Read Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker Online

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This story is for everyone--but not everyone is for this story.It is a dangerous tale of times past. A love story full of deep seduction. A story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice.Then as now, evil begins its courtship cloaked in light. And the heart embraces what it should flee. Forgetting it once had a truer lover.With a kiss, evil will ravage body, soul, and mind.This story is for everyone--but not everyone is for this story.It is a dangerous tale of times past. A love story full of deep seduction. A story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice.Then as now, evil begins its courtship cloaked in light. And the heart embraces what it should flee. Forgetting it once had a truer lover.With a kiss, evil will ravage body, soul, and mind. Yet there remains hope, because the heart knows no bounds.Love will prove greater than lust. Sacrifice will overcome seduction. And blood will flow.Because the battle for the heart is always violently opposed. For those desperate to drink deep from this fountain of life, enter.But remember, not everyone is for this story."A heart-wrenching journey of redemption and hope that left me sobbing, laughing, and clinging to every word."--Donna McChristian, 44, Environmental Chemist...

Title : Immanuel's Veins
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781595540096
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 367 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Immanuel's Veins Reviews

  • Carlos Velez
    2018-12-10 01:44

    I don't want to finish this book.It is one of those stories where the dude (Toma) sees some girl (Lucine) who is beautiful and falls instantly and madly in love. But there is no reason for him to be in love. Ted Dekker spends 90% of the first several chapters of the book going on and on about the emotions Toma felt, and how he can't focus, can't think straight, is nervous, is a teenaged-emo kid with raging hormones. But at no point do Toma and the object of his obsession ever have a conversation that means anything. It's a classic case of a writer telling instead of showing. I didn't believe any of it. I only knew they were in love because the writer said so.I can remember being obsessed and passionate about girls I barely knew...in high school. But I'm a married man who is in love with his wife now, and I can give you an endless amount of reasons I love her, and those start from the first day we met. Toma's got nothing on my love story.Maybe if I were 15 I'd like this book.Also, supposedly this is a Christian book by a Christian novelist. I'm not a Christian, but I don't see how anything about this book is either. I read another book of Ted's, Skin (which was better, though only because of an interesting plot line and not the quality of the writing), and it was the same deal. I keep seeing Ted marketed as a Christian novelist, but what does that matter if there's no Christian message to his books. If he's not writing Christian novels, then his marketing team needs to stop pushing him as such. It's selling out his faith. It's gross and it's one more deterrent to convincing others that the Christian faith is true.

  • Fylvia Kline
    2018-12-12 21:40

    I feel like such a jerk giving a negative review of a book that begins with 16 raving endorsements. The only thing I liked about the book was the skillful development of the character Toma. His persona was unveiled in parallel to the unveiling of the theme of sacrificial love.Beyond that, there were a few things that bothered me:1) The inconsistency of the language. The story is set in the 1700s, but the conversations are mixed with colloquial phrases from centuries later. Phrases such as “hunk of a man” and “party pooper” seem out of place in the conversations.2) Many chapters are identical except for the setting and the characters. I grew tedious of back to back scenes of the same thing–good guy drawn by seductive being, confused by mystical culture and compelled to fight violence with violence. I felt like the book was trying hard to compete with dark, gothic vampire novels while holding on to some sort of spiritual reins.3) The spiritual lesson in the book feels lik an after thought. I was two-thirds into the book before I felt this was a Christian publication. And even after that, there were a few uncomfortable moments. For example, Toma’s love for Lucine–while sacrificial in the sense that he was willing to die for her–was a physical attraction for the most part. I wanted to see Toma grow in a deeper understanding of what love really is. It was like he took a giant leap of commitment to love without knowing why.Maybe the story is a very involved allegory with complicated symbolism that I just didn’t get. Or maybe the problem was that I was hoping for an Aslan and not a Toma. And this was just was not Narnia.

  • Goldarrow Of The Silver Bow
    2018-11-14 23:50

    Do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-Dooo “Welcome, you have just entered the Twilight Zone.” *turns off Twilight Zone theme song*Ok ok so I am going to get hate mail for this but, this book sucked. I felt like I was in the twilight zone, you know the Twilight book series “twilight zone”. Really Mr. Dekker, you had to copy cat that? Couldn’t you come up with something new?As always with Dekker the opening of Immanuel’s Veins was good.But the morals were so messed up through out the book I almost put it down many times. As a Christian I felt vampires were a bad choice and the way he made them seem “Christian” almost had me throwing my book against the wall. (I didn’t throw it because it was a library book) Not to mention I had read another book that had a very similar ideas that Dekker used.I think I found a couple ideas/beliefs I agreed with in the book, but that took a lot of searching.Now I will say the plot was ok, I felt it was driven by the love story not that the love story was the plot. Though it was very predictable I thought it was still good.The characters were flat, shallow and boring, diverse but still boring. The villain’s development wasn’t very good and he reminded me of a lot of Dekker’s other villains.Also I found a mistake, on page 97 Toma says his horse is a “dark steed” but on page 103 he says “pale mount”. Then Lucine says “that black stallion” on page 137. What kind of horse is this? Now I admit this is a very minor thing, but it had me wondering the whole time “what other mistakes am I missing that he made?”In conclusion I was very disappointed this with book. So much so I have told everyone I know not to read it. The morals were messed up, the idea were by no means original, and the characters were flat.

