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Black: The Birth of Evil

(The Circle #1)

by
4.21  ·  Rating details ·  29,424 ratings  ·  1,817 reviews
Enter an adrenaline-laced epic where dreams and reality collide.

Fleeing his assailants through deserted alleyways, Thomas Hunter narrowly escapes to the roof of a building. Then a silent bullet from the night clips his head...and his world goes black.

From the blackness comes an amazing reality of another world-a world where evil is contained. A world where Thomas Hunter is
...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 8th 2005 by Thomas Nelson (first published December 25th 2003)
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Sarah I'd say yes and no depending on what you call a cliffhanger ;) The individual narrative for this book is finished. There's definitely no "He went into…moreI'd say yes and no depending on what you call a cliffhanger ;) The individual narrative for this book is finished. There's definitely no "He went into battle against 1000 men and then... to be continued" cliffhanger. But, the final pages of the book do leave it open for the next novel making you want to know what happens :)(less)

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Caressa
Aug 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
This falls into my category of Brilliant Idea Executed Poorly. I have always had wicked vivid dreams, so novels about dreamscapes, dreams vs reality, dreams portending the future, etc, fascinate me. "Black" intrigued me enough that I forced myself to read six or seven chapters, then I was so irritated that I ranted about it to my poor husband for 20-30 minutes.

What didn't I like? Characters who are at once both ridiculously unbelievable AND flat (our protagonist can't focus long enough to maint
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Tim
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was reluctant throughout this tale due to Mr. Dekker's constant reference to religion. However, the plot and nature of the story was intriguing enough. 4 of 10 stars
m a r y l i z
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
HELLO WORLD, I'VE READ A TED DEKKER BOOK. At last, now I can be a Normal Person because I've read the Decidedly Abnormal Books that Ted Dekker writes.

This book was...interesting. I'm really not sure what I think of it. All in all, it was kind of a "meh" read, in my opinion.

Lovely Things:

- The plot. Okay, the plot was pretty cool. *nods* The way Dekker intertwined two worlds with two plots that meshed together?? THAT WAS PRETTY DARN COOL. I wasn't a huge fan of the fantasy world, but we'll
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Noel
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I love the concept of this book. It’s one of the most unique books I’ve read in awhile. But it was not without faults. The characterization was kinda bad in the beginning, sometimes the writing was a little eye-rolly, the situations a little too convenient. Despite the faults, I just couldn’t put it down. In fact, I started on the second book immediately after finishing (which is something I almost never do).
Angela R. Watts
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
*SCREAMING FROM THE ABYSS AS I SLOWLY SET THIS BOOK DOWN* AHHHH. AHHH. SORRY. ANYWAY. COHERENT THOUGHTS AND STUFF.
This book was absolutely amazing. It made me laugh, made me mad, surprised me, got me thinking, and wonderfully showed a side of Elyon that I really needed in my life lately. Jaw-dropping book.
Charles
Apr 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy and suspense lovers
Recommended to Charles by: Lisa (from NY)
Shelves: fiction, suspense
Few books have such an immersive world that you actually feel like you're living in it when you read it. Although this is true about the first book in the ring trilogy (being Black) by Ted Dekker, the book has some major flaws.

Characters sometimes seem unrealistic and do absurd things for seemingly no apparent reason. I am constantly reminded of this by the stupid comments that the main character constantly throws out in serious conversations. Such as "If they don't help us we should nuke them,"
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Jerry
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I first read this all the way back in 2006, and it still holds up today. An exciting, fantastical thrill ride that grips you, this is a wonderful book. Even though I've read them before, I can't wait to try Red and White again!
Sarah Grace Grzy
W.o.w. I don't think mere words can actually encompass my thoughts about this series, but I will do my best.

This isn't the type of book I usually read, but, at the insistence of several friends, I decided to give this series a shot. A strangely gripping combination of sci-fi, thriller, and fantasy, The Circle series is unlike anything I've ever read, and, I would guess, unparalleled in its genre. (Whatever genre that is.)

First off, any expectations you may have when you start this book, just th
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Bill
Jan 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
Ted Dekker is supposed to be a pretty good writer. I would not assent to that proposition based on this book. Based on the high ratings and good reviews of this work on Amazon.com, I had hoped this would be a good introduction to the author and a fun, but challenging, read. I could barely finish it.

The one thing Mr. Dekker does well here is create two distinct worlds and keep the protagonist and the reader wondering which one is real. Is it the world that seems to be our own, with all of its war
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J.S. Bailey
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
More epic awesomeness from Dekker. Since this novel ended on a cliffhanger, I do believe that I will be purchasing the next book in the series very soon; else I might go mad with anticipation!

