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Black: The Birth of Evil (The Circle, #1)
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Black: The Birth of Evil

(The Circle #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  27,401 ratings  ·  1,710 reviews
Fleeing assailants through alleyways in Denver late one night, Thomas Hunter narrowly escapes to the roof of an industrial building. Then a silent bullet from the night clips his head and his world goes black.

Now Thomas wakes from a deep sleep, remembering the vivid dream he just had of being chased. Incredibly real. His head is even bleedingbut he's fallen on a rock. He's

Paperback, 432 pages
Published July 27th 2009 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)

Community Reviews

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Aug 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
m a r y l i z
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 g
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).
Apr 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,"
J.S. Bailey
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jill Williamson
Nov 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 23, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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, 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
Angela R. Watts
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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.
Apr 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would highly recommend this book to anyone I know. This was written about the Chronicles of Narnia on 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
Si bien el libro maneja conceptos geniales y me agrada el estilo del autor, la historia se volvió demasiado reiterativa y me estanqué de una forma horrible. No poder avanzar con este y que sea una serie, no me entusiasma a concluirlo. Probablemente sea forzarme a terminarlo para nada, ya que dudo que la historia termine en este tomo, y no sé si quiero leer los demás libros cuando ni siquiera me siento capaz de leer este hasta el final.
De momento, lo abandono.
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013, reread
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.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Noah Nichols
Reserving final judgment until I complete the trilogy...this was just window dressing to me.
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
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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,
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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. :)
Michelle Hankes
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
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Descubrí al autor a través del libro Blink y me encanta su estilo. Comencé a leer esta saga con muchísima expectativas, y no me defraudó su primera entrega.
Negro, es una historia diferente, narrada en dos tiempos que te hacen dudar de cuál es el verdadero, y hasta donde juzgas en cada momento la cordura del protagonista.
La trama engancha por completo, y aunque quedan muchas cosas que explicar... le daré la oportunidad con los demás de la saga.
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
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
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lydia Presley
Feb 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, fiction, scifi
In January I was introduced to Ted Dekker through his most recent Circle book, Green. I was fascinated by Thomas Hunter and his dreams in that book and with Black I feel as if they have been taken to a whole new level.

Now, Black was written before Green. And Green is meant to be read as the finale, or as the beginning - it doesn't make a difference really. I will tell you that having read Green first I was able to jump with both feet i to the story laid out in Black and my level of understanding
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2011
One man, two realities, and the end of the world. Put that in a book and you'll get Ted Dekker's first book in the Circle Series.

Valborg Svensson a multi-billionaire aiming for global supremacy tried to get his hands on the supreme cure for common illnesses- the Raison Vaccine. Unknown to the creator (Monique de Raison) the vaccine mutates to a deadly virus when heated at 179.47 degrees for two hours.

After it mutates the supposedly cure for common ailments then becomes a highly infectious, airbo
Sue Smith
I am soooo not sure how to talk about this book.

I've had it on my radar for a while, so when my last audio book finished and all my library holds had yet to materialize I had to search for the one that was going to fill the void. There is nothing worse on a commute to have to resort to the radio when you've spent years immersed in books. The thought is enough to send me over the edge! So finding this book immediately available, I took the plunge.

Well - it filled the void, but ....... But. ......
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  • The Bones of Makaidos (Oracles of Fire, #4)
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  • The Warlords of Nin (The Dragon King, #2)
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)
“Some would say the Creator is a lamb. Some would say he's a lion. Some would say both. The fact is, he is neither a lamb nor a lion. These are fiction. Metaphors. Yet the Creator is both a lamb and a lion. These are both truths.” 29 likes
“Come hither, my dear. Come hither, that I mightest protectest thou!” 28 likes
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