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Heaven's Wager (Martyr's Song #1)

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4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,447 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
It was an absolutely perfect day . . . until everything went absolutely perfectly wrong.


Kent Anthony is a brilliant software engineer who is cashing in on a brilliant career. He's finally living the idyllic life, far from thoughts of theft and murder and other kinds of horrible criminal behavior.


He's left his past far behind . . . or so he thinks.


Ted Dekker delivers a fas
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Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 28th 2005 by Thomas Nelson (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anna
Only a psychotic, devotionalist, fundamentalist asshole could like this book.

Take out the side plot with Helen and Lacy, and Ted Dekker could have written a decent thriller. But the "mythological" side of this book ruined everything.

First of all, you can't create a protagonist that readers need to sympathize with, and then turn around at the end and say, "He was all wrong in everything he did." You can't invest a reader into a character, and then make him a stupid bad guy. That doesn't work in r
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Jamie
Jul 12, 2016 Jamie rated it really liked it
An interesting story! This story focuses around a man named Kent, who has no faith in God. His wife, son and mother-in-law (Helen) do strongly. Kent is a programmer who wrote a program for the bank he works for and was promised a hefty reward for such a valuable program. One the day he was to present his program a tragedy strikes his family. Shortly after, he learns that he supervisor has taken full credit for the program at work. In less than a month he has lost his family, and want his has wor ...more
Jonnie
Aug 26, 2012 Jonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am re-reading this book, because I love the peeks into heaven described. While reading the Heaven Trilogy (Heaven's Wager, Thunder of Heaven and When Heaven Weeps), I find myself really yearning for more and a much deeper relationship with God. My spirit just soars while reading it and thinking about my favorite parts. Here is a quote from just one of the many sections that really make me think:

"Can you imagine a man living in a fish for three days? I mean, forget the story—could you imagine t
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Marcia
Aug 15, 2013 Marcia rated it it was ok
Heaven's Wager
by Ted Dekker

Ted Dekker is now a well established Christian. From his list of works I have read Adam, Blink (my favourite), House (with Peretti), The Bride Collector, and Obsessed. There may have been more, but I find that his book titles are easy to confuse because they all sound similar.

I have always enjoyed Dekker's work as I have found it to be more challenging and interesting than other modern Christian literature. (Sorry Karen Kingsbury and Janette Oke. I'm just not that int
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L8blmr
Dec 21, 2013 L8blmr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems many people have read this book and loved it passionately. I am not one of those, but fear not ... I did not hate it either. There were many things to commend about the story but I felt that the "point" was made fairly early on so there was not much mystery in this book except for when the "hero" would have his great awakening.

The plot within a plot, i.e. the way the lead character goes about taking his revenge on his so-called "superiors" at the gigantic bank that employs him is fasci
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Lou
I had never taken so long to read a book by Ted Dekker because I think that this is a very dramatic book and misfortunes seem to never end. Kent Anthony is like a zombie filled with sadness for most of history and only reacts to plan the perfect robbery. In a moment I thought that this story would not have a good ending, but when I read the meeting between Kent and Helen I changed my mind.
The series of "Martyr's Song" is written for cry because it is quite skimmed and deep.
Andrew Gross
Oct 01, 2012 Andrew Gross rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished-reading
Ted Decker's Heaven's Wager shows the power of God love and the length he will go for humans to recognize and respond to his love. This book portrays the theme of the uselessness of running from your problems. The theme of the book is that there is someone who is always wanting for you. I like how the writer shows the situation from that of a Christian and a non-christian. This gives a unique view of which ever side you would be coming from. The author gives details for character backgrounds and ...more
Abby
May 10, 2012 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This is the first book I have read of the Martyr's Song Series. It is labeled as book 1 of the series, but it has very strong allusions to a heavy back story, so I there is probably a prequel included somewhere along the line.
As for the story itself, it seemed a little self-important and preachy--definitely for a Christian audience. While it did make me want to make myself a warrior on the spiritual front, I grew a little weary of the spiritual exposition. Also, it was difficult for me to relat
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Jessica Moniz
Aug 05, 2011 Jessica Moniz rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kiersten
Honestly, a disappointment. I've read most of Ted Dekker's other books (including the rest of the Martyr's Song series) and was completely engrossed by them all; he is one of my all-time favorite authors. Perhaps it's just my young age and personality, but the plot line and premise had absolutely no draw for me, and I found myself completely devoid of any feeling for the main character (except in those moments where I wanted to knock some sense into him with something large, heavy, and dangerous ...more
Gemma
Oct 13, 2011 Gemma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heaven's Wager is a modern retelling of the story of Job, detailing how computer programmer Kent Anthony loses everything, and how far he will go to get it back.

