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Showdown (Paradise #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  11,103 Ratings  ·  455 Reviews
Welcome to Paradise. When a stranger named Marsuvees Black appears in Paradise, he brings with him a message of hope and love. Or is it death and hate? Perhaps neither–perhaps both. He seems to know too much about the town’s many unspoken secrets, and he himself holds the greatest secret of them all. As black clouds and sandstorms envelop the town, it becomes almost imposs ...more
Audio CD, Abridged
Published September 1st 2010 by Oasis Audio (first published January 15th 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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"The sound of boots crunching into gravel carried across the blacktop while the man who wore them was still a shimmering black figure approaching the sign that read Welcome to Paradise, Colorado. Population 450.

The opening sentence of the first chapter is incredibly vivid and concise. It's all too easy to lose yourself in Ted Dekker's fictional town, and the multiple senses further cement your locale.
And two pages prior, courtesy of a telling and intriguing prologue, I was officially introdu
Aug 04, 2007 Mel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: suspense, supernatural fans
Shelves: christianfiction
If there were ever the opportunity to recreate original sin, this may be how it would turn out.

Showdown starts out enigmatic, and continues to keep you guessing through to the end. There were times I had to walk away,thinking "how can things get any worse!", but was always drawn back to find out what happened next.

Read the Circle Trilogy first. Thomas Hunter comes into this story line and you will appreciate the background.

Ted has given us a fantastic story where many what-ifs of mankind and ch
May 27, 2009 Courtney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For my English final I chose to read this novel. This was the first novel I ever read by Ted and when I started reading it, I was completely confused. However, my friend who I borrowed the book from told me to keep reading and that I would soon start to love it. I am very glad I listened to him. It took me less than a week to read the book and I can honestly say it is one of the best books I have ever read. The way Ted composed the story, the flipping back and forth between the Monastery and Par ...more
Mar 10, 2011 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh boy...

I picked up this book because it was on someone's 'best Christian reads of..." list. I was sorely disappointed. Dekker is no different than many of the novelists of today. The book has all the marks of the hastily written, sloppily edited pulp that fills the racks of airport bookstores.

The back of the book jacket says that Dekker 'is known for novels that combine adrenaline-laced stories with unexpected plot twists, unforgettable characters, and incredible confrontations between good a
The first thing I would say about this author is that he is definitely different. This is the first Dekker book I've had the pleasure of reading and I really liked how he was able to combine horror with a religious spin in a tactful way without being preachy. I did get lost in just a couple of places trying to keep up with the personalities of the characters. However, this was a very good read for me and I especially liked the ending, although it was somewhat predictable. When I first started re ...more
Janie Johnson
WOW, this book was AMAZING to me. A very real & Classic battle of Good vs Evil. It had me, from pg 3, hook, line, and sinker. Dekker has a way with drawing his readers in. It's hard to escape the intensity that practically oozes out of the pages, and wow I got sucked in hard core. And the plot blew me away. I could not put the book down. This is Dekker at his best IMO!

In this story Dekker brings to his readers a small town setting with a low population, but with a high risk of evil. He made
Mindi Rosser
Feb 10, 2011 Mindi Rosser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Showdown - good vs. evil - another epic saga by Ted Dekker. One thing I love about Ted Dekker's book is that he pulls characters from various books of his. Somehow, they all seem to be connected to each other, though they are great stand-alone novels, as well.

Here is the synopsis from the book itself:

"It begins on a lazy summer day in a small, secluded mountain town named Paradise. But in Paradise, nothing is as it seems.

When a stranger named Marsuvees Black appears and announces he’s come to b
D.M. Kilgore
May 24, 2014 D.M. Kilgore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of spiritually, creepy, and deep tales. Writers.
Dekker. Deep. At times disturbing. Always stirring. Dekker centers this book around the significance of writing, which I loved. It has a sinister creepiness from the first page, and it doesn't let up as the suspense (and fear) builds. As with most of his works, I often feel like a fool trying to grasp the secrets of the universe while reading his intriguing thoughts and pondering the subtle and not so subtle knowledge his stories impart on the reader. It's always an interesting experience when I ...more
Mar 18, 2014 Ron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Failed the 100 page test. I can't believe it. Ted Dekker is the Stephen King of Christian fantasy writers. While I hadn't read his books before, I didn't think that I wouldn't be engaged. But I wasn't.

A hundred pages in and Dekker still hadn't set the hook. A freaky monk cons a over-simplified Colorado small town and a bunch of genius orphans talk about writing inside an experimental facility that sounded like mad scientists running mice through mazes, not Christians raising children.

