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