Wow. And I mean...WOW! Reading this book was like being seized by the throat and made to run when you want to walk, and to walk when you want to run. I couldn't put it down, but I had to stop and breathe. I had to appreciate it on so many levels. It was quite the thought-provoker, it was epic in its simplicity (and at its heart, it was i
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Carl
Oct 09, 2014 Carl rated it it was amazing
This is the 5th book I've read recently by Dekker, I read The Circle Series before this, and loved all of the books. So I'm new to Dekker, but I gotta say I am really drawn in to his way of telling a story, I am not a writer, so I don't know all the reasons for this, but I just love his books.

Beyond that, the story here was really intense, I kept thinking that Kent can't go beyond what he'd already done, but Dekker kept taking the story further and further, the plan that Kent had made to steal a
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Caiti
Sep 22, 2010 Caiti rated it liked it
Pros: The story did keep me turning pages. I only put it down last night because my head kept falling on the pages. Other than the last 6 pages, I read it all in one day.

Cons: There's a thing or two that I felt were left unaddressed and so are now nagging at the back of my mind. Not good. And I don't think Dekker's writing style is my favorite. I felt like a snob because I kept inwardly groaning at some of his expressions.

A pleasant read, but I'm more of a "meh" than a "yay" on this one.
Weston
Jun 21, 2015 Weston rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
This book was pretty brutal, but definitely worth the read.
John
Aug 20, 2012 John rated it did not like it
I had high hopes for this book. But like the people who entered Dante's Inferno, I abandoned all hope. I abandoned it on Page 81 and decided to read no further. Life is too short to finish reading books you don't really want to read, unless there's a compelling reason for soldiering on.
I am not saying that "Heaven's Wager" is a bad book. It may be a wonderful book for some readers. It wasn't the right book for me.
Haylie Grace
Nov 07, 2014 Haylie Grace rated it liked it
I was really looking forward to reading this book, however I was a little disappointed. While I enjoyed the underlying Christian themes, I found that it was really quite slow in the progression of the story and everything ended up being resolved far too quickly in the end. I feel like in a lot of areas this story was just continually dragging on, and I found myself not wanting to continue on. However, once the action begun, I found myself not wanting to put the book down! I also found that Helen ...more
Crystal
May 27, 2015 Crystal rated it it was ok
Overall story was good, but it repeated a lot and I just wanted to get the story done. And then when I finally finished I was disappointed with the ending (not sure what I what I wanted the ending to be, but it wasn't the end that was written).
Jane
Feb 16, 2015 Jane rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle Lee
May 20, 2014 Michelle Lee rated it it was amazing
This was such a beautiful story of redemption. I absolutely love the interactions of Heaven and earth and at times not knowing which is which! If I ever suffered like that I'd hope to have the same joy in the midst of it.
Lawrence
Sep 04, 2013 Lawrence rated it really liked it
Another great book by Ted Dekker. If you love TD's books, then you will love this one. I highly recommend it to all TD fans.
Sean Post
Oct 09, 2014 Sean Post rated it liked it
For the Christian, reading this story is a loosely analogous to watching the recent movie Noah. I enjoyed the story itself and would give it three or four stars. However, if I were to rate my taste for the type of spirituality Dekker describes in this book it would be about two stars. To be sure, Dekker is no heretic. There were some great insights and bits of Christian truth embedded in character dialogue. But at points characters are seizing, convulsing, and screaming with visions of heaven... ...more
Adrienna
There's a wager we all have to choose: to love or reject Jesus Christ.

