A.D. 30 Abridged Edition

A.D. 30 Abridged EditionA.D. 30 Abridged Edition by Ted Dekker
Genres: Biblical Fiction
Published by Center Street on August 4, 2015
Pages: 160
Also by this author: A.D. 33

 

From the mighty Kalb tribe, Maviah was born into a life of shame—the daughter of a king to a mother from the lowliest of tribes. As a child she was sold as a slave and sent to Egypt, but later found herself back in her father’s palace as a shameful outcast. However, when Maviah’s only friend and ally within the palace dies, the events that follow, thrust her from a shameful existence to the Kalb’s savior. On a journey with two of her father’s most trusted warriors, Maviah encounters a force in the person of Yeshua. Will she be able to surrender her fears and save her people or will her life of shame condemn her to death? Even with 300 less pages than the original version of this story, A.D. 30 Abridged Edition is quite impressive capturing many of the great qualities of the first edition.

Even with 300 less pages than the original version of this story, A.D. 30 Abridged Edition is quite impressive capturing many of the great qualities of the first edition.

When I first heard about the abridged version of A.D. 30, my initial reaction was, “Great idea, but how can this story be trimmed without losing the heart of it?” Amazingly enough, Ted has done an excellent job of removing 300 pages and still keeping the flow and the heart of the story. Though one of my personal favorite sections was removed (the journey through the desert), it was an obvious choice and the result is seamless. Other than this one section, I can’t pinpoint where scenes were cut. It has been a year since reading the original version, so without a doubt I am simply not remembering the omitted scenes. However, given that the story still fits together exceptionally well is a testament to the care and thought put into the editing process for this edition.

There are a lot of things I enjoyed about A.D. 30 and many of those features remain in the abridged version.

There are a lot of things I enjoyed about A.D. 30 and many of those features remain in the abridged version. Ted strikes a nice balance between historical information and the current story being told. Maviah’s character is set up very well and there is instant sympathy for her. There are really good spiritual ideas and with this second read, some of the themes came through a little more clearly.

As with A.D. 30, once the characters move to Roman ruled lands, the story feels sluggish. The telling instead of showing what happens really hurts the overall pacing. Scenes are told through Maviah as seen by her. As a result the story starts to sag as it progresses. Even with fewer pages, this part of the book feels slow.

Amongst Maviah’s internal thoughts are some great things to contemplate. Without a doubt, Ted nails a majority of his audience. Most people will completely identify with Maviah’s self-doubts, fears, and internal struggles. Her thoughts give the reader excellent glimpses into Jesus’ teaching as well as the difficulty of applying his teachings.

I still very much like how Ted ‘created Yeshua in this book. Whether the original or abridged version of A.D. 30, Jesus speaks for himself.

I still very much like how Ted ‘created Yeshua in this book. Whether the original or abridged version of A.D. 30, Jesus speaks for himself. I like that the reader isn’t given tons of character background or descriptions for Jesus and instead are allowed to let their own personal views combine with what is presented in the book. This approach allows for a much more open and less created character. Those of us who have followed Jesus for decades are not asked to shift our own ideas to accept Ted’s creation. It’s really a very nice approach to writing Yeshua.

Even though the abridged version of A.D. 30 is missing some of my favorite scenes, overall this book does an excellent job of capturing the original story. What is omitted makes sense and does not hamper or take away from the heart of A.D. 30. With A.D. 33 coming out in October, the abridged version is a good option for those who want a quick refresher or for those who have not yet read the original. Truly little is missing from the abridged version of A.D. 30 that would prevent the reader from fully experiencing the original.

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