(Update 1/31/2013)

Slowly closes book. Wipes sweat from brow. Pauses briefly to reflect upon the meaning of life. Reaches for recently-acquired copy of Red.

I'm glad that I decided to reread this before picking up Red because there is soooooo much I forgot about!

Like this little snippet from Thomas's dive int
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Micaiah
Ted Dekker's Black is mind-bendingly brilliant.

I always say Dekker is a writing genius - which isn't something I think often. He weaves messages into his thrillers, adds suspense to every page, creates villains you despise and characters you can get frustrated with and yet root for simultaneously. And honestly? What blows me away are his plots. Consistently, they leave me wide-eyed, flipping pages in emotional angst (late into the night, if I can).

BUT BLACK IS SO. DARN. GOOD. Full of suspense, w
...more
Jill Williamson
Nov 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Someone is shooting at Thomas Hunter. He runs for his life—zig-zagging, hiding, and executing some awesome martial arts—as men chase him through the streets of Denver. But when a silent bullet grazes his head, his world goes black and he wakes up somewhere else.

In darkness. He doesn’t know where he is. Hideous bats chase him, clawing at him until he loses consciousness again and wakes up back in Denver, in an alley. He manages to get to his sister’s apartment, clean himself up, and lies down on
...more
Bill
Apr 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Black has been on my to-read list for almost as long as I have been on Goodreads.

A couple of weeks ago, totally out of the blue, my girlfriend asked me about the series and if I had read it. She had somehow stumbled across it, which is odd because genres of the fantastic aren't usually her thing (although I have been feeding her some of Stephen King's greats, and she's loved them, so I guess all bets are off now).

Anyways, I told her I hadn't read it but it had been on my list for years. She load
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Rachel
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I would highly recommend this book to anyone I know. This was written about the Chronicles of Narnia on wikipedia.org but applies to the Color Trilogy as well: "The series contains many allusions to traditional Christian ideas,... however, the books can also be read purely for their adventure, colour, and richness of ideas."
Even if you are not a Christian, I believe you will enjoy this book because it IS a metaphor. In fact, even as a Christian, I didn't understand what the metaphor was until t
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I tried to read this book once before, and just couldn't get into it. I put it down, didn't try to review it, didn't comment, I just hadn't gotten into it. BUT, I have friend to whom this is an important book, so I set out to read it again. My take on it is that it could have been a much better book than it is.

Throughout this book I'd say that my estimation of it's rating moved from 2 to 4 stars. It took me FOREVER to care about the characters. I know I should have. I know I was meant to...but i
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Kris
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Okay, you guys. I really wanted to like this one. Friends had recommended it to me. It's one of Dekker's most popular series. I should be the right audience for this. The fictional version of Christian-living books? Left Behind-light? It's all more drama than scripture, but I'm here for the drama! I missed the Ted Dekker train when I was younger, and I was ready to take the plunge.

Aaand sadly, it was a hard landing. I couldn't buy into it. From the very beginning I wasn't invested in the premise
...more
Steven
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread, read-in-2013
The Circle series is a great read. For a religious writer, he's not preachy. Love the fantasy world, love the main characters, and love how long the series is as ONE big story that intertwines with his other book series.

Read them all.
Amanda
This book was part of a survey class and as such, I was looking forward to it. I've liked reading books from different genres and discovering the different types of appeals they have for their selected audience and myself. This book was my least favorite of the entire class.

To begin with, the story's premise slowly introduced and never fully explained. Tom is waking up in two different worlds in two separate times; ours and an Eden-like place in the future which is, for all intents and purposes,
...more
Noah Nichols
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: physically-owned
Reserving final judgment until I complete the trilogy...this was just window dressing to me.
Josen
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-own, series
3.75……….The first thing I liked about this book is that its storyline was something I’d never read before. That, alone, bumps it up a notch. You have a young man, Thomas Hunter, who is living with his sister and just kind of trudging along in life. The book starts with him being chased by thugs in Denver (that he owes money to), he gets shot, falls into a trash heap and gets left for dead. When he wakes up, he finds himself in another……world? Place? Reality? Not sure at first. He thinks he’s dre ...more
Jamie
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What would happen if you had a dream that informed you the world was going to end? Or what if you lived in a world after the world we know ended but you were reliving those historical times in your dreams. What if you didn't know which was the dream and which was real? Or are both real? Time0-travel? Alternate dimension? An afterlife? Not only does our main character Tom have to question these things but so do we as the observant readers! The possibilities raced through me faster than I could de ...more
Jonathan Terrington
This simple looking cover and basic title was my introduction to the world of Ted Dekker. I picked it up off the shelf of my school library and brought it along with me on an excursion. Without any idea of the powerful wow factor of this novel I began reading and would not have put the book down had it of been for the fact that the bus had to stop and let us out.

