Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review: Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee

Despite his multiple appearances on my wish list, Forbidden is the first book by Ted Dekker I have read. I didn't realize Forbidden was going to be the first book of a series, but that happens to me a lot.

Book Description
Many years have passed since civilization's brush with apocalypse. The world's greatest threats have all been silenced. There is no anger, no hatred, no war. There is only perfect peace... and fear. But a terrible secret has been closely guarded for centuries: Every single soul walking the earth, though in appearance totally normal, is actually dead, long ago genetically stripped of true humanity.

Fleeing pursuit, with only moments to live, a young man named Rom stumbles into possession of a vial of blood and a piece of cryptic writing. When consumed, the blood will bring him back to life. When decoded, the message will lead him on a perilous journey that will require him to abandon everything he has ever known and awaken humanity to the transforming power of true life and love.

But the blood will also resurrect hatred, ambition, and greed.

Set in a terrifying, medieval future, where grim pageantry masks death, this tale of dark desires and staggering stakes peels back the layers of the heart for all who dare to take the ride.

Forbidden starts out with a classic quest premise: the main character learns of a secret family past and is forced to step into his destined role to save the world. I love a great quest, and Rom's journey is full of danger and suspense from the very beginning.

Forbidden is set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian society where humans have been stripped of all emotion with the exception of fear. In his quest, Rom manages to awaken his emotions and those of his companions. As it turns out, Forbidden is more a book about love than it is about fear.

I enjoyed the adventure and the fast paced story, but I struggled a bit with not being able to lose myself in the oxymoronic "medieval future" Dekker and Lee created. I also had a hard time connecting with characters who were introduced in a state of no emotion.  I think these issues are sometimes inherent in the first book of a series and may not carry over into future releases.

Overall, Forbidden was a good dystopian fantasy read, and I look forward to continuing with the second book in the trilogy, Mortal.

6/10: Good Read

Review copy provided by publisher


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  1. Too bad it's only 'good'... it sounds freaking EPIC!

  2. Oooh, this sounds like that Christian Bale movie...can't recall the name right now, but the whole fear/no emotions thing was what it was all about...Equilibrium!! Got it :) Anyway, the book sounds pretty good, but like you said when it's hard to connect w/characters it's always harder to love it. Hopefully the next one will really take off!
    Ninja Girl

  3. It has great potential, Ash.

    I've never seen Equilibrium, Ninja Girl. Is that the movie where he is super skinny? I'll have to go check that out.

  4. Hmmm..sounds like my kind of book..great review Jennifer!I love a good series!

  5. That looks awesome! You're lucky "that happens to you a lot". I always end up0 picking up the second book of a trilogy before I realize its a trilogy and it gets annoying!

  6. It sounds interesting. I can't imagine the lack of emotion.

  7. Ruperto, you have great taste in books, by the way. Just sayin'.

    Oh, no, alana! That would be worse! I don't feel so bad about all the accidental series starts.

    Alexis, it does help that the fear emotion is still there. The characters do have emotion in them, but it's not really a desirable emotion. The fear response can also come off as a selfish response. "I fear what will happen to *me*" kind of thing.


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