  • Cafelilybookreviews
    2018-11-24 00:33

    Like bees to honey, no doubt fans of Ted Dekker will flock to his newest book. However, I made the unfortunate mistake of choosing Immanuel’s Veins as the first book I would read to expose myself to this author and I believe it soured me. Dekker is wildly popular and has a steady following so I’m sure that the bad taste left in my mouth after reading this book is due to my personal preferences. On the back of the book it says: “But remember, not everyone is for this story.” And I would caution readers that this story is not for everyone.Depending on your tastes and preferences, I think you’ll either love this book or hate it. In all fairness to the author, if I would have known ahead of time that this story would revolve largely around a vampire(ish) theme, I never would have agreed to review it. If you’re a Twilight junkie or a fan of vampires and storylines that involve drinking blood, you’ll likely be just as enamored by this book as several of the reviewers whose feedback was published in the Readers Speak Out section. I personally didn’t get the comparison of the vampire theme with the crucifixion of Christ. I had a really hard time trying to wrap my brain around Toma (one of the main characters) being compared metaphorically to Christ. In my opinion, the whole story was basically an attempt to gain passage on the popular “vampire” bandwagon while maintaining some semblance of a Christian fiction novel. This one didn’t work for me, but I’m sure there are many other readers out there who will appreciate this new release from Ted Dekker.

  • Jenni Noordhoek
    2018-12-13 23:42

    The 2-star rating is probably not really deserved - Dekker is very good at what he does - it's personal opinion based on what I got out of the book. First of all, addressing the 'Christian' concerns over the book: Dekker has only one thing on his mind when he writes, apparently. Christ's love for the church, etc. (I think all of the books of his that I've read touch on this subject at least once, and some spend most of the time discussing it) This story is a little different. Act 1 goes by with a MC who 'isn't a friend of the devil, and not an enemy of God' - i.e. he doesn't know much about God and doesn't really care to as long as he lives a good life. Act 2 forces the MC to admit that there's the supernatural out there, and it affects his life. Introduces the cult in the castle next door. (It was pretty obvious to me that it was a cult most of the story - it was definitely played up to be attractive since that was how the baddies were selling it to the characters - and it was a 'Christian' cult in that it twisted the words of Christianity - but it quickly is obviously evil.) Act 3 is filled with the MC, finding that the orthodox church would rather kill him than the vampires who were hiding behind a mask of Christianity, learns the truth about God and quickly 'converts'... and then turns to fighting vampires in the traditional manner (which, the water wasn't holy until his blood was spilled in it, and it was very clear that it was a special dispensation for this occasion. Speculative fiction, naturally. :D). And saving the girl. In a very parallel manner, albeit intentionally ('be her Immanuel'). This take on it was good. I liked.Basically, yes, it's a very Christian book; just not in the way you'd initially expect. Don't put a box around Ted Dekker, he'll break it up into bits and burn it. Historical concerns: This is a book set in an alternate, fictional past. The impression I got with the anachronistic wording, was that characters such as Johannes did not come from that time period. (For this to make sense, read the Circle and the Lost Books series - this is a crossover!) As an addition to vampire & Dekker lore: I am not a fan of Twilight. I think this has got to be better. xD Really liked the tie-ins to the Circle, particularly why the vampires hated water and wood. And the scab disease, another good tie-in. There was one scene that I had hoped would tie in even closer to the Circle, but as it's our world and not the parallel world of the Circle, it of course did not. It was very close though, and obviously meant to evoke the same idea. Annnnd.... Romantic Concerns: Okay, I don't recommend this to anybody who hasn't had a romantic relationship before. Why? Because you'll be bored out of your mind. This is my primary reason for such a low rating! I just couldn't stand the mushiness. Naturally, it's kept to a PG-13 level (limited descriptions of even kissing, just enough to get the point across), but there are many innuendos (which, for the record, disgust the MC's...) and hints as to inappropriate romance that happened off-screen. I understand what Dekker did. This is important; the reader needs to be disgusted with the baddies and hope for the MC's to fall in love. The reader needs to understand the depths of this because then at the end, the impact is pretty big. (Let's just say the MC grows a lot.) However.... it was mushy. I skimmed over a bunch of the mushiest pages. So, the point of the plot element is very clear. It's just not going to be for everyone. I suspect I'll enjoy the story a lot more when I get older. And I'd never hand this book to anyone under 16.Violence concerns: It's Dekker. And there's a cult of vampires that drink blood and turn humans into vampires through the mixing of blood in a ritual that involves both parties drinking blood. And blood is spilled. Multiple times. Vampires are staked properly. Vampires kill and maim, violently. On the scale of what I know Dekker is capable of, this is probably 4/5. Fairly high. Like the romance level, he had some pretty clear goals of what he wanted to accomplish with this, so I'll leave it be. To Sum Up: Dekker's one of those authors that you can pick and choose which books you like from him, because his style varies so much. This was a no for me. Hopefully this review will help you decide if it's a yes for you!

  • Christy Lockstein
    2018-12-11 21:28

    Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker is a stand out book by a controversial Christian author. Toma Nicolescu is a devoted warrior for Catherine, Empress of Russia, so when he is sent to Moldavia with Alek, his comrade-in-arms, to protect the twin daughters, Lucine and Natasha, of an important estate, he intends to remain businesslike, despite their renowned beauty. Alek and Natasha have an immediate connection as lovers of passion and freedom. Toma is mysteriously drawn to Lucine, but his duty to Russia makes him deny his feelings until she is threatened by Vlad van Velarik, a mysterious Russian who has brought a entourage of strangely beautiful men and women who alternately entice and taunt the two couples. Everything changes when Vlad determines to court Lucine, and Toma must decide what she means to him and just far he is willing to go for love. Dekker is well-known for his dark and occasionally disturbing fiction that stretches readers' imagination and faith, but IV has taken his writing to a completely new level. The tone is completely authentic, and the images are haunting, compelling, and completely unforgettable. This book will shake up readers' ideas of what sacrificial love looks like. It is beautiful and terrible and life-changing. Dekker has truly set himself a new standard of writing with this book, and I can't wait to see what he does next.

