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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Save the girl...or his soul?

Crusader is numb. He feels neither emotion nor pain, a divine gift that allows him to be the Ministrix's best assassin.

Whether it's heretics from within or heathens from without, Crusader is the sword in the True Church's hand. And if he remains obedient to his superiors, he will be able to let go of his guilt.

But then he's ordered to kill Isold
Paperback, 402 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Marcher Lord Press (first published August 28th 2013)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  80 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Sherwood Smith
Just the thing to read yesterday when it was over a hundred degrees and my brain was frying. How could I resist a fast-paced space opera written by a Christian in which the organized Christian church are the villains?

Crusader is numb, an assassin with no feelings and no memories. He's really good at killing, so good that when the Ministrix, the top command of the Church WAY Militant come to kill him, he evades, while still trying to kill his latest assignment, Isolda. Only he can't bring himself
John Otte
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, come on. Of course I'm going to love this. But I think it's a fun story and a great read. ...more
Jill Williamson
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I read an early version of this book. I think it is amazing. It's a cross between Terminator and Star Wars. Super cool. I can't wait to read the final, and when I do, I'll post a new review. But I'm sure it only got better! ...more
Shannon McDermott
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Crusader is the best assassin the Church has, carrying out all his missions with heartless thoroughness. He is intelligent and methodical in his work, his skills well-honed. And he’s numb. No pain can stop him, no emotions can get in his way.

Until he is assigned a new victim and, for reasons he doesn’t understand, he can’t kill her.

Numb is a science fiction novel written by John Otte and published by Marcher Lord Press. The various technological trappings of the story give it a feel of classic b
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm going to go ahead and give this one a full 5 stars. I absolutely loved this book. The characters were realistic, the plot was interesting and the quality of the writing was good. The only thing that was lacking was more. I hope there is a sequel.

Now, for a plot blurb I recommend reading the back cover or another review that goes into more detail. I'll just tell you why I liked this book so much.

I really loved the character, Isolda. She was lifelike. She was competent but not arrogant, femini
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is great book, once I started I could not put it down.
Becky B
Crusader is the Ministrix's sword to do God's work, specially anointed for the job by his inability to feel pain or emotion. He eliminates those who deserve punishments, and hopes that his acts will earn him forgiveness from the guilt that plagues him. His latest assignment, to take out a heretic Isolde, should be routine, but Crusader has trouble following his orders. Of course, the fact that another agent gets in the way and seems to have contrary orders makes things a little difficult, the mo ...more
Michelle R. Wood
Feb 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Remember when you were a kid and you watched your favorite movie twenty times in a row? Remember how you gasped at sagas that you might now acknowledge aren't as amazing as you once thought, but nonetheless have a special place in your heart?

Numb by John Otte is such a story, even if it isn't old enough to qualify for nostalgia. It's not perfect, not by a long shot, but it's got a lot of heart that tugs you forward in spite of the flaws.

To summarize: Crusader is an assassin for an intergalactic
Victor Gentile
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
John W. Otte in his new book, “Numb” published by Marcher Lord Press introduces us to Crusader.

From the back cover: Save the girl…or his soul?

Crusader is numb. He feels neither emotion nor pain, a divine gift that allows him to be the Ministrix’s best assassin. Whether it’s heretics from within or heathen from without, Crusader is the sword in the True Church’s hand. And if he remains obedient to his superiors, he will be able to let go of his guilt.

But then he’s ordered to kill Isolda Westin. I
Jalynn Patterson
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
About the Book:

Save the girl...or his soul?

Crusader is numb. He feels neither emotion nor pain, a divine gift that allows him to be the Ministrix's best assassin.

Whether it's heretics from within or heathens from without, Crusader is the sword in the True Church's hand. And if he remains obedient to his superiors, he will be able to let go of his guilt.

But then he's ordered to kill Isolda Westin. It shouldn't be a problem. A target is a target. When Crusader sees Isolda's image, though, somethin
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a non-stop action, suspense ridden, edge-of-your-seat thriller then this is the story for you! There is nothing slow or boring about this book. You are immediately set upon an already fast-paced journey, and it doesn’t disappoint or fizzle into oblivion. Never-ending intrigue and unnerving tension ride the edges of this highly original and wildly entertaining sci-fi saga.

Crusader is a trained assassin who follows his orders to the letter. He never questions; he only obeys.
Beckie Burnham
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you like tech-heavy, futuristic sci-fi and want a story that is also faith-heavy, check out John Otte’s novel, Numb. Well-imagined societies and well-developed characters help to create a story that will keep you turning the pages. The faith message is strong and will make you think about your own stance on religion and freedom. Numb would be an excellent choice for a youth discussion as well.

Crusader believes he has been created with no emotions and no feelings of pain so that he can adminis
Marion Hill
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
What if you are numb to pain and feelings for a good portion of your life? And all of sudden you begin to feel again and are not numb anymore?

Those two questions were answered in Numb by John W. Otte. Numb is the story of Crusader, an assassin trained by the Ministrix to kill heretics and others who come against the church and Isolda Westin, a woman whom the Ministrix wants dead.

It was considered an easy job for Crusader to hunt down Isolda and fulfill his duty for the church. However, when he s
Keanan Brand
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I blitzed through John W. Otte‘s futuristic speculative novel, Numb, during a couple sick days. It was at the top of the stack already, I was going to read it, ill or not, and it was the perfect distraction.

