Hundreds of years after a war that nearly destroyed the world, there is finally peace. What no one realizes is that every person on Earth is dead, void of any real emotions. One man, Rom, is thrust into the world of the living after being given a vial and ancient writings that hold the secret to true life. Just having possession of the vial puts him against Order and makes him a fugitive. He must uncover its secrets and find a way to stay alive.
I've been a fan of Ted Dekker for several years now, but this is the first novel I've read by Tosca Lee. There were moments when I felt like I could pick out Dekker's style, but for the most part this was a wonderful blending of two writers and I look forward to reading more of Lee's work. The Books of Mortals series promises to be intriguing and suspenseful as well as emotional, which is more than understandable given what the story is about. Characters are always very important for me and this novel has great ones. Real and relatable. As in Dekker's previous works, there is symbolism to be seen here. I found that some things could be taken a couple of different ways (symbolically) and I can't wait for the next two novels to help me straighten that out in my mind. Symbolism aside, the story is straight-forward; suspenseful and unpredictable, but not confusing. Dekker and Lee have created a wonderful new world and I can't wait to go there again.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Center Street.
Forbidden is a heart wrenching, adrenaline pumping, mind opening story of life, death, and true emotion. If you want to know the setting watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yXgkNP889E
Being an avid Ted Dekker reader I am prone to have a more fanatical view of the book than other readers, but thankfully that is possible. Thankfully we live in a world of love, pain and emotion. Those in the book Forbidden do not have that luxury. I give this book 5 stars in every area because I love it, and because even if you don't like reading it I'm sure you will still be exposed to the truth and value of full emotion and being fully human. Fully MORTAL!
There are just certain things that apart, truly are great all by themselves, but if you were to combine these two things, you get an end result that is quite remarkable. For example- love peanut butter, love chocolate, together they are amazing. Then there's Batman and Robin- both very cool crime-fighters in their own right, but put them together and you have the Dynamic Duo. This is of course what you get when you combine fast paced, adrenaline producing, NY times bestselling author Ted Dekker ( Batman- hah!) and the breathtakingly passionate and fearless writing of Tosca Lee and put them together. The term "Dynamic duo", doesn't really do them justice with their combined offering of "Forbidden".
Forbidden gives us a futuristic dystopian society where geneticists or "alchemists" in the book have figured out a way to eliminate all emotions in the human race, with the exception of fear, deemed a necessary emotion for survival of the race. Imagine a society where your only emotion permitted you, is fear, sounds a little dreary, huh? This is how we find our main character "Rom" as the novel opens. But very quickly he finds himself in a situation that puts him in trouble with the authorities. He is chosen to carry something of extreme value by an underground group called "the keepers" which are being hunted down and eliminated to get the very thing that is now in Rom's possession- and what is it? Why it's the key to "life" of course, or at least life as it used to be and was created to be. Rom now finds himself discovering what it means to be truly alive and realizing that he has a responsibility to wake up the world around him to real life. That is rather a daunting challenge and you will meet the different characters along the way that help him in that challenge.
I honestly didn't want to go into too much detail in this review as I really don't want to rob the reader of the pleasure of discovering this amazing story as it unfolds before you. Yes, I would agree that Forbidden has the feel of the "Circle series" of Dekker fame, and the lovely prose of Tosca Lee is certainly apparent on the pages. I found it to be truly a fascinating read and loved the storyline and characters because it was passionate, fast- paced, and a story that completely draws you in. I will say that it's not for the faint of heart, some of the scenes are quite graphic with regards to the violence. At one point I was thinking, "EW, why did they choose to do that?" But even with that said, I feel that with these authors, I really trust them, and think it was necessary to show the depth of the struggle. There is some definite heartbreak in this novel as well, but the allegories are rich for sure and a novel well worth reading. All I can say is bring on "Mortals", the next offering in this series, I will be waiting with baited breath. (5 stars)
I graciously received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher Center Street through the Netgalley program in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.