Once a loved one is lost due to death, how will the family move on? Helen, Gloria's mother, took Spencer, her only son whose 10 years old and trying to understand the loss of his mother, as well as Jesus Christ (the photo that shows the crown of thorns on his head). Kent, who just got promoted on his job and ready to make millions for his programming idea that helped the company he worked for, take his wife to Paris, and othe
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Joseph
Sep 19, 2014 Joseph rated it liked it
Heaven's Wager is a compelling story about a man named Kent Anthony who is in the middle of a battle between good and evil. Which side will win?

I hated this book at first, maybe it was the expressions used by the author. (Yahoo!, Tiger, insert a million other cringeworthy words and phrases) After awhile the whole story began to really take off, and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. I was nervous seeing if Kent could keep pulling everything off, or if his luck would eventually r
...more
Rick
Dec 17, 2012 Rick added it
Not a great book at all :-((
Ed
Sep 07, 2015 Ed rated it it was ok
It took me a long time to wade through this long (almost 400 pages) book. It follows "When Heaven Weeps" in the "Martyr's Song" trilogy timeline. The un-Christian love interest in that book is a judgmental over-Christian in this book. She's the mother-in-law of Kent, who loses his wife, future fortune, and son, in quick order.

The major portion of the book has Kent scheming to -- and finally succeeding in -- stealing back "his" bonus money and revenging himself against the two bosses who success
...more
Jeff O'Brien
Feb 13, 2012 Jeff O'Brien rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book. Ted Dekker is mostly known for "Christian Fiction", which is fitting for this book. But, this book could just as easily be in the regular fiction section. If someone as nauseated by commercial Christianity as myself can give it 5 out of 5 stars, it's got to have something good going for it.

The theme of this book is the classic "the truth shall set you free" moral tale, which applies to everyone, Athiest or Christian or Buddhist or whatever. There is really no preachy st
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Jonathan
Oct 21, 2013 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
Heaven's Wager is a great book by Ted Dekker. It is a fictional book about a guy named Kent who has a job making a banking computer system. It is called the Advanced Funds Processing System (AFPS), and is going to save the bank millions of dollars. He is so excited that he goes home and tells his family the good news. The bank is going to give him ten percent of what they save. He plans a bunch of trips, and spends money without a care. He is going to Miami to show his system. There were other c ...more
Christina
Aug 17, 2013 Christina rated it really liked it
If I had stopped reading this book after the first 150 pages or so, I would have given the book only 3 stars. After reading some reviews of the book at that point and considering that I usually really like Ted Dekker's books, I decided to keep reading. I'm glad I did. It redeemed itself to a 4-star status.

Obviously, the second half is much better than the first. I kept wishing the story would just keep up the pace. The beginning is kind of depressing, as Kent Anthony loses everything most import
...more
Hank Pharis
Dec 08, 2014 Hank Pharis rated it did not like it
Kind of a combination of Job and Ecclesiastes' themes. The lead character grew up comparatively impoverished and has decided that the meaning of life is making money. However after creating a very valuable software program his boss steals the credit for creating it. He almost simultaneously loses his wife and child but seems more concerned about his economic loss. He becomes obsessed with getting revenge and risks everything to get it.
Heidi
Apr 04, 2014 Heidi rated it really liked it
The book was definitely a page turner. It kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the book. There were only a few things that bugged me, but it could be because that I am a Christian, but not Catholic. But Ted Dekker did get his story of Job wrong toward the end of the book. He said that he also lost his children, and wife. In the book of Job, he did not lose his wife. It is his wife that told him to curse God and die. (Job 2:9) Other than that it was a good book.
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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

Martyr's Song (3 books)
  • When Heaven Weeps (Martyr's Song, #2)
  • Thunder of Heaven (Martyr's Song, #3)

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