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Saturday, September 17, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Forbidden

TITLE: Forbidden
SERIES: The Books of Mortals, Book #1
AUTHOR: Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee
PUBLISHER: Hachette Book Group
DATE OF PUBLICATION: September 13, 2011
FORMAT: 432 pages, Hardcover
GENRE: Science Fiction/Dystopia, Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1599953540


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. 

I received this e-book for review from the publisher, Hachette Book Group, through NetGalley. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. 

I thought this book was very interesting!

The book takes place at some point in the future. Geneticists isolate the gene that causes fear, and they unleash a contagion on the world that destroys every person's emotion except for fear. By taking away someone's ability to love or hate or covet or a myriad of other emotions, you can ultimately predict how they will act. In this case, because fear is the only emotion that individuals are permitted to have, you create a society that will bend and yield to power out of fear, thereby controlling them. As a result, you have a peaceful society that is oppressed...only they don't realize it!


Rom, the protagonist, is a 24-year old young man whose father died when he was a child. On his way home one evening, he is approached by a strange elderly man who hands him a package and claims that Rom's father was killed for the secrets contained in the package and that all the other "Keepers" were killed as well. Rom is confused because he thought his father died from fever, but this man tells him that what he has always been led to believe is untrue. He instructs Rom to find a man called "The Book" and to give the parcel to him. Just as he pushes the parcel into Rom's hands, the Citadel Guards (aka the people who keep the peace in their society, what we would call the police) find the old man, who tells Rom to run and to protect the contents of the package. As Rom turns to leave, he witnesses the old man slaughtered before him and then he realizes that he is now no longer safe, as the Citadel Guards turn to come after him.

It turns out that the package contains a vial of blood, which has five marks on the side showing five doses. The blood is pure, and any person who drinks of it will have his full range of emotions restored. There is also an ancient vellum that contains a message. Whether it was out of curiosity or doubt or a bit of both, Rom drinks a dose of the blood. Once his senses are awakened, his life is never the same and he knows that it is his destiny to protect the vial with his own life and find the man called "The Book."

This is very much a story of  "good versus evil," and there is some religious symbolism throughout the book if you are type that likes to analyze that sort of thing. I thought Rom was a fantastic character, and I loved watching his development in the novel. Other characters that I really enjoyed include Avra (Rom's beloved), Triphon (Rom's friend), and Feyn (the Sovereign).

This is the first book in a planned trilogy, so the ending sets you up on a bit of a cliff-hanger for the next installment. I enjoyed the book very much, and Forbidden has hooked me into seeing where the story goes next!

I have only read one other Dekker novel (Boneman's Daughters), which I also enjoyed. Lee is a new-to-me-author, and I plan to look into her other works.

MY RATING: 4 stars! I really enjoyed the book, and I look forward to the next in the series! Thank you, Hachette Book Group, and NetGalley!


  1. Great post! Gotta have me hooked. First time hearing about this one, but from the sound of it, definitely not the last. Thanks for sharing! Happy reading...

  2. Great review! This is the first I hear of this book. It sounds like something I would really like though!

    Giselle at Xpresso Reads

  3. Wow, this is an intriguing premise and pretty creepy-sounding. I want to go read this now! Thanks for the review!


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