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(Paradise #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  12,774 ratings  ·  491 reviews
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 impossible to get in or o ...more
Hardcover, 367 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Thomas Nelson (first published January 15th 2005)
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Juliana It can be read as a standalone, but aspects of it interweave into Dekker's other books.

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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,774 ratings  ·  491 reviews

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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 introduc
Aug 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, dnf
Disclaimer: My rating for this book might not be entirely fair, considering I read only the first few chapters before skimming another 100 pages or so.
The cover had me excited, since I'm generally a sucker for modern Westerns. Unfortunately, SHOWDOWN starts off lousy and only gets worse as the story progresses.
I've read (or at least started) several other Dekker novels, and while he's adept at coming up with some memorable concepts, his writing style is generally sloppy, and he struggles at maki
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was ok

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
Mindi Rosser
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Melissa Stanis
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Jeff Spencer
Mar 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
I will start off by saying this is perhaps the worst book I have ever read. If I could give it negative stars, I would.

I had read that the author was a spiritual person, and that his books are full of religious metaphors, which I love, so I thought I would give it a try. I was so disappointed in every aspect of this book. It is clear that the writer is trying to imitate Stephen King, the operative word being "trying." He fails completely.

For example, "Come on baby, trip with me!" must have been
Hannah Dillard
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book caught my interest at about the halfway point. Then I started to see the symbolism and was curious to know what happened with the characters. This is the perfect read if you’re looking for something intense and that will make you think.
Feb 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Adam Bolander
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
A stranger named Marsuvees Black arrives in a tiny town, nestled in the Colorado mountains. The people of Paradise don't know what to make of Black - each person he encounters comes away with a different impression of the man. Some think he's evil, others that he's wonderful. Though Black promises to bring grace and hope to the town, his actions don't seem to mirror his words. Only Johnny, a young boy, is incredibly suspicious of Black's motives and is mostly able to resist his strong persuasive ...more
Joshua Spotts
Jul 06, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
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 rated it did not like it
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
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 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
May 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
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!!
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
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. :)
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is probably one of my all time favorites. It has a confusing plot and you have to pay attention in order to discern fact from fiction.
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as good as the last time I read it :D
Summer Seeds
May 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
What did I just read?
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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.

Other books in the series

Paradise (3 books)
  • Saint (Paradise, #2)
  • Sinner (Paradise, #3)
“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.” 128 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…