Judging the Cover: The cover is very relevant to the story and had a lot to do with my decision to purchase the book.
Plot according to Goodreads: 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.
This is book 1 in a trilogy called The Books of Mortals.
My Thoughts: This story was a bit out of my comfort zone as it had a fantasy feel to it (and I’m not generally drawn to fantasy) but I found it to be very interesting and enjoyable. I decided to read this book because I owned this one (found at Goodwill) and book 2 (from Ollie’s) and stumbled across book 3 while shopping at my local grocery store. It was in the bargain box, priced at $3.50 for hardcover but I didn’t want to buy it until I started book 1 to see if I would like the story. I bought book 3 after reading about 50 pages and I’m glad I did.
The Good: The plot is a very interesting one…set in Rome in the future, all humans have been stripped of every emotion except 1…fear. I was impressed by the way the authors were able to stick to this concept throughout the book as I imagine writing emotionless (except for fear) characters can’t be an easy task. As mentioned above, it had a fantasy feel to it which I was wary of when I began reading it, but I actually loved the dungeon scenes and the unusual names. There is a lot of Christian symbolism in the story but I didn’t feel it was something that would deter a non-Christian from enjoying it (especially if they aren’t familiar with the Bible). I loved the symbolism. The ending was a great cliff hanger and left me wanting much more so I can’t wait to dive into books 2 and 3.
What I didn’t Like: This is the 5th book I’ve read by Ted Dekker and although I love the stories that he tells, I don’t like the way he tells them. I always find it difficult to “get into” his books. It usually takes me 50-100 pages to get comfortable with his writing style and I don’t think I enjoy the stories as much as I could because of it. The atmosphere of the story was great but I wanted more…there were times when I felt that the places could have been described in better detail. There was a bit of insta-love in this story that was kind of ridiculous.
My rating: 4/5 stars and recommended for lovers of dystopian and fantasy stories