Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Burn by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy, is the story of Janeal Mikkado, the 17 year old daughter of the leader of a band of western gypsies. As the story begins, Janeal is disillusioned with her life within the kumpania, mainly because as a "half-breed" (her mother was not a gypsy), she has never gained acceptance and is treated with open disdain. Growing up she has become more and more inward focused, ever planning for the day when she can leave this life behind. Even her boyfriend Robert and her friend Katie are just a means to this end.

One night as Janeel is seeking some solitude out on the mesa, she is approached by Sanso Salazaar, a ruthless drug dealer and counterfeiter. Janeel's father has 1 million dollars of his bogus money that he is desperate to get back to keep the DEA from coming down on him. Janeel's father had some shady dealings with Salazaar and he is about to lead the DEA in to bring this kingpin down. Salazaar seeks to enlist Janeel's help in recovering his money, and if she does as she is told, the plan to kill her father will be called off and she will be rewarded financially. Janeel is drawn to Sanso because he represents power and adventure. Perhaps more importantly, Janeel sees his money as her means to finally escape her tribe and begin her life on the outside. However, things don't work out as Janeel tries to con the con man. It results in the torching of the gypsy settlement and most of their tribe being slaughtered. Janeel, however, makes her escape with the counterfeit money, but the cost is that her friend Katie dies in the fire. The tragedy is that Janeel waited too long debating whether she should help Katie or save herself.

Nearly 15 years later, Janeel has become quite successful as a New York magazine executive. She has done whatever she needed to do through the years to survive and thrive, and to protect herself without a thought to helping others. Robert, who survived the fire, has become a DEA agent who has dedicated his life to bring Salazaar to justice. Also, we meet Katie, who, it seems, has somehow survived after all. Dear, sweet Katie, who was blinded and deeply scarred by the events, but has dedicated her life to helping women in a half-way house. Yet there is more to both Janeel and Katie than meets the eye, as Robert finds out. Not a bad effort here, but Dekker leans too much on using his "unexpected twist" gimmick when there are other ways that could have led to tighter more relatable storyline.

There are two chambers in every heart, one for Judas and one for John.