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.
The time is five centuries in the future. The age of chaos, before man evolved out of his slavery to emotions, is past. The world narrowly avoided apocalyptic destruction. Now there are seven governments with the supreme in Byzantine (Rome) ruler of them all.
Rom, son of Elais, has thrust upon him a vial of blood and a piece of vellum with strange writing. As the novel progresses we learn that the eradication of all emotion except fear was accomplished by a virus crafted to change humanity's DNA. The pathogen was named Legion and altered the genetic code, dulling all emotions except fear.
The blood is a serum that allows a person to feel emotions again, to truly be human. It is a remnant from the chaos era and has been kept all this time by a clandestine group called the order of Keepers.
There are only five doses of blood in the vial. Rom and four others drink the blood and begin a harried journey to protect the world from disaster and bring its people back to true humanity. The sovereign to be helps Rom translate the vellum. It predicts a boy would be born who would be a ruler bringing the people back to their true humanity. Rom and his friends search for the boy to protect him and arrange for his being brought to rule. The boy is "alive." The virus will fight to eradicate the pure blood in his body.
And we are set up for the next book in what looks like will be a trilogy.
This is a captivating novel. As with the Circle Trilogy, the entire aspect of gospel symbolism may not be understood until the series is completed. But already we have the blood, the evil virus named Legion, sacrificial dying, the Maker, and the impending war of good and evil. The emphasis of this novel is the essential nature of emotions to being human. "Without that suffering, there would be no true pleasure. Without tears, no joy. _ This is the secret of the human heart..."
Dekker says he wanted to write something like he has never done before so collaborated with Lee. The two have crafted an exciting novel.
Be aware that the novel contains some gruesome aspects, graphic and violent death, for example. But then, the battle between good and evil has never been tidy.
I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Half a millenia past, after wars that decimated the earth, Sirin brought forth a new wisdom. He taught the laying aside of life's excesses in exchange for simple equality. He preached the dangers of emotions untamed. Many followed him, and for a time peace reigned throughout the earth--but humanity could not keep this up for long.
Megas developed a virus that would spread throughout the earth, stripping every person of all emotions but fear. When Sirin is martyred, the blame is placed on extremest factions, and the road is paved for Megas' rise to power.
The Book of Orders, a strict rule that reaches into every area of life is canonized under Megas' rule. The people crave the order and freedom from fear that complying brings. They long for the possibility of bliss after death, which can only be achieved by strict adherence to Order.
The year is 480--calculated from the moment the age of Chaos ended and the age of Order was ushered in. Simple craftsman Rom, and his friends are unwittingly thrust into the crux of the battle to save humanity from Order. Some will die; some will wish they could. Each of them will feel more alive than they ever imagined. And a small cripple boy will be the only hope for life the world has left.
This book is truly amazing. The combined storytelling of Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee have created a book that is destined to be among the greatest pieces of literature. There is no real way to describe the majesty of this book adequately. You must experience it for yourself. First in The Book of Mortals series, Forbidden is an experience you won't soon forget. 5 Stars--but worthy of many more.
This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
Enter a future where every emotion except fear has been removed from humanity. Rom, a simple artisan, is content in this world, until he is thrust in the middle of a battle for power after a vial of blood and a mysterious parchment come into his possession. Soon, his eyes are opened to a world he never imagined, and he is on the run to uncover a closely guarded secret about the true state of the world.
Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee have penned a fast-paced and astonishingly good read in Forbidden, and the book was impossible to put down. The world they portrayed is simply fascinating, and I found myself considering questions of what it means to be human, and what role our feelings play in making us who we are. The characters are expertly rendered, and the peril they find themselves in will have your heart racing. A warning to readers - the book is passionate and raw and some of the scenes are violent and bloody as a result. This is definitely not reading for the faint of heart. But for those looking to be swept up in imagining a future unlike anything you may have read about before, this is the book for you. Highly Recommended. 5 of 5 stars.
This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley for the purpose of completing this review.
As a longtime Dekker fan/reader, can I just say one thing: IT'S ABOUT TIME! Dekker fans of The Circle will squeal in delight as they see Dekker return to his earlier roots of fantasy and the darkly spectacular in Forbidden, but Lee's fans will glory in the beautiful prose and innate elegance that is completely Tosca. Combined, Dekker & Lee have crafted plainly a powerful story with compelling characters. Absolutely stunning! The characters are so well developed, the pacing breathtaking, and the storyline so utterly satisfying that I am in tears that its sequel, Mortal, is not yet available. I just have one thing to say after reading ForbiddenÃ¢â¬âit's good to be ALIVE!