In how many ways can someone’s whole life be a lie? Sixteen-year-old Rachelle Matthews is about to find out. Blind since childhood and confined to a remote survivalist community, she’s haunted by nightmares of a shadowy villain infiltrating her home. Then one day he shows up in the waking world to plunge her into a fantastical parallel reality where she’s a prophesied Mystic with the power to change history. But to stop Shadow Man from blinding both worlds, she must unlearn everything society has taught her. In The 49th Mystic, Ted Dekker overhauls Other Earth with an adventure that’s part The Village, part Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Fans of Dekker’s Circle Series will enjoy the new episode’s bewilderingly breathless twists and turns, though perhaps not some questionable themes (see below).
Best for: Young adults and adults willing to wade through polemical mysticism to access mind-bending thrills.
Discern: Soft-gnostic themes and even heterodox preaching, not just shown subtly in the story but blatantly told in an introductory author’s note and concluding detailed Scripture interpretation; plus frequent attacks on portrayals of organized religion, and a Holy Spirit–like figure prefers feminine pronouns; as well as bloody violence, terror and torture, non-graphic nudity, and brief sensuality.