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Forbidden [Paperback]

Ted Dekker
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

1 Mar 2012

The world as we know it is unrecognisable.

Almost 500 years have passed since civilization's brush with extinction. Perfect order reigns and humanity's gretaest threats have been silenced by the ruling totalitarian government. There is no disease. No passion. No hate. No war. There is only peace.

Until one man discovers the truth hidden in a secret journal: the human heart has been stripped of all that makes it human and exists only in a kind of living death. But when Rom exposed himself to the vial of blood contained in the journal he was filled with uncontrollable emotions. Only Rom is now truly alive, and only he has the knowledge that can reawaken humanity. But the way is dangerous and the cost staggering . . . the way is forbidden.


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Forbidden + Mortal (Books of Mortals) + Sovereign (The Book of Mortals)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (1 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444724916
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444724912
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 741,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Mammoth twists and head-pounding turns that will have readers and book clubs debating the roles of emotion and logic that drive human existence (Publishers Weekly)

Ted Dekker is a true master of thrillers, and this is his best. (Nelson DeMille on THE BRIDE COLLECTOR)

It doesn't just get under your skin. It crawls there, nests, and raises its head with a bitter tug, as if it's living within you. (Brad Meltzer on THE BRIDE COLLECTOR)

...a tour-de-force of suspense that demands to be read in one sitting. (James Rollins on THE BRIDE COLLECTOR)

Dekker is adept at unraveling stories of good and evil at a nail-biting pace... (Library Journal Review on THE BONE MAN'S DAUGHTERS)

There's lots of good Christian fiction around but it's virtually impossible to get non-Christians to read it because it's overtly Christian. This book isn't. The story is gripping. It weaves together the abduction of two young children, the unfolding drama of 'Eve' a serial killer who leaves no clues as he kills a young woman every month, and the tensions between Clark, his ex-wife and an attractive female detective. Be prepared for a terrifying climax. (Christian Marketplace on ADAM)

Book Description

A gripping thriller set in a desolate future from New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A world ruled by fear. 3 May 2012
Format:Paperback
The people of the world has been in a peaceful state for several hundred years. All emotions has been eradicated, all except fear. Now Rom Sebastian has been given a mysterious vial, a vial that have been passed on from Keeper to Keeper in wait for the time of the Rebirth. Rom decides to taste what is in the vial and his life is turned upside down. Rom is trusted into a world of Chaos(aka. filled with feelings). This is only the beginning of a fulfillment of a prophecy foretold over 480 years ago. The prophecy spoke of a boy that will become Sovereign, but to what cost? The price? Kidnapping, murder, fear, sorrow and love.

My thoughts:
To live in a world ruled by one feeling, and that feeling is fear. Sounds absolutely dreadful, right? It might for us, but for the people of this future world it is perfectly normal. Why would they want to go back to the age of Chaos? Well for starters because living in fear and being stripped of all other emotions isn't really to be alive. The description might make you think of Lauren Oliver's Delirium trilogy, they certainly lack love in Forbidden as well but other than that there isn't any similarities I would say. It is perhaps more plausible that one can better control the worlds population when all they can feel is fear, at least that's what I think. This book is a lot darker then Delirium as well and has a lot more violence in it. I don't think this is a book suited for the younger demographic target group when it comes to YA.

Some of the characters in this book was easy to relate to. It wasn't difficult to imagine what inner turmoil a sudden blossoming of all kinds of feelings could do to a person. Everyone would react differently, and for some it might just be too much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 8 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Full of twists and intrigue, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have now bought others in the series. I have recommended Ted Dekker's books to a number of others and they have universally given them the thumb's up.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite sure....yet! 20 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Okay, well firstly, I have just discovered Ted Dekker through his Circle Series and cannot recommend it highly enough. Superb, imho, and I "eat" the book as if i had never tasted words in my life before! So coming to this one I expected so much. Perhaps that was the issue - I expected so much that in the end I was disappointed. I wouldn't say that it was disastrous but neither did it live up to the mythical, fantastical, allegorical, moving epic that was the Circle series. The story is set in a dystopian future (post apocalyptic) where all emotion bar fear has been genetically removed from humans. That is until Rom and his colleagues stumble upon a vial of blood that changes their whole world. They are chased and threatened by Saric whose uncontrollable emotions are swept into dark political anguish with his quest for power. But i'll end there. There is beautiful poetry to some of the descriptions and the characters are drawn well (at times) although I have to say some of them seem to be slightly caricutured. Kudos to the writers for not always sticking to the safe path and the book particularly lifts towards the end with some heart wrenching moments. However, I have to say that whilst the dramatic scenes worked well...the transition between them seemed almost superflous and hurried, this wasn't helped by the lack of scene/world setting. I didnt "feel" the world like I could with Ted Dekkers Circle series and I am not sure I totally connected with some the characters either. So, I await the second and third books with anticipation and perhaps this anticipation will be buoyed by the fact that i felt slightly let down by the first in the trilogy. Come on Ted and Tosca, lose me in the world you create and then leave marks on my heart that bring me back to reality!
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 17 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover
Though I don't remember ordering the Large print version I am still looking forward to reading this book and it came both quickly and in great shape!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  226 reviews
52 of 62 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Cover, Awesome Trailer, but Story Is Disappointing 26 Oct 2011
By K. Grant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Review by Kara Grant