Black is the story of a man caught between two worlds. When he dreams in our everyday world he wakes in another world of fantasy appare
...more
Kasia
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ted Dekker is a magician when it comes to creating a book this astounding, this addictive, and this breathtaking. It held a strong grip on me and has left me spellbound from the beginning to the very end. There is no relief at the last page; instead it left me begging for more. The story ends on a high note and only promises a more delectable part 2 that I can't wait to read.

The book starts innocently enough; Thomas is on his way back home in Denver when a shooting brings him down into another r
...more
Michelle Hankes
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it
This book is tough for me to write about. There are elements I liked and elements I didn't. His writing style is easy to engage with and is compelling, but it is the first half-fantasy, half-mainstream fiction I've ever read.

I don't really know what to say.

Yes. I do.

This book is intriguing because Ted Dekker has taken an idea and catapulted it into a whole other spectrum of writing. I can see why he is so well loved and has done so well.

The story is about a man who finds himself living in tw
...more
Martha
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who love mysteries, thrillers, fantasy
I've listed this as Christian fiction, but it really doesn't fall in that category. I'll give this some thought and maybe come up with a new shelf. I did enjoy this book and would have given it 4 stars except for some parts that I found a bit boring and a little ridiculous ... even for this type of story. The pseudo Garden of Eden was a bit hard to take at times ... at least for me. At one point I though these must be the bad guys because they are just too good to be true. Since this is the firs ...more
Victoria Howell
I liked it. It was creative, but I didn't bond with the characters as much as I would have liked, but I'll still read the next one. :)
Andrea
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Black is a very strange story. The circular logic that pervades the narrative is quite fascinating yet confusing simultaneously. Thomas Hunter is shot in one world, only to wake up in another where a great evil is contained. This second world is chronologically past the first world. As Thomas takes information he learns in the second world to the first world, different threats awaken in both.

This was a really cool idea, but also a very confusing idea. I am quite fascinated with the back and for
...more
Adam
I've been trying to think about what I could say about this book. And I know that's a horrible way to start off a review. I also think that it hits at the core of what could be said. Do I tell you, that as a Christian, I actually dislike a great deal of Christian books? That even though I did like this book -- that I really don't mind this series too terribly much -- that it does nothing to change my opinion of the state of Christian publishing. Should I tell you that while Ted Dekker holds true ...more
Sierra
The last time I read this, I was 14.

Coming back to it at 25, I’m the same age as the MC, who’d once seemed so OLD to my teenager self. 😅 That was a trip.

11 years ago I gave this a 5 star, and I meant it. This time, I’m lowering the rating because of the writing and flow of the story. I’ve learned a lot about writing since then and I’ve read so many good books. I know what I like and what I don’t. To be honest? His writing was....sub-par. Some of the descriptions had me going “.........why” and c
...more
Julian
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christian fiction, speculative, supernatural, spiritual warfare
Couldn't put the book down!! I've been desperate for an original, highly engaging supernatural fiction series, and "Black" by Ted Dekker definitely delivered. The character of Thomas Hunter, was well-written, likable and believable.

The allegorical-style telling of the redemption story - the beginning of it, anyway - was reminiscent of C.S. Lewis' space trilogy. Especially "Out of the Silent Planet" with Ransom. Halfway through "Black" I began to compare him to Random from C.S. Lewis' book. The s
...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Black, Ted Dekker - 5 Stars 5 14 Jun 25, 2016 02:09PM  
Struggling to get through this 25 223 Feb 06, 2015 02:31PM  
Readers of Words ...: So, what does everyone think of the book so far? 5 6 Dec 21, 2013 10:28AM  
Bookworm Buddies: The Circle Series Ted Dekker - April 17 52 31 Apr 23, 2013 04:14PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Book four for January 2 9 Jan 20, 2012 12:55PM  

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7,916 followers
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.

Other books in the series

The Circle (4 books)
  • Green: The Beginning and the End (The Circle, #0)
  • Red: The Heroic Rescue (The Circle, #2)
  • White: The Great Pursuit (The Circle, #3)

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