  • Stefanie
    2018-11-25 21:41

    This book started off a little slow, but as Ted Dekker always does, he draws you in with a freaky plot that you Can't Put Down.I enjoyed Immanuel's Veins. It was different subject matter than other books I've read by Dekker and I liked it. It was a vintage vampire-like tale set in Russia back when Catherine the Great was ruling.Other than the slow beginning and the rushed development of Toma's love for Lucine, I thoroughly enjoyed this read!

  • Jenn Stevens
    2018-12-05 23:45

    I was lucky enough to get an early copy of IV, and have read it twice. Ted has really gone over the top with this novel. It is sure to create some controversy due to the raw emotion bled into the page- A good thing, I think. I've read all of Ted's books, and am inspired by his honest, unapologetic style. I found Immanuel's Veins to be his most powerful work thus far. It really made me think and examine preconceived notions I had about my Creator and myself, among other things. It even made me uncomfortable in some places. Yet, if an author can't do that, they aren't worth reading. Ted has a gift for making us see things as they are, not just in a way that makes us feel good or make us comfortable in our faith. His novels don't look like your typical "Christian" fiction, yet it's hard to read any of them without witnessing God's love as it conquers evil. It's not preachy. It's deep. It's often painful. It sometimes makes you squirm and want to put it down. It unapologetically calls out evil as it is-terrifying, real, seductive, and walking among us every day. Ted also gives us a story of God's ability to vanquish that evil with a Creator's relentless pursuit of us in a Great Romance. And that will blow you away- Immanuel's Veins is on a basic level a beautiful, fast paced love story between Toma Nicolescu, a warrior for Catherine the Great in 1770's Eastern Europe, and his charge, Lucine Cantimir, who has fallen under the spell of a Duke in nearby Castle Castile. There are stormy nights, dungeons, feasts, towers, battles for the honor of the ladies, and lots of other historical action adventures. There are many twists and turns, and you are never quite sure what is around the next corner. There are many epic good and evil battles throughout the novel. It will really make you examine how evil can (and does) use love for its own benefit to ensnare. There is so much more to the story of Toma and Lucine, though. Immanuel's Veins is the story of a savior's love for his bride, and just how far a savior will go to rescue His Bride. This love story will bring tears to your eyes. It will lift your eyes toward heaven and redefine what romance is all about. It all starts with a Lover and a Beloved. Beyond that, you will just have to dive in, dive deep, and grab ahold of this epic novel.

  • Teresa
    2018-12-08 18:52

    What do you call a male "bodice ripper" ? A cod piece crusher? This book was not worthy of Mr Dekker's usual effort. It is repetitive in thoughts, actions, and words. Melodramatic to the point of ridiculous. Ted... we "get" it.. they are Vampires!! There's NO MYSTERY!! The minute "Vlad" (Couldn't you think of a name that was a little more original?) walks through the door we know what he is..or.. do you think your readers are really that dense that you have to repeat the obvious over and over? It is almost as if he knew he had such a weak story line thathe had to stall for time with the constant redundancy so that he could etch out 267 pages. I kept hoping the story would pick up but finally quit on page 138. I knew nothing on page 138 that I didn't know on page 10. However, I guess I never will know who or what "Immanuel" is,(he's not mentioned up to page 138) but actually, I don't care. All I can say is I am glad I didn't spend money on this book. I apologize for the nasty review but this book really is awful.

  • Crystal Jewell Killeen
    2018-11-13 18:56

    Immanuel’s Veins is the story of Toma Nicolescu, a warrior commissioned by Catherine the Great of Russia to protect the Cantemir family of Moldavia. Toma and his friend Alek are to protect this family, a women and her two twin daughters, from the threats of the encroaching war. Toma is a well known warrior and is a man who takes himself and his orders very seriously. However, very soon after meeting the eldest Cantemir daughter Lucine, Toma realizes he is in a situation he is desperately unprepared for. He has fallen in love with Lucine and he struggles with the love he carries for her and his loyalty to the empress. He hides his love from Lucine and in return Lucine begins a courtship with a Russian duke named Vlad van Valerik. Toma is instantly put on guard after meeting the duke, and is convinced Vlad is not what he seems. Toma is determined to reclaim the women he loves and expose Vlad for what he truly is, but what Toma finds will test not only his love for Lucine but his belief in a higher power.There is a quote written on the back of this book and I find it to be very relevant to this story. “This story is for everyone but not everyone is for this story.” I can honestly say I was not for this story at all! This is the first book I have read by Ted Dekker and I am afraid it is probably my last. My major problem with this story was the inconsistency of the language. The story is set in the 1700s, but the conversations are mixed with colloquial phrases from centuries later. Phrases such as "hunk of a man" and "party pooper" seem out of place in the conversations. I also noted that early in the book there was a part that said “Toma showered and shaved”. Now, this just seemed odd to me, I cannot say with 100% accuracy that they did not have showers in the 1700’s, but I have never heard of this. Another issue that bothered me was the lack of character development. To me the characters were flat and boring. I felt nothing for the main character and on more than one occasion asked myself- should a warrior be this wimpy? Now, this leads me to the love/Romance part of the story. There were a few uncomfortable moments for me in this department. For example, Toma’s love for Lucine. Yes, while sacrificial in that he would die for her, it was for the most part a purely physical attraction. I really wanted to see Toma learn what love really was, but in the end the love story was as shallow as the characters themselves. The redundancy of this book also made it difficult to read. There were multiple chapters that seemed to repeat themselves. It felt as though the author rehashed previous chapters but placed the characters in different roles and locations. All in all it really made the reading of this story drag on forever!As a Christian I see what Mr. Dekker was trying to do with this story, and I did enjoy the message at the end, and for that I am happy I read this book. Having said that I do feel as though the spiritual lesson in the book was an after thought. I was two-thirds into the book before I felt like this was a Christian based story. This book was just an odd read, and frankly very difficult to finish. I guess when it comes right down to it, I was one of those people that just wasn’t for this story.http://crystalsreadingcorner.blogspot...

