Pygmy's Reviews > Blink

Blink by Ted Dekker
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's review
Dec 22, 2008

did not like it
bookshelves: actionthriller, christian_fiction, interracial_love

** spoiler alert ** ETA: Oh man. The ending of this book turned this overall mediocre, yet still page-turning story into a true stinker. What I wrote earlier is still relevant for the first 3 quarters of the book, but by the end, the story takes a turn into the preposterous.

What went wrong?

I hate to do it, but it is the final, climactic scene where Seth, our resident "genius" turned savior-of-princesses, gives up on trying to see the future and puts faith in God to swoop in and save the day.

Quite literally a Deus-ex-machina. To make things worse, the execution involved ham-fisted, unsubtle conversions of two nonChristians, an incredibly amateurish intimidation scene that SOMEHOW works, and an easy future-assisted take-down against a supposedly seasoned killer.

I could almost see people sing "Kum Ba Yah" when the Moment of Truth came.


So goes another contemporary Christian novel into the pile of poo. You're better off rereading anything by C.S. Lewis.

-------Original On-going Review----------------

So the story is about a young American genius who somehow gains the ability to see the future and becomes mixed up with an Arabic princess who is fleeing for her life/virtue/freedom. It is a fast, somewhat exciting read, but it fails to be truly heart-pounding due to under-realized, black & white characterizations.

On the side of Good:

1) Our protagonist, Seth, is a young American genius who excels in math and science. He happens to be ruggedly handsome and muscular. (Okay, no problems there. I know plenty of people who fit that description.) His IQ is 190, above Albert Einstein's. (Also ok! That is the conceit of the story) Not only is Seth brilliant, he's remarkably well-adjusted! In fact, he's so well-adjusted that he has no emotional scars from being regularly beaten by his drunk father for most years of his childhood! Now my flags go up.
If you look at the history of geniuses in all fields, you'll find that a disturbingly large number of them ended up neurotic, self-destructive, psychotic, and depressive even as they churned out great works. Drugs, visions, isolation, cutting off your ear and mailing it to your girlfriend, etc. At minimum, if you're going to be smarter than Einstein, then at least be as eccentric. Being so brilliant in a certain area often means being stunted in other areas, such as, oh, social skills. At halfway through the book, Seth displays no OCD traits whatsoever; at most, he shows a little teenage rebellion against authority.

Then a bigger problem comes up. Let's say I could accept the idea that Seth is an all-rounded genius with no debilitating flaws. He goes on the run with a Saudi princess and is basically living minute-by-minute trying to elude 3 groups of pursuers using his newfound precognition. He relies completely on his precognition even though he's only had it for half a day. He is pure reaction, and does not even try to think ahead. He advertises to his pursuers that he has precognition, so everyone now knows his abilities and can therefore work out his limits! Are these the actions of a genius? Sure, it's not like he's naturally a criminal and knows how to disappear, but for someone portrayed the way he is, you'd think he'd be able to adapt.

The princess also is described as being intelligent, one of the first reasons why her bodyguard fell in love with her. But again, I don't see much intelligence; she also just reacts blindly to situations, or rather, she sticks to Seth and becomes the romantic interest/non-entity.

The NSA agent that's chasing them-- also not smart enough! His verbal sparring with the Saudis is intellectually unstimulating.

Seth's verbal sparring is unwitty.

The Saudis are hur-hur Evil, with a capital E.

The author tries too hard to tie God and Christianity into precognition. I had no problems with theology being discussed between the characters, but it stretches disbelief that not only Seth but the NSA agent would reference the same Biblical elements as proof that precognition existed. Within a couple chapters of each other. If Seth had telepathy instead, would the author find a Bible passage to support that too?

Bleh. Well, it could be worse. At least the pacing is pretty good, so I can keep reading even as I continue to grouse.
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