Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee will take you on a fantasy ride like no other! I've read many of Ted Dekker's books, but none by Tosca Lee, so I'm not familiar with whose style is presented the most, or if the two mesh together so well one cannot tell.
It's the story of a civilization where the living are walking dead- while undisclosed secrets held for years leave the people unaware of their loss. It started with The War of the Chaos, when Legion spread and stripped the genetic code of the limbic region of the brain of every thing but fear. It seems like a Utopia without the threat of war, hatred, lofty ambitions, greed, etc., but they must proclaim their loyalty to and live under fear of The Order.
This alleged Utopian life will be challenged for a few individuals, starting with Rom Sebastian. A box is tossed to him one evil night for safe-keeping, containing a vial of blood wrapped with vellum that includes a cryptic poem and an indiscernible message. Fleeing the Citadel Guard, he shares his finding with current and former friends, putting their lives in danger. Once they consume the contents, they will have to abandon everything they once knew as they encounter real humanity and its sensations.
However, once the message is decoded, a journey of delight, death, and danger throws multiple groups into conflict. Set in what appears to be a medieval era, the action is swift and sometimes brutal. The graphic scenes show the difference of The Order's view on murder and the reality of what takes place-the proverbial â€˜Do what I say, not what I do.' Your own senses are put on high alert as they encounter the pages of this book, and your own emotions are stretched during the difficult and delightful circumstances.
Would a life with love that includes pain and loss be better than a dead life with fear? This question must be answered individually by each of the alive characters. The authors create circumstances that will tear them apart. What will they decide? Their decisions will be crucial as the authors reveal their stories. It's a question the authors tweak your own emotions with as well. Are you alive or just stagnating? Living in Love or fear?
I do have a problem with the drinking of blood, as Scripture is adamant about not drinking blood. Knowing Ted and Tosca, it will most likely be brought around full circle.
I found a double meaning to the story that I believe the authors are acutely aware of, and wondering if we catch on.
You will find that this is not a light-reading book and that it doesn't end with Forbidden. But I can say I'm already hooked for the next book in the trilogy.
Special thanks to Sarah Reck, Web Publicist | FaithWords & Center Street | Hachette Book Group, for sending me a review copy. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
Rom, an obedient member of society, becomes an instant outlaw when he comes to possess a vial of blood and ancient letter, given to him by an old man his father knew. In a society devoid of all emotion by fear, Rom is scared of being killed. He flees to his friend, Avra, but she is afraid as well. Rom replays the words of the old man over and over in his mind, and seeing no other way, drinks a portion of blood from the vial. And becomes human again, fully feeling all things. Avra takes some blood as well, as do three others, until the blood is gone. This is enough to spread a kernel of truth, that life in Byzantium is not the way it was meant to be, which is enough to start a rebellion.
Liked it! The storyworld and history were well-thought out and unique. The plot was engaging with plenty of mystery revealed in bits to keep me guessing. There were some shocking surprises and I look forward to discovering how those are worked out. I enjoyed Rom's character and Feyn too. The bad guy has a lot of sensual, violence in his point of view scenes, so that is a caution for younger readers. Dekker and Lee have crafted a wonderful start to this series. I can't wait to read more of this tale.
Well... this was one interesting story. I've read Dekker by himself, then Dekker and Healy, and now Dekker and Tosca Lee (whose writing I adore!) I can see bits an pieces of the feminine perspective in this story. The imagery surrounding love was pretty profound. Better to have loved and truly live, then to merely exist. That was a big part of the story. It made me also think of the scripture where it says Jesus came to give us life, and not just life, but abundant life. That symbolism is clearly in the story. I loved that.
While a bit violent in several parts (I'm a wuss when it comes to gore as I have a very visual mind,) the passion in this novel shines through and overtakes the darkness. Passion is part of life, and with it comes not only joy, but pain. Rom's extreme grief was very well done, as was his anger at "The Maker" for allowing him experience love so profoundly only to feel like his heart had been cut out from the intense loss of that object of his affection, Avra.
I found the symbolism with Feyn quite profound, too. The slow dying of a person's heart back into death is symbolic of those who forget who saved them and thus allowed their hearts to grow cold. But the sacrificial lamb in this book was a powerful message, because she remembered that love... enough to give everything for it. So deep and heartfelt! I loved that about the story. I loved the characters' discovery of love for the first time. It was precious to them, as it should be to us.
There was some similarity regarding betrayal and the reasons behind it (like with Judas in the Bible) that I also found quite thought-provoking. Great imagery there as well. All in all this was a great book. Some parts seemed futuristic, and some seemed like a shadow of the past. It also had a bit of a dystopian feel to it. I am looking forward to the next book when it releases in 2012.
Ted Dekker is strange. That is what makes his writing so good. He pulls you in and keeps your interest. I am going back and reading some of his old writings to catch up. I would recommend his books, as a matter of fact I have loaned his books to friends. Looking forward to the next one.