  • Janna
    2018-12-02 01:30

    I love Ted Dekker. Seriously, I love his writing, his style, his stories and can I just say that I met him last year and he is just a great guy (and I'll just say what we're all thinking - he's pretty sexy too!). I love the way his stories suck you in and grip you until they are finished and then they keep your mind captivated for days after. "Boneman's Daughters" was really good, "Kiss" with Erin Healy was excellent, "The Lost Books" are amazing, you get the idea. I was really excited for "Immanuel's Veins". In theory this book should be right up my alley, I get into the whole vampire, otherworldly books - the setting and era of this book was great too. But for some reason I just couldn't quite get into this one. I've read some other reviews and a lot of people LOVE this book. That's great, I thought it was good, there is nothing wrong with it, it just isn't my favorite Ted Dekker book. I encourage you to read it though because it might speak to you in just the right way and really be a life changing book for you (as it has been for a lot of people). I am totally anticipating Ted's next book because if one thing remains true about Ted, it's that he is not afraid to try new things and he is always pushing the envelope!

  • MaryLu Tyndall
    2018-11-14 00:27

    I haven't read many of Dekker's novels but I couldn't resist this one that he labeled an Historical Romance. After all, that's my specialty! Anyway, let me first say that I don't care for vampires. But let me also say how refreshing it was to see that vampires are actually evil in this story. I'm sorry, but I just can't get into the contemporary blood-sucking, pale-faced, creature as the romantic hero. Despite the vampires and the gore, this book kept me up LATE into the night. But that's Dekker's specialty, writing books you can't put down. This one is no exception. As far as the romance goes.. well, I wasn't particularly feeling it. But the spiritual warfare was awesome! And I adored the hero, even if he did seem a bit Emo at times. I have no idea why this book was banned in some stores. The symbolism of the power inherent in a blood sacrifice (a theme that also runs through the Bible) as well as the allegorical reference to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross was a theme that ran throughout the story. The sacrifice of unconditional love expressed to the full in the shedding of blood. Anyway, a book well worth reading. But look beyond the vampires to the true meaning.

  • Becca Campbell
    2018-12-11 18:47

    To our world that has forgotten the meaning of selflessness and unconditional love, Dekker spins a tale to remind us not only of what true love really is, but the lengths to which it will go to save a soul.Completely different than anything else Dekker has written, this book immersed me in a world of long ago and took me on a journey through one man’s anguish, temptation, passion and sacrifice, leaving me with a sense of overwhelming joy.This is not a story about vampires, but it is a story about choosing between love and lust, life and death., The hero of the story, Toma, had my heart from the beginning. I shared his pain and his triumph as if he were a part of me.Immanuel’s Veins holds the power of transforming minds by presenting the message of salvation in a fresh way that is rich and honest. It just might shake your world to the core.

  • Kylie Crucifixion
    2018-12-05 19:27

    Thanks again Ted for keeping me up all night and giving me ANOTHER (good) cry!!

  • Susan
    2018-12-10 23:41

    SPOILER ALERT: I am normally a Ted Dekker fan, but I have to say I was very disappointed in this book. It is a vampire drama/romance in which the main character, Toma, falls in love with a beautiful woman (Lucine) who is seduced by vampires. He then must storm the castle, rescue the girl, and ultimately "be her Immanuel" by shedding his own blood to save her life and destroy the vampire. The story reads like an Ann Rice novel, with the first third of the book focusing on the flirtations and physical attractions between the various characters in the book. I don't read romance because I don't like the cheap titillations and over-the-top descriptions of physical perfection--and this book was full of both. No explicit sexual scenes, but there was plenty of suggestion. My second problem with this book was the "Immanuel" plot line. I enjoy a good allegory (like Dekker's Circle trilogy) and I hoped this one would be just as good. But as I neared the end of the book, I became more and more uncomfortable. Toma dislikes religion and has nothing to do with the church; however, he eventually has an "experience" where he meets an "angel" (or at least a person from another world)who explains the vampires to him and gives him a "Blood Book" which describes the creatures in detail and tells how to defeat them. The vampires are meant to be the offspring of humans and fallen angels (as described in Genesis--although this interpretation is widely disputed). By exchanging blood with humans (usually through biting each other's lips) the vampires can "change" humans to become like them. Lucine, the heroine, is seduced by the vampire leader and bitten to become his bride. Toma literally sheds his blood into a fountain, she falls into it, and his blood saves her. Clearly, the parallel is that one whose blood is pure can rescue one with tainted blood--but the problem for me is that this story is not presented as being in some alternate universe. Christ is referenced in the story, and Toma's sacrifice, therefore, is in addition to the sacrifice already made by Christ. This is a huge theological problem. I found it sacriligious that the shedding of Christ's blood on the cross was in any way linked to the destruction of vampires. The book concludes by quoting a slightly altered version of William Cowper's "There is a Fountain Filled With Blood" and suggesting that the original version was written by Toma (the book's main character) and was then found and slightly altered by Cowper. This makes the poem a reference to Toma's blood and the sacrifice he made to kill the vampires--which is a terrible injustice to Cowper's wonderful poem and which cheapens the references to Christ's blood. I found the book irreverent in the sense of elevating Toma's sacrifice almost to the same level as Christ's--the same kind of sacrifice--the shedding of blood to purge out evil. Toma must "be Immanuel" for Lucine. Immanuel--meaning God with us--is not a name or position that can be filled by any human--no one but Christ can be Immanuel. It's not just the act of shedding blood that made Christ Immanuel. Dekker leaves theological orthodoxy in shreds for the sake of a cheap thrill. And by talking about Christ's shed blood within the context of the book, Dekker robs his story of its allegorical potential and instead of creating a Christ-representative character, he creates an imitation christ. Dekker should leave the vampires alone and stick with the stuff he's good at. Skip this book--it's far from his best.

