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on May 9, 2008
This story begins in the middle! Actually in the middle of the trilogy, during a period when Thomas Hunter eats the fruit so that he doesn't dream. This series introduces a brand new cast of characters to Ted Dekker's trilogy with Darsal, Billos, Johnis and Silvie, four teenagers assigned the task of finding the lost books of history by the Roush.

Love, the great romance, and loyalty underscore the startling, twisting developments of the plot. Its quick pace and incredible intricacies make this a page turner. Completely riveted, I read them all in rapid fire succession!
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on July 14, 2014
This was my first (but not last) Ted Dekker novel. I really enjoyed this book. Unique world and characters were well developed. Nice pace and action in the plot. Writing style was very easy to read. I will likely continue with the other books in this series and explore other books by this author.
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on January 28, 2009
Johnis' world has been all but destroyed by a terrible plague that turned the land to desert and most of the people into the disease-ravaged Horde. Only the seven forests surrounding the seven lakes protect the Forest Dwellers from the same fate. Because of the Horde's constant attacks on the forests, the leader of the Forest Dwellers, Thomas Hunter, has been forced to lower the recruitment age for the Forest Guard to 16.

Johnis wasn't chosen to be one of the thousand new recruits to the Forest Guard -- too small for his age -- but by a twist of fate, he is chosen to lead them. When he and three other leaders set out on their final test to prove their characters, their mission takes an unexpected, but preordained turn, and Johnis discovers that his fate may already have been decided.

Parts of this book were very intriguing. I liked the world and its rules about the lake water being necessary to stave off infection from the terrible skin disease. I liked a lot of the foreshadowing. I particularly loved the little glimpses Dekker gives that this world is somehow tied to our own world, as in the following passage of a dream Johnis has:

'This wasn't the threatening man-beast, nor Horde, but Johnis couldn't breathe anyway. Something was very wrong. The man wore a shirt made from thin fabric with writing across the [...], and fitted blue pants. Leather boots -- but not the dress of a warrior.

More than his dress, the man's demeanor was out of place. Rather than walking like a skeleton in the desert, this man looked healthy. As if he'd had all the water he needed.

[...]

The man motioned to the dune behind him to the right. "There's a killer forcing us to play a game. I need you to help me find the cops. Tell them to get to the library. It's all about the library, tell them."

"Cop?" Johnis had never heard the word.'

The story insinuates that the leader of the Forest Dwellers, Thomas Hunter, is also from our world, but much to my disappointment, that story line never goes anywhere. Turns out, this is part of a much larger series, which I didn't realize until I got to the very end and saw the advertisements. The ads in the back of the book claim that you can read this series without reading the other, but it explained a lot about my biggest problems with the book: the way Dekker glosses over some of the finer details about his world (probably because he's already explained them dozens of times in his other books), the somewhat thin characterization of his protagonists.

In fact, the thing I felt while reading it was that it felt a little like fan fiction: someone was adding a new story to an already established canon, but if you weren't already part of the fandom, you would be a little lost.

I also found out after reading "Chosen" that the companion series is considered Christian fiction, but I can say right up front that other than some pretty blatant good/evil black/white imagery, I didn't see much allegory in this one in particular.

I wouldn't say you have to read the other series before picking up "Chosen," because I haven't read them myself, but I would venture it might make the book a little more nuanced. On it's own, it's a tad flat; a fun adventure quest story without much meat.

Fans of fantasy and quest novels age 12+ will enjoy this. (Some violence, but nothing very graphic or objectionable.)

Read all my reviews at thespiralnotebook.com
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on December 27, 2007
Can four teenagers really save humanity if they throw everything to the wind to follow their hearts?

Johnis believes so. And so does Thomas Hunter, supreme commander of the Forest Guard.

It's been thirteen years since the Colored Forests gave way to desert. Elyon's followers now live in seven scattered forests, each forest containing a lake of life-giving water which the forest dwellers depend on to fight off the dreaded skin disease of the Horde.

But the skin disease isn't the only danger Elyon's chosen people face.

The Horde army is now 400,000 strong. Word has reached Thomas Hunter that the Horde plans to attack from the east in four days time. With only 20,000 eligible Forest Guard fighters left, Thomas is forced to lower the recruiting age from eighteen to sixteen in order to boost the Guard's ranks.

Of the new recruits, four are hand picked by Thomas to become squad leaders. Before Johnis, Darsal, Billos, and Silvie can receive their commission, they must undertake one final test. Thomas sends them on a mission that takes them to the edge of the desert on the west side of the forest, but it soon becomes clear to Johnis that the west is not as safe from the Horde as Thomas thought.

Johnis must make an agonizing choice when he unexpectedly meets with creatures long deemed as legend. Can he really turn his back on Thomas and the Forest Guard to follow his heart?

Can he convince Silvie, Darsal, and Billos to follow him deeper into the desert in search of the six missing Books of History while keeping their mission a secret from everyone, including Thomas?

The answer to these questions can be found in the pages of Chosen, book #1 of Ted Dekker's new Circle Series.

Building on his successful Circle Trilogy, Dekker reintroduces readers to the world they came to love in Black, Red, and White. The battle between good and evil continues as Elyon's chosen are pitted against the Horde and the Shakaiki once again. The lovable Roush, who remain committed to helping and guiding the forest dwellers, also reappear.