I don't like giving bad reviews and I consider both Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee far above the standard of talented writers, but Forbidden did not satisfy me as a reader. I'm glad so many others have enjoyed this book and given stellar reviews, but I am not one of them.
I was excited about reading Dekker's newest achievement and seeing how his co-author Lee added to the story. Both are extremely gifted storytellers. However, this book didn't grab me until I got to chapter 19. I was disappointed with the first few pages because it was told more like a summary than a story at first. I could not picture a society without emotions, it still doesn't make sense to me how DNA can be stripped of the very quality given to us by God. I get living in fear, but who are we as humans if we don't feel emotions? It's like every human being has become logical and there is no care or concern for others. The very first thing the book describes is a funeral setting, but there is no love or loss mentioned. There is no heaven or hell, only an afterlife. And fear is the motivation for everything; if you obey every law of the Order and live accordingly then when you die your soul will spend eternity enjoying Bliss (the absence of fear). However, if you break any law, cause disorder or you're born with defects then you will end up in Hades because the world's Maker will refuse anyone else. I had a difficult time accepting that even in fiction. Who would want to die under that pressure?

I could understand wanting to live in a society that has no hatred or war, that's ideal, but I don't believe that the authors put the story together very well illustrating this. It's all summarized. I also didn't feel any connection with the characters in the story. Many important characters die in this story before the last page, but I didn't have any remorse for their deaths. I kept thinking about the Pod people from the body snatchers movie or the Eloi in The Time Machine who feel nothing when the Morlocks take them (no emotions, only survival matters). I kept asking myself throughout, what's the point?

The story follows two characters who get access to a vial of blood and ingest it immediately, Rom and Saric. There are also several minor characters, but it's mostly from Rom/Saric's perspectives and the people around them. Rom is the good guy, Saric is a sovereign in the story who becomes corrupted after drinking the blood. The story is mostly about their inner transformations and reactions to having the blood in their system. One cares about finding out the truth and restoring peace to a system that is hypocritical and corrupted (perfect peace being impossible to achieve when the Order is hiding a secret) while the other wants to rule the world and doesn't care what must be done to get there. They both have to come to grips with their mortality and both must face conflicts and doubts along the way.

There is graphic violence in this book, but just as the characters have no emotions I wasn't moved by the killing/fighting. The best thing I can say about this book is that it's not creepy or scary at all. Dekker is very good at making stories symbolic so I tried to see that symbolism in Forbidden. The vial of blood is the blood of Jesus in my mind, once you've accepted it you're forever changed. The only god mentioned in this story is the Maker so there's no message about the trinity or the cross. The blood makes a person die to self so that they can have their minds opened up, there is no preaching or emphasis placed on relationship with the Maker in this book. There is law and everyone must follow the Order or face brutal consequences. The characters come to life with the blood, they have emotions, their perspectives change, they have something to live for other than fear, and they are amazed by the difference. The blood is pure and there is a dramatic reaction once the person takes it. The next book in this series will be Mortals, but I've had enough with Forbidden. It's a good story, but it's not for me.
48 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Forbidden, proof that Dekker's best days are behind him? 11 Oct 2011
By Mathachew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I kept telling myself Ted Dekker's next book will be better than his last. I kept telling myself that he would not continue to pull the same shenanigans of old and thrust illogical interactions in unbelievable situations and yet again, use love as a gimmick. I kept telling myself that he is capable of writing a great story and that when I finished the book, I would be happy with what I just read. The truth of the matter was self-evident: Dekker's best days are well behind him.

Many spoilers follow.

So what exactly was wrong with the book? Though the book was not downright awful, it was bad enough for me to be happy that I finished it so I could move on to something more meaningful and enjoyable. Those are not details, so let me begin. The entire premise is destined for problems and was evident from the opening chapter when Rom did the illogical thing and went against everything he ever knew and trusted a crazy old man he only met seconds earlier. Many characters felt like rehashes of previous Dekker novels and one distinctive scene read like it was ripped straight from Green. In typical Dekker fashion, one person confesses their love in record time. Cities, countries and continents are given names in a cheap effort of creating a new world unlike any we have ever seen. I can appreciate the effort in creating a unique setting, but it all combined to make little sense. Brahmin, who are royalty, felt like vampire knock offs without the fangs, and by the end of the book, you still do not know why there are people who have translucent skin (Brahmin) and regular folk like us. Once the symbolism of the world being "walking corpses" was introduced, the reader is overloaded with the concept to the point of annoyance because of the way certain characters kept treating it as a physical death, not an emotional one.