Crusader is an assassin. Or, as some might have it, a minister of divine justice. He’s the best. Not only does he complete his assignments with brutal efficiency, he feels no pain — emotional or physical.

He serves the Ministrix, a religious governmental entity that portrays Christ as having c
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Crusader is numb. He does not feel emotions or pain. He is a feared assassin for the Ministrix, killing "heretics" who are untrue to the True Church. When he is given the mission on killing a young woman named Isolda he finds himself in dangerous waters, struck by feelings he didn't know he was capable of. Crusader and Isolda find themselves working together, on the run from the very administration that he had pledge himself to.

In a futuristic world, where the human race is living in space, Mr.
Nikole Hahn
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
A lot of people might be envious of Crusader’s numbness in Numb by John W. Otte. Crusader can get a lot done, perhaps though some not so ethical things like assassinating people, because he doesn’t feel anything. In battle, the laser guns tear through his flesh, but he can fight through his injuries like Hulk or Superman. Apply a bit of medical gel and those critical injuries heal themselves. Humankind in John W. Otte’s world lives in space.

Two distinctly different empire’s are in a cold war wit
Victoria Brinius
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. It followed me everywhere. It reminded me of The DaVinci code. There is a group of people in charge that use their power to twist the Bible into their own "religion" They kill people that interfere and go against their rules. I loved that this book was set in the future and at one point they "traveled" past Earth. There was also a lot of technology and I would love to see what a parrot looks like. This book met my mystery goals for a book and my science fiction go ...more
Brandon Miller
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I picked up this book because it sounded like every story I'd ever told myself about the super mean assassin guy who goes soft and saves the victim then has to fight his old boss to save said victim. It's a story I'd told myself a million times... so I wanted to see it on paper.
And I did.
In fact, that's exactly what I saw. Exactly the story I'd told myself many times. Exactly the way I'd imagined it. Not terribly original. Almost, dare I say it, predictable.
I was slightly disappointed, though I'
Jason Joyner
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I would rather give this book 4.5 stars. Numb is an inventive science fiction book that doesn't have a similar comparison to any book I know of.

Crusader is an assassin, but he is the instrument of the Ministrix, the religious institution that controls Earth and splits territory in space with the godless Praesidium. Crusader carries out God's will as directed by the Reverand Hand to execute divine judgment in establishing God's Kingdom. He does so with his divine gift, that makes him Numb to emot
J.L. Mbewe
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Imagine the early church during the time of Nero and much persecution, but set in the future, in outer space and then add the time of the Holy Roman Empire and the Inquisition, and you might get an idea of the political environment of Numb.

The Ministrix has deacons, and a pope-like figure called The Reverend Hand. It rules its territory with a visible iron fist and one not so visible–the assassins, tools to purge the world of people who do not embrace their “One True Church”.

Crusader has been “g
JoJo Sutis
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! I cannot even begin to tell you….but I’ll try;)
Even though Crusader is a ruthless assassin, I still liked this character from the beginning. I suppose it’s knowing his motivation behind his actions. He thinks that by doing what the True Church tells him to do and killing those who are guilty of heresy or just plain evil, Crusader believes his acts of justice will free him from his own guilt.
This book is so full of action and edge of your seat suspense, as well as a bit of myste
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the best science fiction I've read in the Christian genre. It is hundreds of years in the future and one part of the universe is ruled by those powerful from a corrupted version of Christianity. One gains God's approval by obeying those in authority, even when they command you to kill. Another part of the universe has a Tolerance Act which effectively outlaws Christianity. But there is a remnant of true believers.
I really liked this novel. There is lots of action. There are plenty of twi
Julie Bihn
From the description, I'd expected that Crusader would see Isolda, he'd know he can't kill her, and he'd devote all his energy to rescuing her from whoever wanted her dead. I did not at all expect this story to be full of twists and betrayals and political intrigue and mysteries and supporting characters. I found it a good read with a lot to think about, and I enjoyed it. It just wasn't really at all what I'd expected based on the promotion I saw.

Full review will be at http://kinynchronicles.blo
Steve Rzasa
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed it thoroughly. The characters were realistic, and had very interesting motivations beyond the normal tropes. Especially liked one of the secondary characters who seemed to be a "bad guy." The plot is fast-moving and keeps the reader on the edge of his seat. Another job well done by John Otte! If there's ever a sequel I'll be ready. ...more
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Overall, an excellent enjoyable story that caused me to get my first sunburn of the year because I lost track of time reading it out in the hammock.

Full review is here.
Carol R Gehringer
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
loved it -- will write longer review later this week. Loved plot, depth of characters - could easily see it as a full-length movie!
Kim Vandel
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love the premise, and a cryptic Star Wars reference in the last chapter had me squealing like a fangirl. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense, sci-fi
Fast-paced Sci-fi, stuffed with intrigue and topped with a little romantic icing. I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you! Recommended for Sci-fi fans everywhere.
Pauline Creeden
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pretty good page Turner. Over all I liked it, but I couldn't help but think of the book as a cross between Hitman and Firefly...more in depth review to come. ...more
Madisyn Carlin
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Save the girl... or his soul?


Positive Elements:

Isolda is determined to keep secret the location of a hidden base, thereby keeping safe her friends. Crusader chooses to protect rather than carry out his orders. A secondary character speaks briefly about a choice he had to make: destroy innocent colonists or defy orders (he chose the latter).

Spiritual Content:

A faction called the Ministrix sees itself as the "True Church", and hunts down those who disagree or believe otherwise; it also
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