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||Double Dragon Publishing
||July 9 2012
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David Litwack - There Comes a Prophet
There Comes a Prophet is a dystopian fantasy about a society devoid of technology, the result of an overreaction to a distant past where progress had overtaken humanity and led to social collapse. But it's also a coming of age story, a tale of three friends and their loyalty to each other as they struggle to confront a world gone awry.
But what are we without dreams?
A thousand years ago the Darkness came—a terrible time of violence, fear, and social collapse when technology ran rampant. But the vicars of the Temple of Light brought peace, ushering in an era of blessed simplicity. For ten centuries they have kept the madness at bay with “temple magic” and by eliminating forever the rush of progress that nearly caused the destruction of everything.
A restless dreamer, Nathaniel has always lived in the tiny village of Little Pond, longing for something more but unwilling to challenge the unbending status quo. When his friend Thomas returns from the Temple after his “teaching”—the secret coming-of-age ritual that binds young men and women eternally to the Light—Nathaniel can barely recognize the broken and brooding young man the boy has become. And when the beautiful Orah is summoned as well, Nathaniel knows he must somehow save her. But in the prisons of Temple City he discovers a terrible secret that launches the three of them on a journey to find the forbidden keep, placing their lives in dire jeopardy. For a truth awaits them there that threatens the foundation of the Temple. But if they reveal that truth, the words of the book of light might come to pass:
“If there comes among you a prophet saying ‘Let us return to the darkness,’ you shall stone him, because he has sought to thrust you away from the light.”
Engaging twist on a future society - Denis Sullivan
What I liked about "There Comes a Prophet" was the mixture of a great story of friendship and courage combined with intrigue and suspense, while presenting an interesting twist on a future society.
It's a story of 3 friends that find out that their simplistic world is not what they thought it was. Politics and religion have merged into a way of governing and living that leave little room for individual creativity and fulfillment. It's kind of a `what if religious leaders controlled the technology' and they took us back to an agrarian society `for our own good'.
The three main characters, Nathaniel, Orah, and Thomas learn of a secret place from a dying prisoner, strike out together on a quest to solve the clues, find the hidden location called the keep, and return with a secret about the past that will shake the foundation of their civilization. Along the way they must elude the ruling vicars who are in pursuit, make some very difficult choices, and stay one step ahead of the vicars' secret technologies.
Like other books I have enjoyed, this book provides strong characters with underlying themes of friendship, perseverance, courage, and the will to challenge an authority that has more power than it should. My strongest recommendation is to simply say, "I'm a very busy professional who read this book in two days and let everything else lapse while reading it"!
Loved this Dystopian!
I really loved this dystopian! It almost feels like a fantasy novel at first, because you cannot see any remnants at all of our current world--but that changes about halfway through.
The world building in this one is absolutely fantastic. All of it felt believable. I especially loved how the author used religion as a catalyst for the apocalypse. And then as a method of controlling its citizens. Sound familiar?
I loved our three MCs. Thomas is the goof off, and also the one who marches to the beat of his own drummer. Orah is the brilliant one (she made me think of Hermione from Harry Potter!), and Nathaniel is the courageous, brave one. These three kids worked well together, even though they were oftentimes in disagreement! We don't really get a lot of other character development. Most of the other characters are side characters, although we do get to know Nathaniel's dad a bit.
This was a great read! The last two thirds were almost constant adventure. "The Keep" was unreal. Wouldn't be so awesome to go to a place and get to pick the brains of the smartest peoples in the societies before us? If you love a good dystopian, this book is for you!
Nathaniel, Orah, and Thomas, best friends since childhood, live a peaceful, bucolic existence in Little Pond, a place as small as its name suggests. Their lives are simple, governed by the teachings from the Temple, and the ministrations of the Vicars and their squadron of Deacons. Hints of the past, the ‘darkness’, are resolutely squashed by the Vicars who explain that to doubt is to reject the ‘light’ of their teachings. Subsequently, the perceived ‘magical’ elements of the past are crushed in favor of so-called mystical teachings. For a thousand years, this peaceful existence continues. Nevertheless, secrets have a way of revealing themselves.
Nathaniel doesn’t accept the Vicars’ teachings; he believes there is more to life. A legend exists of earlier magic, hidden away in a place called the Keep. The secret path to the Keep has been preserved by Keepers, who will pass on the clues to a group called Seekers. But of course no one dares question the Temple, until Thomas is taken away for a ‘teaching,’ and comes back broken in mind and spirit. Seeds of rebellion grow in Nathaniel, and come to fruition when his friend Orah is taken. Determined to save her, Nathaniel ends up in the prisons of Temple City, and finds out the truth from a long-time prisoner. Armed with knowledge, he sets forth with Thomas and Orah to find the Keep. Can they survive the journey, and can they inspire their people to realize the truth behind the Temple? Will the fulfilment of their mission destroy their world?
Author David Litwack has created a believable dystopian world devoid of technology. Technology overtook humanity (perhaps a salutary lesson here?), and led to social collapse. Hints of the hideous effects of indoctrination in a totalitarian society remind us of the dangers of the suppression of knowledge. This is a coming-of-age story, a tale of friendship and loyalty, and of self-discovery and self-belief. Each of the friends discovers their own talents, and with that, their purpose in life. The author takes a philosophical approach and engages readers in ideas of freedom and choice, both personal and of thinking. This is such a well-written book, with so many thought-provoking concepts that I am sure readers will thoroughly enjoy it and appreciate the author’s message.
First reviewed for Readers Favorite
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