Although the Circle Series will be marketed as Young Adult novels, older readers need not worry. Dekker is in his element with this new tale. His talent for creating memorable characters and alternate realities merge to make Chosen a book that will appeal to all ages.

The main characters in this series may be teenagers, but their struggles are timeless and universal. Forest life has forced them to enter adulthood earlier than today's society. Not only is sixteen marriageable age, but now they are required to protect their villages in combat. Their decisions will shape their future, and that of all humanity. Their story explores themes which include following your heart, the search for truth, and yes, the enduring battle between good and evil.

Already acquainted with Dekker's alternate reality? Your mission is to journey forward from the Circle Trilogy and embrace the continuing battle unfolding against the Dark One.

Unfamiliar with Roush and Shakaiki? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pick up copy of Chosen and enter a reality that, under the skin, is much like ours.

And remember . . . think with your heart.
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on March 3, 2008
I have never read anything by Ted Dekker before. When I stumbled across this book, I didn't expect much other than a quick story. What I got in the end was quite an adventure! This book begins with energy and adventure and it follows through all the way to the end.

"Chosen," written by Ted Dekker, is the first installment in the Lost Book series. Commander Thomas Hunter recruits Johnis, Silvie, Darsal, and Billos as the new leaders of the Forest Guard. Their final mission is to collect four catalina cacti; however, they are attacked and Johnis is divided from the team. While looking for an escape, Johnis encounters the legendary Roush. In speaking with the Roush, Johnis and the other members are then recruited to fulfill a new task. They must find the missing Books of History. The Roush explain that Johnis is the chosen one to lead the expedition to find the books. Throughout the story, Johnis knows two things for certain: (1) he will die, and (2) when his time comes to die, he will not care. With that said, Johnis leads the others with his heart throughout the entire story.

This story is courageous, adventurous, lively, and stupendous. I didn't believe I would be so awed by this 288 page book, but here I am writing about how wonderful it is! I highly recommend this book to teens and adults! Ted Dekker brings a whole new meaning to following and leading "with your heart."
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on July 8, 2013
This is a great companion series to the incredible Black, Red, White trilogy by Dekker, but also ties in to the Showdown, Sinner, Saint set as well as other books. Incredible breadth of storytelling across the board, and each book in any of these series contributes something and holds its own. Amazing
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on April 25, 2010
Yesterday, Chosen was given to me, and I started reading it today. Five chapters in, and I realized that real life around me needed my attention. Chosen, as part one of the Lost Books quartet set in the midst of The Books of History Chronicles, is very easy to get into, and the characters are fresh and interesting, their dilemmas compelling, and the world they live in very rich with history and conflict.

As a YA novel, I am recommending it to my fifth grade daughter for some fun reading,and I hope to be able to discuss some of the Biblical themes present in the story. For starters, there is the theme of being "chosen" for a specific task and destiny, shaped uniquely to fulfill that destiny, and choosing to embrace that destiny. I believe we are all uniquely fitted by God for his glorious work, right where we are, with the skills he's given us, and the path that he sets in front of us. The path, and the tasks, may not seem glorious to us, but God has a plan for each of us.

If you are looking for a fun, and yet meaningful read, I highly recommend Chosen.
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on April 10, 2011
Below is an excerpt of my full review of The Lost Books Series:

I read all six books in just over a week's time as it continued to suck me in just as The Circle Series had. There were times that it was a challenge to put the book down. I even lost sleep reading this books late into the night. Much like The Circle Series, these book built off the previous one and the story become more engrossing as it progressed further. The connections between Green and this series are finally made clear. Where Ba'al (Billos) came from, how he knew so much about the Books of History, what he was talking about when he described going into another world, what became of the book Thomas Hunter brought with him in White, and how Billy could have gotten his hands on one of the Books of History that gave him telepathic powers. I am sure that there were other connections as well, but I do not recall all of them. In the end, only one chosen youth did not finish the quest while the other three were able to gather all seven books in the past (our not so distant future of 2033). Very enjoyable and satisfactory.

If you enjoyed the Circle Series, this series is a great addition to a fantasy world that delivered a great story. Unless you really feel inclined, I strongly suggest skipping books five and six. The quality is sub-par and you can almost see where Ted Dekker's influence stops and Kaci Hill's begins. The series, as a whole, suffers because of Lunatic and Elyon. Separate, however, the first four books are superb. The last two books They were close to awful and should be purged from Ted Dekker fantasy lore.
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on December 13, 2015
This book is jam packed with adventure, hardship, hard choices, and the ultimate battle of good verses evil. This book follows the adventure of Johnis, Billows,Silvie ,and Dorsal who must defend the world from the ultimate "myth" of Teleech. I believe that the climax of the story is when Johnis is visited by a man in the desert who tells him to go into the dunes to find water, and when he does, along with his friends they find that the Lake of Elyon (God) is in the "town" of Summerville and they find the 7 books of history. Then once they get out of the desert they find the stadium where they find Teleech, the Horde (evil black bats), and the Shataki warriors. But then they are combated by the Roush (good white bats) they attack Teleech. In the end the 4 friends and the Roush prevail. I believe personally that Ted Dekker did amazing job with this book and i hope he continues this series even further than he already has.
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on August 5, 2014
This was absolutely 'can't put it down' reading. I'm getting straight into 'Infidel'. I recommend this book to anybody who loves a mystery thriller with a biblically spiritual message behind it. Exciting reading ahead.
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