  • Steven
    2018-11-28 01:55

    My rating on this deserves explanation. My feeling about this was on a Love/hate basis. My first problem with the book was that it was made obvious they were vampires but the characters didn't seem catch on. My other problem was that Mr. Dekker was simply following the vampire fad EVERY ONE ELSE IS. Twilight made Vamps awesome and everyone seemed to have jumped on the bandwagon. Then he also tried using "clever" names such as "Vlad" and "Alucard" in the names. Okay, so we all know Alucard is Dracula backwards and almost every one that uses vamps (almost) uses that stupid name. That scene were the name was under a family portrait, that name, literally made me toss the book at a wall I was so frustrated. Yes, way to be original. So if I have so much disdain for the book then why 5/5 and make it my favorite book?The meaning and message behind the book is absolutely brilliant, and I was so impressed on how the Nephlim in the bible were incorporated (Seriously. Its a ton better then some ideas. e.g: Dracula 2000. Really? The vamp is Judas? Riiiight...)Other than his random stupid name usage like vlad and alucard and even the fact he was doing a vampire book in the middle of this fad the book was pretty solid and his vampires really were the old fashioned kind. they didnt sparkle and what not...they reminded me a little bit of stokers vampire. Seduce, steal and manipulate. Everything all the way to the end of the book had me ripping through the pages well into the middle of the night up to the awesome end. Normally I would say more because the end was amazing but i just dont want to spoil anything.

  • Cassondra
    2018-11-16 19:51

    Wow. I had begun to dislike Ted Dekker's books in recent years what with all the darkness that seemed to be portrayed in them, especially his thrillers. I have always believed that an in depth study or knowledge of evil is not the way to fight it and that seemed to be something many of his books endeavored to do: educate one on evil so it can be avoided.I am very pleased to say that this book is nothing like that. It has, in fact, made me think I had misjudged his books. I will definitely give his fantasies another shot at any rate! While it took me a good 150 pages to really get into the book, I was glad I persevered. In so doing I found an awesome message that had truth in it. Namely that duty can only hold desire at bay for so long. Willpower alone cannot make you do the right thing forever. It is only when our desires become one and the same with the desires of Yahweh that we can be sure we will consistently choose right. So it was for Toma, the main character whose name means twin. He had to choose between his sworn duty to Catherine the Great and his heart's desire. Once that took place the book really took off. Fans of Dekker's "Circle" trilogy will really enjoy the similarities and links between these books.A final word on desires. Yahweh is faithful. If you delight yourself in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart. Your desires and His will be one and the same. And if they aren't to that point yet, ask Him to give you His desires. For He is faithful to do that too. And HalleluYah!

  • Carly
    2018-12-07 21:42

    The back cover of Immanuel’s Veins says “This story is for everyone but not everyone is for this story.” That’s all I needed to see to know that I just had to read this book. If a Christian book even hints at pushing the envelope, I just can’t resist. Even as I write this review, I’m still not sure how I feel about it, and I finished reading it days ago. This being my first Ted Dekker book, I did not know what to expect, but I knew his books were very popular. I think fans of his will love this book and I think fans of vampire stories will love this book. I personally can’t stand this vampire/Twilight mania that has been going on and I will say I was disappointed with that aspect of the book. I think I could have overlooked the vampire angle if this story had pulled me in the way I thought it would, but I just never really felt like I got into the story. I really wanted to love this book and there was nothing that I found offensive. I never felt the author went too far, although he did push some boundaries, but I have tremendous respect for Christian authors who challenge their readers the way Ted Dekker does. So, Immanuel’s Veins is my first Ted Dekker book and I was not wowed by it, but the quality of the writing is the reason there will be more Ted Dekker books in my future. I think I am going to hang on to this book and perhaps read it again in a year or so and see if I have a different reaction to it. I think this book deserves another chance.

  • Eliana
    2018-12-12 18:28

    You pick up this book 'cause of its cool title and since it says "Dekker" on it ... Here's my review.I like the point of the book that DekKer made overall about how powerful seduction really is. However, in the middle it dragged--a lot--and at times I felt I was slogging through it, and WHY is Toma in love with Lucine!?!? Because she's beautiful and you "understand" each other? NO! I would've enjoyed the book more if it hadn't been from Toma's point of view in the different sections.Not so much your typical Dekker! Too vampiry and faddish! I've seen much more from him. In the end, though, I was glad I read it--references and tie-ins to biblical references as well as the Circle books (Shataiki/Alucard/Nephilim/forest/wood/water etc). Also, I could not figure out at all what historical setting this would have been in, but that's never been Dekkery to do that. This should have stayed as a draft or condensed, because the vampire explanation of the Nephilim has a clear logic that verifies it as one possible explanation behind the legends.And WHY does Alek have to die!?!?

