Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

This suspense/thriller by Ted Dekker is the second book written as part of the " Outlaw Chronicles" series published by Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media Inc.

Water Walker is written for adults but is also read by many teens. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Eden Lowenstein is 13 the day she's kidnapped by a man in an old blue truck. She's always been called Alice Ringwald. At least, that's who she's been for the past six months while she's lived with her foster family. She can't remember anything before that time. Then a scraggly but kind-eyed man named Wyatt knocks on the door. He tells her in hushed tones that he's married to her birth mother, and he's come to take her home. When she won't comply, he apologetically ties up her foster mother and pleads with Eden to go with him. He promises she can return if she wants but says her mother is desperate to see her.

Confused but curious, Eden goes with Wyatt. They hide out in a cabin for several days while the FBI launches an investigation into the girl's disappearance. The lead agent, Olivia Strauss, is particularly drawn to the case in light of her own demons. She lost a daughter Eden's age and still blames herself. Olivia learns that a high-ranking politician had an affair, and Eden was the result. To keep the situation quiet, the man had Eden put up for adoption and her mother, Kathryn, institutionalized. FBI records indicate that Kathryn committed suicide, but Olivia still suspects the birth mother is responsible for the abduction. Olivia also learns that Eden was one of 35 children who grew up in a monastery as part of an experiment. Some of the children could affect the world in ways that border on the paranormal. (When the experiment couldn't be controlled, it was shut down and the children's memories were wiped clean.)

Eden and Wyatt finally arrive at "home" in a Louisiana swamp. The house is part of a compound consisting of 11 homes. The landowner, Zeke Gunner, runs a moonshine business and has set himself up as a "god" over the families on his property. From the start, he reminds Kathryn that he's the one who has helped her get her daughter back. She owes him everything. Kathryn is overjoyed to see Eden. But from the start, Eden knows something is wrong. She meets her younger brother, Bobby, and loves him instantly. But she can tell his mind doesn't function as a normal child his age. Kathryn rambles on about God bringing Eden back to them and about her purity. She repeatedly calls Eden the spotless lamb.

The first night at home, Eden tries to run away, but standing out in the night, surrounded on all sides by swamp, lake or Zeke's dangerous dogs, she knows she's trapped. She also realizes she has to stay to protect Bobby.

Kathryn starts by scrubbing and cleaning Eden thoroughly. Eden doesn't know whether to be disturbed or to consider this a gesture of love. Kathryn then begins a weekly ritual in which she baptizes Eden and lightly, symbolically, beats Bobby while cursing him. Bobby, she explains, was a punishment for her (Kathryn's) sins. She briefly tells Eden about her own childhood. Her religious, wealthy father gambled away all their money and killed himself. Her mother started drinking, so child protective services put Kathryn in an orphanage. Later, Kathryn's own child, Eden, was hidden from her. The sins of her father were a burden they were all still bearing, she said. But Eden's purity would keep them all pure.

Kathryn demands many things of Eden. She carefully chooses the girl's food and requires Eden to keep her arms, legs and feet entirely covered. Sometimes she locks Eden in the closet or forbids her to sit on furniture or say certain words for several days in an effort to keep the girl from becoming inattentive. Kathryn quotes Scripture often, frequently out of context. She calls Zeke an apostle, but it's clear he is essentially her god.

Olivia continues to follow leads on Eden's case but comes up empty. A man calling himself Stephen visits her office to talk about the case. Something in his eyes speaks to her soul. He tells her Alice (Eden) isn't ready to be found yet. He also tells Olivia she's got to forgive herself for her daughter's death and find freedom. He leaves behind a calling card with one word: Outlaw.

Five years pass. Eden has become accustomed to the strange life with Kathryn. She even starts to believe Kathryn's rituals purify her. Zeke calls Kathryn to his house and informs her of a trust Eden's birth father set up before his death. The fund is now worth more than $1 million, and he insists it must be turned over to him since he gave Eden back to Kathryn. Kathryn is pleased that the money will bless them all, as Zeke says. They cautiously take Eden off of their property for the first time to sign papers in town. Eden doesn't hesitate to turn the money over to her mother because she has no use for it anyway.

Eden begins having vivid dreams in which she meets Outlaw. He urges her to overcome her fears by going out on the water in his boat. In cryptic but loving ways, he tries to plant the idea that Eden must be strong enough to find her way out of her circumstances to freedom.

