Action Meets Theology: a Review of the 49th Mystic


It takes amazing talent to mix life-changing theology with page-turning action. That’s the kind of talent that Ted Dekker brings to the page in the first Beyond the Circle book – The 49th Mystic.

Set later in time than the Circle Series, The 49th Mystic follows Rachelle Matthews, a girl born blind in the isolated, highly religious town of Eden, Utah. Her eyes are opened in more ways than one when she is thrust into the middle of a battle for survival for both her world, and the world of the Circle.

I will admit that it took me a long time to really get started in this book. I was given a hard cover copy of it for my birthday (at my request). Most of my reading is done by audiobook as I drive for work. As this was a hardcover and I was very busy, it went by the wayside. I read a couple chapters here and there but, for the most part, it sat on the lower shelf of an end table in our family room.

Lately, I have had a little more time to read. Yes, I put aside writing blogs so I could read it. It didn’t take long before I was hooked and I found myself searching for those spare moments to read. In fact, I had to force myself to stop reading the second book for long enough to write this.

One thing I strive for in my writing is to be open about my faith without being preachy. Dekker has a unique way of doing this. In between the struggles and action, Rachelle hears of a way of believing that turns her world upside down. Dekker challenges both the religious and secular thinkers to open their minds to new ideas. The ideas can get a little deep at times but they integrate beautifully with the action to form the kind of genius plot line we expect from Ted Dekker.

It helps to have read the Circle series, the Lost Books, and Dekker’s other related novels, but the 49th Mystic will stand on its own. Brief descriptions are provided for the Albinos, the Horde, Roush, etc., but you may find yourself wanting to know more about them.

The finale of the book brought some parts of the story line to a dramatic and shocking close. Other parts are left so dangerously hanging that I had to immediately acquire the Kindle edition of The Rise of the Mystics.

Bottom line is, I highly recommend The 49th Mystic. It will both entertain and inspire. Like me, you may have to push through the first few chapters as the pieces of the story fall into place. Once you start to see it, the world of The 49th Mystic will grab you and not let you go until you reach its end.

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