  • Rachel
    2018-11-28 00:57

    *gross sobbing* :')

  • Wendie Rogers
    2018-12-10 00:28

    I really liked this book! It took me in and I could not put it down read it in 3 days!!

  • Bastian10
    2018-11-15 18:49

    entre 3 estrellas y 3,5☆Puntos favorables del libro:*Los protagonistas del libro (Toma, Lucine,Vlad,Natasha y Alek) me parecieron personajes bastante bien construidos, no se me hicieron para nada planos, a pesar de esto, no sentí cercanía con ningún de ellos, el único que me produjo algo fue el antagonista de la historia que en un momento de la novela se gano mi odio.*Me encanto el comienzo del libro, el ambiente, las descripciones de los lugares donde transcurría la historia y esto se iba complementando con el dialogo de los personajes que hacían mas llevadera la historia lo que hizo que me enganchara desde el principio. *Las partes de acción o lucha estuvieron bien descritas y fueron las mejores partes de la trama.Puntos en contra del libro:*La trama comienza tan bien, pero en la mitad va decayendo poco a poco, volviéndose repetitiva, no cayo en lo aburrido, pero si se me hizo un poco tediosa.*Se me hizo poco creíble la historia de amor, los protagonistas enamorados de forma repentina y esto en las primeras paginas se ve muy forzado.*Si bien encontré que los personajes principales estaban bien descritos, los secundarios los encontré ridículos, descuidados y casi iguales, algunos si no fuera por los nombres no hubiera podido distinguirlos.En conclusión es un libro entretenido, pero que no va mas allá de eso, en el desarrollo se vuelve un tanto repetitivo y predecible pero si quieres leer un libro con un conflicto centrado en el amor que se desenvuelva en un mundo con criaturas perversas y mucho misterio, podría ser libro que buscas.

  • Daley Downing
    2018-12-03 00:48

    With all the debate over what sort of topics are "appropriate" for Christians to write about, and then I saw that Ted Dekker was the keynote speaker at 2017 Realm Makers, I thought this would be a good novel to remind believers of.If you simply don't care for violent books, then I can understand why you might avoid Dekker's work. He is unapologetic about the fact that the real world is violent and not always nice, and he feels it's necessary to show some of it with regards to later depicting the coming of the light (in his works, it's always a born-again Christian message).I am not a fan of R-rated violence, with reading, movies, audio books, whatever. But I make an exception now and then for authors like Dekker, because of how truly amazing the message within is. "Immanuel's Veins" is an absolutely great blend of historical fiction and the Gothic genre, the writing style nailed, the characters appropriately good and sympathetic, or evil and who you should root for getting axed. (And yes, it is okay to feel this way about a fictional person/monster.) Dekker's portrayal of the loss of innocence and learning to rely on other people and on God is so good to read. In a few of his other books I've tried, for some reason I had trouble keeping the characters apart, but this is not the case with "Immanuel's Veins." I really enjoyed the story as well, not just its message. The ending is nothing short of heartwrenching (in a good way). For anyone who likes the Gothic genre or is a fan of Dekker, I highly recommend this read.

  • Hannah Sulfridge
    2018-12-06 17:35

    What a bluntly honest book displaying the dangers of lust over true love! The plot of this story drew me in and kept my attention, but the ending scene of redemption so captured the picture of God's love, I read it through several times, each time tearing up at the realization of all that God does for me!

  • MC
    2018-11-22 00:39

    A friend of mine once commented in a book review about a collection of vampire stories how the classic ones with sin, morality, and evil vampires are refreshing in the climate of the current vampire craze. Indeed, the clash between the current trend of morally ambiguous, sex-crazed vampires, and the older cosmology with its emphasis on good and evil, God, sin, and religion, is a picture of much of what makes modern literature so useless compared to the classics of almost any genre. Ted Dekker returns us to the older conception of good and evil, and the idea that these creatures are *definitely* evil. Yet, he also skillfully weaves into the story the modern conception of a good vampire. It’s not definitively stated, but it is definitely teased a bit. I can imagine that there are some who mistakenly think of Dekker’s new book, *Immanuel’s Veins* as a “new” concept in vampire myth, when it is not. The novel opens in the late 1700’s, where two soldiers are sent by Empress Catherine the Great of Russia to watch over the daughters of a wealthy family, as there are rumored threats against them from the numerous enemies of the Empire. Upon arrival at the spacious, castle-like grounds, two things happen. First, the main character, and first-person narrator for most of the novel, Toma Nicolescu falls irrevocably in love with one of the young daughters. Secondly, a group of supposed “royals” moves into an even more spacious castle nearby, and begin to stalk and eventually court the entire household, including Toma and his partner and subordinate, Alek. Out of duty, Toma keeps his feelings to himself. That is, he does until he falls temporarily to the charms of this monstrous clan. Then Toma realizes what type of creatures these are, and that the woman he loves has been seduced and turned by them. Now he is faced with the truly impossible task of freeing her from the disease of the mind and body that is seemingly irreversible, as well as defeating an adversary that is his better in every physical manner. Of course he wins, and how will anger some people. It is not some straight on fight, not once the creature begins wiping the floor with him. It is only through divine intervention that he wins. Really, that is the only way he could win. This ties together the central themes that Dekker weaves throughout the narrative. Evil exists, evil is much more powerful than us, so we cannot hope to defeat it. Even when it appears to give us the earthly pleasures we seek, and it often does, it comes at the price of long-term suffering in this world, and guaranteed torments in the next. It is not sexy, or cool, or any other such bilge. How, then, can we defeat this evil? God. Jesus Christ. Morality. We cannot ourselves defeat evil, but God can, because the universe is *not* a yin and yang place. God and the devil are not equal. God is supreme. The final theme that Dekker touched on could have turned out badly, as it so often does. Dekker appeared to pull it off quite beautifully. That is, he makes the victory of God by use of Toma and the redemption of the lady a type, or picture, of the victory of God through His Son Jesus Christ, and the redemption of the world. All in all, a great novel. The only problem that I had with it was the rather gratuitous attacks on medieval Christianity. This historical fallacy is common in writings. The Church was not the corrupt institution that people believe it to have been. This historical smear is repeated by Dekker as contrasted to the eventual “true” Christianity of the characters at the end of the novel. To be fair, I think it was more of plot device than a purposeful attack, but it still is bad history, and really did border on the gratuitous. Despite this small criticism of the story, the book is a genuine page-turner, and is filled with food for thought to nourish the intellect and the spirit. Highly Recommended. -----I received this novel by Ted Dekker for free from Thomas Nelson publishers via their BookSneeze program. I am obligated to read it and give a review on my blog and on a commercial web site such as Amazon.com. Thomas Nelson emphasizes their desire for honest reviews, whether positive or negative, in order to help them create a better product. The opinions above are my honest viewpoint. I want to thank Thomas Nelson for allowing me to review this book, and thank you all for reading this.