Mother warns Eden about purity of mind now that she's getting older, and Eden feels guilty for not telling Mother her feelings for Zeke's son, Paul. She sneaks around to see Paul twice, and he kisses her on the cheek. When Zeke finds out, he brutally beats his son and threatens Eden. Eden's eyes are open to the injustice all around her. She begins to see how Zeke is using her for her inheritance money. She becomes increasingly angry with him, her mother and all of her circumstances. When Kathryn learns about Paul's kiss, she knows she must do something drastic to avoid Zeke's wrath. She chops off Eden's long, beautiful hair and tells Eden the list of confinements she will face until she repents.

Eden attempts to escape with Bobby that night. Wyatt provides keys to the truck. Zeke's men thwart the attempt. Zeke sends Wyatt away for his part in the escape. Then he tells Kathryn she must do what a good shepherd would with a wayward sheep: She must break Eden's leg. Kathryn injects Eden with the substance Zeke gives her to paralyze the girl. But Kathryn can't bring herself to break her daughter's leg. She finally decides to sprain it a little and set it so it looks like it was broken. She hopes this will fool Zeke. When Eden unsuccessfully tries to escape a few days later, Zeke learns Kathryn failed him. He comes to their home and breaks Eden's leg himself.

Eden dreams of Outlaw again, and he's urging her to walk on the water. He explains that she must not let her circumstances, the rushing waves all around her, be what define her. He convinces her that, if she wants to be free, she must forgive all of the offenses and people who have hurt her. She realizes he's right and emerges from the dream a different person.

When she wakes up, she can understand all the ways life damaged Kathryn and the abuses her mother suffered. She offers genuine forgiveness to Kathryn, who is overwhelmed. They both see that Eden's leg has miraculously healed. Kathryn finally realizes everything must change drastically now, including her. She drives to Zeke's house, hits him over the head with a skillet and ties him up before calling 911 to report the kidnapping of five years earlier.

As the book ends, Olivia sits with Eden, Kathryn and Wyatt in their living room. Zeke has been arrested on a number of counts. While Eden doesn't want to press charges against her mother (or her father for earlier offences), there is still some question about the consequences they will face. Eden goes outside to find Bobby skipping stones with Outlaw. She feels as though she has found peace at last and is finally home.

Christian Beliefs

Kathryn frequently mentions God and credits Him for bringing Eden back to her. She constantly quotes Scripture, but it is generally out of context. Her convoluted theology leads her to perform purification rituals and inflict odd, merciless punishments. Stephen, the Outlaw, shares Christian principles such as forgiveness, quotes Scripture in context and talks about Jesus. He urges Eden to stop focusing on her circumstances, to trust God and to walk on water in faith. Eden isn't sure what to make of the God Kathryn has presented. Outlaw shows her a God who walks on water and wants her to be fearless.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Zeke presents himself as a god to Kathryn and others living on his land. He helps Kathryn find Eden so he can get his hands on her inheritance money. He is physically and emotionally abusive, even to his own family members. Kathryn emotionally abuses Eden because of the brainwashing and abuse she's suffered. She becomes a different person when she feels the freedom of Eden's forgiveness. Wyatt loves and fears Kathryn and tries to support her without making waves. He treats Eden kindly and even tries to help her escape. Outlaw provides a voice of love and hope for Olivia and Eden that bears them through their emotional darkness.


This book contains many uses of the Lord's name and the word h--- in context of the h--- she's in after the kidnapping. It is sometimes difficult to discern whether to consider these uses "profanity" or simply references to a horrible place or a genuine outcry to God. The words b--stard, d--n and p--- each appear once. At Zeke's insistence, Kathryn yanks on Eden's leg repeatedly in an effort to break it. When she fails, Zeke drops his knees on Eden's leg to snap it. Readers also read the results of Zeke's brutality when Zeke shows Eden the way he's beaten Paul for kissing her.


Kathryn had an affair with a politician and gave birth to Eden. Olivia learns Kathryn was seen with a local pimp the night she supposedly died. Paul kisses Eden on the cheek. Zeke refers to her as a whore and a slut for seducing Paul.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Alcohol: Zeke runs a moonshine business, and Wyatt is one of his employees. Wyatt gives Eden a little moonshine after he kidnaps her. He calls it holy juice and tells her it will purify her inside and out. Zeke drinks frequently. After Kathryn calls to turn him in to the FBI, she sits in his chair and drinks a glass of his Scotch.

This review is brought to you by Focus on the Family, a donor-based ministry. Book reviews cover the content, themes and world-views of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

High school and up


Ted Dekker






Record Label



Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media Inc.


On Video

Year Published




We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!