Thomas Hunter is dead. Very, very dead. Every bit as dead as he was when we last viewed his body in RED, the second volume in Ted Dekker's trilogy, "The Circle." Now, in WHITE, the final title in the series, the fate of the world hinges in large part on the corpse that has lain for three days in a sealed room in a basement in France, compliments of a decidedly bad guy named Carlos who is intent on destroying the nation of Israel. Unless that corpse comes to life and manages to somehow get to the United States --- in a matter of hours, no less --- it's pretty much the end of the world as we know it.
In the previous books, the living Hunter dreamed his way from the world we know to another fantastic world, a world of the future in which his role is as vital as it is in this world. With his death here, he remains in that alternate reality, one that readers have come to know and love. There, Hunter is very much alive despite the best efforts of an enemy force known as the Scabs to change that situation. But his mission is not confined to stopping the war that is annihilating the population in that reality; he is still aware that he holds the key to stopping a virus that is threatening to kill off the population of the world we know, minus a select few survivors.
In order to stop the virus, though, Thomas has to return to our world and come back to life. As all that is getting sorted out, a two-pronged love story is unfolding in the alternate reality --- a romantic love story as complex and dramatic as any, and the spiritual love story between Elyon and Justin and their followers.
Blood figures prominently in the two realities, as does the transfer of blood between the two worlds. Also proving transferable is the all-important Book "The Story of History" that could change the history of our world. But unlike the other three transferable elements --- knowledge, skill and blood --- the Book falls into the wrong hands, thwarting Hunter's heroic attempt to save the world. Dekker handles all this, along with every other twist and turn in the plot, with an even greater skill than he displayed in the previous two books in the series (the first being BLACK). And that's saying a lot.
The stories of both realities find their culmination in an ending as satisfying as it is stunning. Maybe other readers will see it coming, but I did not. The resolution was completely unexpected, and yet it's the kind of ending to which you say, "Yes --- that's exactly how it should end."
The series is a cross-genre work, one that should appeal equally to readers of suspense, sci-fi and fantasy, whether Christians or not. There's no question that WHITE is the strongest of the three books and that the trilogy as a whole is a remarkable achievement on the part of the author. If Dekker's fans were loyal before --- and they were --- his accomplishment with The Circle series should further cement their bond to him.
Reviewed by Marcia Ford on November 13, 2011