Chosen by Ted Dekker
Chosen is a fantasy book by Ted Dekker. It is the first book in the Lost Books series.
Johnis, a forest dweller of 16, is thrown into a war when he accidentally signs up for the Forest Guard, an elite group of 10,000 forest dwellers, determined to put a halt to the ever advancing Horde. An army of diseased forest dwellers, the Horde have it set in their minds that the world belongs to them and this could become reality, as they outnumber the Guard by thousands. The leader of the Guard, Thomas Hunter, is forced to lower the age of new recruits to give them a sliver of hope to force the Horde back. Johnis is sent on a small errand with a few of his fellow new recruits as a test. After finding their goal impossible, they are ambushed by scouts but are saved by the most unexpected of creatures, couple of roush named Gabil and Michal. Johnis and his team are redirected to a different quest, one of much greater importance. They are to find the seven lost Books of History. One is given to them by the roush but the others are scattered throughout the land.
With the others still in doubt, Johnis heads off into the desert to begin his search for the six other books, and with that, relief from the Horde.
In this book, Johnis represents the weedy, impulsive and naïve kid that no one really listens to but eventually turns out to be correct. Billos and Darsal, two of the other new recruits, give Johnis a lot of abuse because they’re older and apparently know better but Johnis realizes he’s right and carries on normally, disregarding their abuse.
Thomas Hunter is also well portrayed, having some immediate power but not in the complete scheme of things as he is unaware of the quest for the books.
This book leaves you hanging after each chapter, bringing out good and bad in each character, exploring the thoughts of each one (with a spot of romance thrown into the mix as well!).
I really enjoyed Chosen and I think that many more people would as well.
After narrowly escaping with their lives, the four new recruits have secured two of the lost books of history and have brought them back to the forests. But this is just the beginning. Five books still remain hidden and only the seven books united can drive the evil Horde away from the forests. Johnis is champing at the bit to find the others but is confronted with a new issue. A ring has been found in the desert, the same ring that Johnis’s mother was wearing when she had been taken by the Horde. Determined to figure out the truth, Johnis is torn between his mother and the five other books left to be found. Abandoning common sense he rushes out into the desert, desperately hoping that he can find his mother.
Unbeknownst to Johnis however, this has all been planned by the Horde and Johnis is walking straight into a trap.
I must say that I probably enjoyed this book more than the first one. This carries on well from the first and presents the new issue of Johnis’s mother. When Johnis hears about the ring, he basically pops his clogs and is utterly determined on his goal. Silvie tries to reason with him but in vain and goes along with him anyway. This book captures the intense emotions running through each characters mind, Silvie’s love for Johnis, Johnis’s desperation and Thomas’s disbelief.
I also liked the addition of a Horde city. This aspect helped me to understand them as a bit more civilized and realistic. I basically thought they just lived in the desert and fought wars.
The only thing I don’t understand is the fact that the recruits have only found two of the books and there are only two more sequels after Infidel. I don’t know how they’re going to fit it all in. I’m sure Ted will resolve it and everything will fall into place but I guess I just like a sort of procedure throughout each book.
Guest reviewer: my teen nephew, Tim