus had infected present day Earth and would kill all of humanity within a matter of weeks. The one person who could help to develop the saving antivirus, Monique de Raison, has been kidnapped. In other Earth, Teeleh and his evil minions have gained control of the forest of light. Thomas senses that the key to save present day Earth lies in his dream world, where he will stay until he can find some answers. Now, onto the second novel in this series, Red.
Thomas has lived for 15 years in his dream world. He not only managed to escape Teeleh's forces, but he led the chosen remnant of humanity to a new life in a new forest region of the creator Elyon. Here the people cleanse themselves daily in Elyon's lake. Thomas has married Rachelle and has become the leader of the forest guard, defenders of the people against the Horde, a separate remnant of the original forest people whose minds are controlled by Teeleh. They live in the desert surrounding the forest and constantly war against Thomas' people. Because they don't have access to Elyon's water, they live with the debilitating skin disease of the fallen world.
A new character emerges in the form of Justin, once a member of the forest guard. When he starts to preach a new way, embracing a peace between the Horde and the forest people, a plot is hatched to betray him. He is brutally beaten and drowned in Elyon's lake, turning its cleansing waters blood red. Yet this isn't the end, as Justin is really Elyon. His sacrificial death is the first step in cleansing all people permanently, if they just accept his way. Justin's triumphant return to Thomas and his small faithful band just a few days later is a wonderfully moving scene.
Meanwhile, present day Earth remains in grave peril. Although Thomas has lived in the other Earth for 15 years, only a few hours have passed back in his own world. When Rachelle tells Thomas of a strong connection with Monique, Thomas knows he must go back to rescue her, which he does, but pays with his life. Monique now must devote her full energy to develop the antivirus to save the world, but time has nearly run out. Now onto the next novel in the series, White.