Book Review: “White” by Ted Dekker

Cover of "White" by Ted Dekker.
Cover of “White” by Ted Dekker.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “White” by Ted Dekker! This is the sequel to “Red” and the third book in “The Circle” series. Here’s the summary so we know what “White” is about:

“In one world, a lethal virus threatens to destroy all life as scientists and governments scramble to find an antidote. In the other, a forbidden love could forever destroy the ragtag resistance known as The Circle.

Thomas can bridge both worlds, but he is quickly realizing that he may not be able to save either.

In this mind-bending adventure, Thomas must find a way to rewrite history as he navigates a whirlwind of emotions and events surrounding a pending apocalypse.

The fate of two worlds comes down to one mans choice–and it is a most unlikely choice indeed. Life. Death. Love. Nothing is as it seems. Yet all will forever be transformed by the decisions of one man in the final hours of the Great Pursuit.”

Content Warning:

This book contains mentions of Biblical elements throughout the story and worldbuilding, attempted drowning, somewhat-graphic violence and actually-graphic character death, as well as explicit domestic abuse between the characters Woref and Chelise in several scenes of them together in this book. If any of this content is unsettling to you, you may want to skip reading this book.

Plot Development: 2 out of 5 stars

I found that the plot in the real world was much more interesting than the plot in the fantasy world. This is because most of the fantasy world’s plotline focused on Chelise and Woref’s eventually-broken engagement and Thomas getting stuck in their shenanigans for more major-plot-related reasons. I actually grew bored of the fantasy plot due to its focus on the love triangle between Woref, Chelise and Thomas. Now that the triangle was resolved by the end of this book, I hope that the story in the fantasy world will focus less on the romance for the next book.

Worldbuilding Development: 2 out of 5 stars

The worldbuilding, once again, fell a bit flat in terms of development. I understood the gist of what they were doing with the Biblical elements, as well as the Books of Histories. However, I don’t think that had enough time to develop and be understood properly. This is because of the fantasy world’s heavy focus on the romance plotline. There are some fascinating concepts in there, but they just needed more time in this book to be fleshed out. I want to know more about them by the next book for sure, since the cliffhanger ending alluded to the Books of Histories having more connections than given in this book.

Character Development: 2 out of 5 stars

I felt that Chelise didn’t play much of a role other than being Thomas’ love interest. This is a shame considering that she’s a major character in this book. I did enjoy her trying to get away from Woref and stick up for herself. However, she didn’t get much agency other than this for her own development. I think she was a missed opportunity to really develop as her own person, even if she is the love interest in the romance (which I’ll cover in the next section).

I absolutely despised Woref as a character. He came off as someone who had anger issues and thought little of Chelise, who he was engaged to. Granted, it didn’t help that Woref in general comes off as quite misogynist in his interactions with any and all of the women in this book. I immediately rooted for him to get killed and I was glad when he finally got sentenced to death.

As for Thomas, I felt that he didn’t have much development overall. Yes, he has his romance with Chelsie and yes, he’s the main character. However, he didn’t have any other development other than him trying to save the world and sort out his love triangle issues in this book.

Romance Development: 2 out of 5 stars

The romance triangle between Thomas, Chelise and Woref was barely a triangle. There were no redeeming parts in Woref’s character that made sense for him and Chelise to be together at all. Woref is so contradictory, stating that he’ll be a good lover to Chelise and then immediately abusing her afterwards. There was no contest about Thomas clearly being the better love interest for Chelise in the end. I also felt that Thomas and Chelise’s chemistry was too fast to develop, especially considering that Thomas technically kidnapped Chelsie (for plot-spoiler reasons I can’t give here). However, I  can’t deny that they did have a few good touching moments later on.

What I disliked most about this romance plotline, however, was that it took up the bulk of the entire plotline in the fantasy world despite it being the sideplot. I wish there was more focus on how the events in the real world affected the events in the fantasy world.

Overall, I’m rating this book 2 out of 5 stars!

I’ll be reviewing “Green” next week, which finishes this series. I have my fingers crossed for “Green” being a satisfying ending to the series!

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