  • T.E. George
    2018-12-12 18:49

    Toma Nicolescu and his companion Alec Cardei have seen more battles and faced more fierce enemies than either can remember in their service to their Empress, Catherine the Great. And now they have been sent on a special assignment to protect a Moldavian countess and her two daughters, Lucine and Natasha. The countess is a free spirit who has raised her daughters to live for the moment and whatever love (or lust) they care to explore. Such instantly appeals to Alec who both acknowledges being the lover of the pair. But not Toma. He is a warrior, bound by duty and honor to the will of his empress.It doesn’t take but the first night’s banquet to make Toma realize he and his companion in arms have walked into something neither anticipated. A group of Russians have been invited and while strangely alluring, Toma senses they are also equally dangerous. It doesn’t take long for him to realize he should have paid more heed to the strange old man he and Alec met before arriving. When Toma called him a devil the shriveled character had replied, “I am not the devil … he is more beautiful than I.” But Toma does not believe in the devil or God so he did not listen. That will all change in the few days to come.Immanuel’s Veins is in some ways a radical departure for Dekker as he tackles what appears to be a historical romance. But at its foundation, this is a return for the author to themes he so profoundly explored in The Circle series. That leads me to wonder if Toma is too closely similar to Thomas Hunter to be coincidence. And I wonder if Dekker will admit to it since he swears this isn’t a vampire novel. Yes, a vampire novel. And a testament to the power of this story is my aversion to all things vampire. It’s not that I have anything against the good vs. evil story of the legends that continue to swirl around old Vlad the Impaler of Transylvania. But this reviewer avoids band wagons and has grown tired of the modern interpretation of the legend that has turned the blood suckers into sympathetic cases driven more by 20 something angst than evil.In a way only Dekker can, he puts the bad back into Vlad (forgive the pun). What Toma encounters in Vlad van Valerik, a Russian aristocrat, challenges everything the soldier has always been sure of. And though duty and honor are the driving force of his life it is his love for one of the daughters, Lucine, that becomes his north star. The greatest lesson Toma has to learn is that he can no longer trust in his sword and strength of will to fight every battle. Evil runs in the veins of Vlad van Valerik and only something more powerful can overcome him – the blood of Immanuel’s veins.A warning – this is not a book for the faint of heart. Nothing is held back in drawing a picture both of the blackness of sin and evil or the effect they have on the human soul. Just as in Black, Red, White, and Green, Dekker turns the heart inside-out and shows us what wickedness looks like when it breaks beyond the veil of the hidden spiritual and shows itself in the flesh. You will never forget what Toma feels as he looks into the black pools of temptation that rest in the eyes of Valerik’s daughter. Nor will you be able to set aside how quickly the suave exterior and sweet words of Valerik transform into something akin to the very breath of hell.Immanuel’s Veins is a story of power, lust, love, evil … and redemption. And it reminds us that redemption did not come without the greatest of costs. It is most appropriate that Toma comes to understand this in the darkest of places in the most hopeless of moments. After all, isn’t that where we come to really comprehend what redemption is?

  • Nicola Mansfield
    2018-11-21 01:35

    Acquired: Received a review copy from Thomas Nelson's Book Sneeze Program.Reason for Reading: I've been a fan of Dekker's for a few years and am reading each new book that comes out.A warrior, Toma, and his companion are sent to guard a Lady and her twin daughters as the Empress feels they may be in danger and the daughters are suitable to be used for marriage negotiations. His companion has an affair with one daughter and Toma falls in love with the other but keeps his feelings to himself as he is duty bound not to become involved. Through his companion's escapades though, Toma, becomes aware that the nearby neighbours living in what one would call more a fortress than a castle are not only dangerous but downright evil. Ultimately, this is another take on the vampire tale, though the V-word is never used. Instead the mythology is taken from fantastical Biblical interpretations of the Nephilim. The story is a sensual one, full of lust and enticing senses. It is a story of Good vs. Evil, of the Passion of Christ, God's Love and redemption. However, the book would also read as a paranormal by non-believers.The first half of the book has a very strong Gothic feeling with dark castles in the night, women wandering alone, long musky tunnels underground and strange portraits hung on the wall. Typical of that genre is the melodramatic love story that would match any Victorian Gothic. Ted Dekker once again writes another book that keeps you turning the pages with an eerie atmospheric suspense. This book, though, is quite different than anything I've read by Dekker at this point. I won't say it's my favourite but the story was certainly gripping and intriguing.I did have a some theological problems with the book though. Set in a country and era where all the characters are part of the Russian Orthodox Church (whether practicing or not), Dekker's characters were somewhat unrealistic. Water was made holy, by having a just-turned believer saying a few words that came to mind over it, a crucifix as well. An Orthodox Christian would know this would not necessarily even work and a priest's blessing would be needed for the type of Evil we are talking here. And secondly, this man who is a soldier in the Empress's Army fighting for God goes over the Lord's words at the Last Supper in his mind and vehemently stresses the symbolic nature of the blood at the Eucharist. An Orthodox Christian in 1700s Russia wouldn't even have contemplated such heresy, never mind have taken it as some sort of "fact".

