New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker teams with Tosca Lee to create this gripping thriller set in a desolate future.
A terrible truth has been revealed to one man: the entire human race has been drained of every emotion except one— fear. To bring life back to the world, Rom must embark on a journey that will end either in his own demise or a reawakening of humanity. But to bring love and passion back into existence will also threaten the powers of the world with the revolution and anarchy that had nearly destroyed them previously.
After happening upon a journal through strange circumstance, Rom's world is shattered. He learns that humanity long ago ceased to "live," that it exists today in a living death of emotions. In a terrible risk, Rom exposes himself to the vial of blood folded into the old leather of the journal. His change is fearful and fraught with mind-bending emotion. A once-pious observer of the Order's passionless statues, he is filled with uncontrollable impulses. He is filled with love.
He is undone, terrified, and alone in the desolate world.
***There be spoilers ahead***
I am restraining the urge to go all fangirly, given that is the first book of Dekker’s that I’ve read. But me saying ‘I liked this’ is quite the understatement. I don’t know what I was expecting when I first started it, but not this: Forbidden, with some (not all) of its well drawn characters. Or Forbidden, with its political intrigue. Or Forbidden with its world of fear.
The world. I should not compare this one to Delirium, but it’s what came to mind upon reading the first few pages. The difference is this world came out as more plausible than the latter. In Lena’s world, peace is attained by wiping out love. Here, it is every other emotion that has been repressed, save fear. And it is fear that has led a relatively peaceful world. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of Delirium… it’s just that there were some obvious (read gaping) plot holes in it. Forbidden, just took the same thing (repression of emotion for a kind sameness and fear-filled people guided toward Order,) dealt with it better (I still have questions, but I did buy most of it.)
The characters. The lot of them were so far from perfect that I wanted to drop-kick one, some or all of them at one point or another. But at least
Political intrigue. I would never have considered myself a fan of such a thing, but a lot of things in this one just drew me in. Wanting to know what someone would do, being surprised by another’s actions… I really enjoyed a lot of this. But Forbidden isn’t dry nor that difficult to follow. The ‘baddie’ in this one was motivated and ambitious, contrary to the norm. So he simply stood out. Of course, a lot of the time he felt like the token crazy bad guy, but there were bits when I caught glimpses of conflict in him and it was those moments that creeped me out and had me curious about what he would do next.
Like I said, I’ve never read anything by Dekker before… but Forbidden is epic fantasy meets a utopia/dystopia. It’s an epic fantasy of man/boy on quest with people aiding him along the way. His quest? To find something, (here it’s a someone.) Those who helped him? A warrior, his Heart and Keepers of knowledge. Then stick them in a society that’s not quite complete particularly since people are limited (even if they are unaware of it.)
I can’t help it:
THANKS NET GALLEY!