Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Bride Collector

I have to confess, I've been done with this book for quite a while. In fact, I've got five more items to be reviewed soon, with a sixth close on their heels. So whenever I get the chance, I'm going to be writing reviews. Today we have Ted Dekker's latest, The Bride Collector.

One of the reasons I waited so long to review this one is because, since I've read it, I've had the chance to actually see Ted Dekker in person. He was a really nice guy, very humble and appreciative of his readers, and even gave away a copy of Immanuel's Veins, his next book, away in an advance form. Lucky winner there. He also did one of the best jobs of describing the book that I can come up with, so I'll give you the gist of what he said.

"The Bride Collector is a love story at its heart. I know, I know, yes, it's about a serial killer who's looking for the bride of Christ and draining the blood of all those he finds unworthy, but really, it's a love story." He gave a friendly grin. "Paradise, in this book, is one of my favorite characters, and I have to admit I fell in love with her as I wrote the book. She's a delicate girl, and she has some demons plaguing her life, but she's really a beautiful person."

He went on to talk about the collaborative creative process between the writer and the reader, but it was this section that was most important to the review at hand. The Bride Collector is, like Dekker, like Paradise, a unique gem, and it really is both a love story and a thriller rolled into one. The best part is that it is both to a very high degree, making this one of Dekkers very best books.

The real reason it stands head and shoulders above the competition is the characters. Over little more than 400 pages, Dekker creates a world full of characters who are extremely well fleshed-out and memorable, from Roudy to Paradise to the sinister Quinton Gauld. Dekker's approach to writing in the novel is similar to that of Joe Abercrombie, changing the style of writing and the tone to fit the character whose POV he's using. This really gives Bride Collector something special, a strong look into quite a few unstable minds.

With beauty and terror bundled together in a neat little hardcover, The Bride Collector is one of the best books of the year so far. Well done, Dekker, and keep it up.

My rating: Do you have to ask? 10/10.

Coming Soon: LOST: Season 4, The Warded Man, Charlie Bone and the Red Knight, and the Classic of the Month (which is about as recent as one of these reviews will go).


logankstewart said...

Gah! When I all but give up on Dekker, you go and review something like that. I tried to like Green, I really did, but it just didn't work for me at all. And the Lost Books of History were way too weak for me as well. Maybe I should try this and Boneman's Daughter (is that it?) for my next Dekker fix.

The Writer said...

Yeah, this and BoneMan's Daughters are quite a bit different from the Lost Books and Green. These are much more down to earth, and in my opinion are better.

There's some dark stuff in these books, but it's handled extremely well, and it makes for some good story stuff.

One question: did you read any of the other Circle Books (Black, Red, White) or Paradise novels (Showdown, Saint, Sinner) before Green?