The final volume in the Paradise series trilogy is called Sinner and represents for me, the final chapter in Ted Dekker's Books of History Chronicles. This suite of novels includes the Circle series, the Paradise series, the Lost Books series, and several lone titles like House, Skin, and Immanuel's Veins. It has been quite a ride and I have very much enjoyed the story lines and the characters that have been a part of this grand undertaking.
In Sinner, the story focuses on the three surviving students from Project Showdown, Billy, Darcy, and Johnny. All are in their mid-twenties and as a result of writing in the books of history, they have developed supernatural powers. Johnny, as we learned in Saint, had a sort of telekinetic talent that ultimately transformed into heightened vision. Billy could read people's minds. Darcy had great power with her voice to affect the actions of people around her.
The backdrop of the story is a time where tolerance became the big push for humanity. In an effort to control a rising tide of hate speech, which was resulting in lynchings across the country, Billy and Darcy helped to change the constitution to curb freedom of speech. However, this change also severely curbed religious freedom. It made speaking the gospel a federal offense. Preaching Christianity became a form of hate speech. However, behind this movement to dim the light and promote darkness lay the true antagonist of this series, Marsuvees Black, who Billy had originally created when he was a young boy by writing in the books of history. Black is the very personification of evil. The final battle between light and dark all comes back to the small town of Paradise, Colorado.
This story is the most contrived of the trilogy. It too often seemed to drift, with major themes touched on, but never really fully developed or brought to satisfactory conclusion. The biggest issue is the ending. After the dust from the final showdown settled, the "heroes" had seemingly achieved nothing and decided to accept being silenced and to look out for themselves. From a certain perspective, the forces of darkness seemed to have won a great victory.
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