Summary- (taken from the back of the book)
Fleeing pursuit, with only moments to live, a young man named Rom stumbles into possession of a vial of blood and a cryptic vellum. When consumed, the blood will bring him back to life; revive his emotions; 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 at terrible risk.
Set in a terrifying, medieval future, where grim pageantry masks death, this tale of passionate love and dark desires from master storytellers Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee peel back the layers of the heart for all who dare take the journey.
What I Liked-
Although I'm not usually a fan of the sci-fi/fantasy genre, I love the world created in FORBIDDEN. Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee have captured a fascinating setting with realistic and lovable characters.
The way emotions are described in FORBIDDEN is absolutely stunning. Dekker and Lee write with such raw emotion that at times, tears would spring to my eyes and chills would ripple down my arms. Emotion is such a beautiful gift from God. Without it, life would be dreary and even meaningless. I have never seen a piece of writing describe emotion with the same level of intensity and honesty as what I've found in FORBIDDEN. I've never appreciated love, tears, and even heartbreak so much.
At first I was a little confused about how FORBIDDEN was a Christian story, but then I began to see parallels and allegories hidden in its pages. I was amazed with each new revelation.
The Order, with its strict legalism, is in many ways like the laws of the Old Testament. Those forced to exist without emotions, often described as the living dead, remind me of those who are living without the light of Christ in their lives. And the grace and redemption found throughout the entire story is a lovely expression of the beauty the Lord eagerly brings into our lives.
What I Didn't Like-
Some may disagree with this, but I did not enjoy all of the morbid and violent scenes in FORBIDDEN. At times, I feel like Ted Dekker revels in writing shockingly violent scenes. (I assume he was the one who wrote them, as I've read the works of both authors and Dekker tends to be more violent than Lee.) I realize there is darkness and evil in the world, and to an extent, a taste of darkness should be shared to remind us of the beauty that light can bring. However, I'm unsure if violence and darkness should be penned in such disturbing detail... and with such perceived delight.
However, the violence in FORBIDDEN isn't as excessive as it is in some of Dekker's books that I've enjoyed, so it wasn't enough to make me put the book down and stop reading. I merely feel that at times, some of the scenes of murder and violence seem unnecessary and perhaps are added for shock value rather than to add to the purpose of the story.
I recommend this for-
This isn't Young Adult fiction. This is a story about adults, written with brutal honesty and some graphic descriptions. Sex is briefly discussed. There are some explicit violent scenes. In my opinion, FORBIDDEN is appropriate for mid-to-late teens and adults. If you're faint of heart, you might struggle with a few of the scenes in FORBIDDEN, but they come far enough apart that you could skip over them fairly easily.
FORBIDDEN is similar to The Circle trilogy by Ted Dekker. It's a brilliant blend of Dekker and Lee's styles. Tosca Lee is a beautiful wordsmith. Her writing often reminds me of poetry. Ted Dekker is raw and intense. Together, they have created a masterpiece. I cannot wait for the next book in this trilogy.
FORBIDDEN comes out on September 13, 2011. You can pre-order it here. If you're a fan of Ted Dekker or Tosca Lee, I highly recommend for you to check out FORBIDDEN as soon as it's released. It gave me a new perspective on love, emotions, and faith. It was beautiful.