I was reall
Joshua Spotts
Every major author writes a book on writing. Martin Eden was Jack London's book on writing. Showdown is Ted Dekker's.

Showdown follows Dekker's basic formula: Good vs. Evil with a surprising twist. It is the story of a small town ironically named Paradise and of a project in a secret monastery.
The project is intended to see if children, kept from the evil of the world, will naturally be able to make a decision toward good. As is common with Dekker's books, the children, led astray by one bad mo
Adam Bolander
Mar 27, 2013 Adam Bolander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are one of the people who believe that Christian fiction is boring, then let me start this review by saying that I used to be in the same boat. To me, Christian fiction was supposed to be a life lesson with meager attempts at action or suspense, usually giving it the same feeling as one of those old Bibleman movies. That all changed, though, when I read Showdown by Ted Dekker. Let’s just get this out of the way: Ted Dekker is my favorite author, and will most likely continue to be my favo ...more
Feb 13, 2013 Judith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I write about books I really like, I often write long reviews. When I really dislike a book I often write even more. That's because I want to explain the many reasons I disliked it. It seems a funny exercise, because I could just write "I hated it" and move on, but usually the reasons I dislike a book have to do with the assumptions the author makes about certain aspects of life, and I can't live with not saying something about them.

So it is with this book.

Imagine this: A group of children
Jun 07, 2012 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Byyyy the way there's a couple spoilers in here.

Honestly, this book puts me out a little. I don't mind a little blood and gore, but removing warts is considered a miracle? Come on! I'm only half way through, but I figured I'd post while it's still fresh on my mind. Besides the whole wart miracle, some of the plot is plain ridiculous. I find myself laughing aloud in what is supposed to be the most serious places. Dramatic horror scenes designed to revolt the audience as the character plods along
Jul 13, 2012 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the connections between the Paradise novels and the Circle trilogy cause me some confusion, I am very intrigued by the worlds that are portrayed in them and how they are connected to one another. As for Showdown in particular, I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I enjoy Ted Dekker because of his creativity and originality, and these qualities usually draw me into his books. But Showdown's originality and creativity came off as a little too odd for me in this particular novel. I ...more
Feb 13, 2014 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't even get halfway through this.
I don't mind flights of fancy but the scenes in this novel were just too implausible for me to suspend my disbelief and (try to) enjoy it. The characters behaved in ways that were impossible to understand. I kept saying to myself "What the...? No WAY would anyone do that/say that.... she left an eleven year old kid who's just seen his father figure drop dead in the street alone in the house over night so she can GO SHOPPING? Oh PLEASE.... He comes in and
Melissa Stanis
I read several Ted Dekker books within a month. I found several of the titles, including this one to be quite intriguing, but weak. The author drags the topic at hand on and on and on until suddenly there is a solution to the problem that comes out of left field with no explanation or follow through. Because these are considered Christian books, I expected more teaching from them and was hoping I'd be able to recommend them to friends who are struggling in their faith. Unfortunately, the books a ...more
Reseña en español completa

I love, love, love this book!
What else can I say?
The plot was great, the characters were incredible and the end was... simply amazing.
Now I understand so much better The Circle Series and I just can wait to read Saint and Sinner.
Aug 21, 2014 Jaime rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Why did evil always feel so good? Because evil was in fact a kind of love" - page 314

Outside the town of Paradise, CO, 666 blank books lie in a basement and 777 blank books lie in an attic of a monastery. Marsuvees Black, a former pastor/magic performer/ evildoer arrives in Paradise. Some believe he's the devil; others believe he's their salvation.
the truth lies in the books, the books that can only be unlocked/written in by the faith of a child - like the children in the monastery. Within the
Aug 10, 2009 Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, let me say that this is a very strange book. My little brother heard from a friend that it was about giant pink worms. He didn't believe it, but when he asked me if it was true I couldn't deny that it was indeed about giant, pink, slimy worms. It's much deeper than that though, and is about much more. This book is dripping with meaning in an almost CS Lewis-like fashion. It is very much a story of sin, sacrifice and faith. But beware that it is a little weird.
Great though.
Tabor Gilzinger
I'm going to start of by saying that I have read every book that is part of this, shall I call giant web of stories grouped together. I have read all the lost books, the entire circle, trilogy, all the paradise novels, and just about every other book by Ted Dekker. I read all of his books because I think he is a deep captivating author with some interesting thoughts in his head, which he portrays in an amazing way in this book, this chronicle, this web. I would suggest him to anyone.
Broken  Bookshelf
What I love about Ted Dekker is he isn't afraid to be weird and messed up. And that allows him to be so creative. I've read this book at least 3 times and I'm always absolutely enthralled by the ride he takes us through. From a Christian stand point the allegory about what exactly Christ died for really is incredible. He was able to create an entirely different story that made sense, but in every aspect is able to awaken you to something more important.