  • Amy
    2018-12-12 00:28

    This book came recommended to me, so I was excited about diving into it. I really wanted to enjoy it. The first few pages were intriguing: A warrior vowed to service of the empress must choose between duty and his love for the fair maiden in his charge. Sounds like a sweet little romance with a bit of a dark twist.Two problems: the world and the characters.1. The world. Where the heck is this place? Some foggy castle somewhere, plagued by some upstanding Russian duke named Vlad van Vladerson and some other Russians. I have been immersed in story worlds before. In this one, I was just drowning in blood and lovers and love and blood and wine and sorrowful glances. (and yes, we get who the Russians are. We get it from the moment they enter the party.)2. The characters.Toma (as described in the book): A godless warrior who has killed a thousand men with his bare hands, and is devoted to his duty to the Empress.Toma (as written): A fifteen year old emo kid who has never seen a pretty girl before and has no social skills because he spends all his time writing sappy poetry in his diary.Lucine (as described): A woman who was abused and beaten by her husband until she miscarried a child, then killed the man in cold-blooded revenge.Lucine (as written): A seventeen year old girl who still needs a babysitter and gets her feelings hurt when the jocks don't let her sit at their lunch table. So she decides to hang out with the goths, namely the Russian named Vlad van Vladinov.The characters that act out this story show none of the depth or maturity that characters with honest, painful life experiences would have. It was shallow, flat, and disappointing. Then it made me feel like a jerk because terrible things happened to the characters and I didn't care. And I don't want to read about terrible things that have no real meaning.Yes, there is (blatant) Christian symbolism. But Toma is to Jesus as Napoleon Dynamite is to King Leonidas from 300. I had no emotional connection to these characters or their story. I might try one of Dekker's other works -- it's possible that this is his style of storytelling, and that it's just not for me. Still, I'll give it 2 stars because I did make it through to the end to see what all the fuss was about.

  • Jessica
    2018-12-01 18:57

    *Sigh* I can't tell you in words why I loved this book the way I did. I read it in 1day, which is not uncommon for me, but none the less. This is my 1st Ted D book & I hanven't decided if I will read another. I won't be able to stomach if I am let down.The characters, even the 'bad' ones, have a level of chivalry, duty, honor, and passion that is almost extinct in my opinion these days. Such a presense of selfless unconditional love, that almost makes you sick to your stomach. Perhaps that's what kept me entangled in the book, the ridiculous love at 1st sight, love me or I will die, duel to the death over nothing more than maddening love. It was all very dramatic and dangerous those days I suppose. My grandfather always said I was born in the wrong time period. His creatures had you almost believing that their way was ok because their level of belief was so strong, of course until things start to happen. But what's wrong w/a little love to the enth degree?! Loads! I believe that kind of love has too many sacrifices, from personal experiences. Nothing like responsibility to get in the way of romances heard of every so often. Toma's release of his charge from the queen for the worlds most basic and deadly instinct, love, is beyond simple and impossible at the same time. I like the build up to him finally doing so, what it can take and what can happen before we do something. And then the extremes we endure for choosing such; punishment, toture, sacrifice, and even death. I dislike to add this book did nothing for my...dislike of religion. I believe in good and therefor in the absence of good, bad, but we as humans are awful things and have done more than evil can define in the name of God. It makes me sick. I have to stop there because I can go on and on.I believe your past and the state of your life can make or break a book for anyone, no matter their prefered style of reading. This book has stayed in my thoughts more than often in the days after reading. I found myself going back to the book hoping there was more to read, knowing full well there was not. Simply put, this is not my type of book, but you see how much it got to me.

  • Jennifer K
    2018-11-25 00:27

    Severely disappointing.Ted Dekker seems to get such great reviews, but having read this, I can't figure out why.The description/reviews for this book promised a fresh take on the vampire myths but to any well read reader, this was a hodge-podge of vampire cliches. The whole beginning was too much like Dracula, complete with the virgin/whore contrast of the two female characters, and the nighttime wanderings of the girl with the looser morals. The attempt to tie Christianity with vampirism and the Nephilim and the warrior's sudden epiphany and ability to bless water was thin, weak, and all too convenient and unforgivably predictable for the plot.The love story aspect? Please, if you are going to try to sell off a tale of romance, actually build the romance. Not a warrior who suddenly weeps and whines over the girl who, upon one glance and one walk through a garden, is now his whole universe..... No tension between characters, no chemistry. This whole scenario was so flat and unbelievable and frankly, made this "warrior" character turn out to be quite pathetic.All in all, this seemed like a lukewarm first-draft. I would have preferred much more backstory on the characters, much much much more exploration on the religion-love-sacrificing blood themes (rather than just being conveniently handed an old book that reveals very little) and far FAR more originality. I pretty much wanted to toss the book when Dekker actually has the main female character dress in fishnet stockings, a long black skirt slit up to her thigh, and a red and black choker. Did his characters shop at Hot Topic?