This rating is solely based on my enjoymen
Dec 24, 2015 Stanley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Summer Seeds
What did I just read?
Jun 30, 2008 Dena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting to read this one after finishing his first Circle series- Black, Red and White- and his latest 4 book Circle series- Chosen, Infidel, Renegade and Chaos. I am definitely going to have to re-read ALL of his books once I finish this set- Showdown, Saint and Sinner!! There are so many subtle(and some not so subtle) ideas that are shared between all the books in the Circle series. Brilliant mind this Ted Dekker has!!
Jun 06, 2016 Gabrielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow!! This is definitely a Ted Dekker book! All the good versus evil, with many twists and turns that you're hardly ever prepared for!! For some this book could be really weird and maybe too much to take in, but for others you'll be glued to its pages wanting to know what's going to happen next, and racing to the end where you can see the full picture and the profound, ultimate truth that is probably waiting for you at the very close of the entire book. I didn't quite see a black and white, big, ...more
Apr 23, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 16 and Up
Recommended to Jessica by: Emil and Ashton
A well-written book really...but oh good heavens, it is a bit scary.
Ted Dekker has this way of making you think you know just what's going to happen and then the plot twists and you're at a loss. He's such an amazing writer, and he has this knack for scaring me! lol. Definitely not for anyone who dislikes thrillers. :)
Keturah Barchers
The premise and setting of the story was good and I was excited to see how it would end. However, toward the end of the book I noticed that he was writing himself into a corner, and then he did the cliche that a lot of christian writers like to fall into. When the book took this turn, the characters became unconvincing as too much God-like reactions and behaviors were forced upon them, and the symbolism was force fed. I recommend a lot of Dekker's work, he is a thrilling author, but this one bug ...more
Jun 03, 2013 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful book. It kept me reading at every possible moment. I'm excited to start the next book in the Paradise Books. The Lost Books series was amazing, and the connection between this novel and those was nicely done.
Jan 06, 2015 Collin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ted Dekker is weird.

I feel like he's some sort of weird Missing Link between the swamp of crappy Christian speculative and the mostly nonexistent really good Christian speculative.

I just have a lot of weird conflicting feelings about this. It was good! But it was bad! It was clever! But it was kind of dumb! The Jesus imagery was touching! But it was also heavy handed and kind of uncalled for!

It's so confusing? I'm disappointed and also intrigued. Worse, I don't know how much of my intrigue is
Jan 27, 2015 Debra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audio
"The books would lead to the discovery of love. He embraced evil with abandon because in the end he was embracing love. Isn't that what the rule meant? By his embrace of evil he could produce love. Didn't that mean evil itself was a kind of good?" This part just jumped out at me. The deception is so deep and the thinking so convoluted.
I wanted to continue the stories of the Lost Books of Histories and was lead to this book. Set in the modern American West, it has somewhat of a timeless nature.
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Christian Fiction...: August Group Read - Showdown by Ted Dekker 29 79 Aug 27, 2013 11:47PM  
  • The 13th Tribe
  • Hangman's Curse (Veritas Project, #1)
  • Waking Lazarus
  • Fearless (Dominion, #2)
  • To Kill With Reason
  • Demon: A Memoir
  • Threshold (Fire of Heaven, #2)
  • The Shadow Within (Legends of the Guardian-King, #2)
  • The Copper Scroll (The Last Jihad, #4)
Ted Dekker is known for novels that combine adrenaline-laced stories with unexpected plot twists, unforgettable characters, and incredible confrontations between good and evil. Ted lives in Austin with his wife LeeAnn and their four children.
More about Ted Dekker...

Other Books in the Series

Paradise (3 books)
  • Saint (Paradise, #2)
  • Sinner (Paradise, #3)

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“The four rules of writing... 1. Write to discover. 2. There is no greater discovery than love. 3. All love comes from the Creator. 4. Write what you will.” 126 likes
“ Born
of Black
and White, Eaten
with worms,
I'm a Saint, a Sinner,
a Siren of the
Word, The Circle
knows me, the rest
just wanna trip on
Grace Juice, Baby
at midnight”
More quotes…