A cryptic message written in Latin is decoded, giving some insight into the blood Rom is given in the book's opening chapter. Here's an excerpt:

I have a sample of purest blood of unknown origin marked only "TH," which proved resistant to the strain.

Readers of The Circle Series should immediately note the TH being Thomas Hunter, savior of humanity in the year 2010. Based on the timeline of when Chaos occurred in Dekker's Lost Books Series, Forbidden probably takes place in the year 2550, possibly closer to the year 2600. Would the man that saved humanity really be that unknown roughly 40 to 90 years after saving every person from certain death? Seems unlikely, but this is hardly a primary point of emphasizing the book's numerous problems.

Murder is illegal and security is overly lax (if not non-existent), yet there are well trained killers working for the Order who strike with deadly precision and leave a mess of evidence without making the slightest effort in covering their tracks. If this is the case, surely there would be rumors of such atrocities (since they exist to hunt down and destroy the Keepers) and would not be as unbelievable and unheard of as portrayed. The Order's alchemists are always conducting experiments (the details of which remain mostly vague), one of which is the ability to restore some emotions. Rom is able to sneak into these lairs in a disguise, yet despite the Order being aware of this trespass, several main characters successfully repeat this two more times using the same method. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice, shame on Dekker and Tosca. The icing on the cake was the book's terribly flat ending. I do not think the events leading up to the shocking moment could have been more monotonous and ill conceived. It is pretty clear not a lot of thought went into it because it truly plays out without much sense.

Ted Dekker has written some great novels. Unfortunately, I believe his last great novel was BoneMan's Daughters, which came out in 2008. Since then he has pumped out two books a year and each one progressively worse than the others, with an exception to Immanuel's Veins, which still remains tied as my most disliked Dekker book, along with Lunatic and Elyon. I do believe this book is the straw that broke the camel's back. I am a completionist at heart and there is only one book that I have stopped reading. I considered doing it again, but I can finish a book this long in two or three days, so I stuck with it, trying to enjoy the book but failing. Forbidden (The Book of Mortals) is the first book of a trilogy and while there are some decent parts, it suffers as a whole and I have no intention of reading the rest of the series. I can only suffer through so much whimsical, immediate love before I find myself clawing at my eyes to make it stop. If this is the first or one of the first Dekker books you have read, I strongly recommend sticking with his earlier works as they are, hands down, far better than anything he has put out recently.
38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible first half and ok second half 13 Oct 2011
By Jocelyn Messier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am having a hard time reconciling with the fact that most of the reviews are good!. I am giving it 2 stars because of the last 40% of the book. The first 60% is worth just about 0 star. Overall I am extremely disappointed. What's wrong with the book?. Here are a few blatant examples (warning some spoilers).
1) A few hours after being handed a package containing a vial full of blood he decides to drink it. There are no instructions as to how much to drink but he drinks only the correct amount. 3 other people also drink the blood and they also have no idea how much to drink but they also drink just the right amount. But this is beside the point. There is not a single human being (especially one who only knows fear) who would drink blood for almost no reason as is the case in the book. That part is utterly unbelievable and as avid readers you know as well as I do that believability is one of the fundamental rules of good writing. If you don't have believability then your writing is in deep trouble. This is only one example. The main characters in this book do many other things that people would simply never do (normal or not).

2) Another fundamental rules of good writing is to make sure that what you write has at least a secondary purpose so as to be less boring. So if you describe a street lamp, for instance, then there must a reason that goes beyond just providing you with a mental image of the surroundings. When you describe the lamp you should, for instance, indicate that the dim light emanating from the lamp is illuminating only some of ROM's face leaving his eyes in shadows, enhancing his determined look (something like that). This book does very little of that and I found myself starting to skip the descriptive sections more and more because I realized that those would not add anything useful to the book.

3) I am no psychologist but instinctively I found myself thinking that the way people were often behaving in this book was not consistent with the way people who know only fear would behave. I can't give you concrete examples but believe me when I tell you that you will have those thoughts yourself when you come across those situations.

It felt like the book was written by a 12 year old and then was revised by an adult writer. I really had to force myself to get past the first 60% of the book and the only reason I did was because many of the other reviews had mentioned the fact that it was better after the first half (and it was!). I only hope, if you decide to buy the book that your experience with it is not as disappointing as mine.
34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Make Sense 22 Sep 2011
By SpirituallySpeaking - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I just couldn't get into this book because it has a major flaw in it's premise. The more I read and tried to suspend my disbelief, my mind kept saying, "It STILL wouldn't happen that way."

You see....this book purports a civilization that can only feel ONE emotion: fear. IF that's the case, Rom would NEVER have accepted the old man's package in the very beginning of the story. He simply would have run like crazy away from him. Why? Because he was afraid! He doesn't do that....or there would be no story. The fact that he DOES accept the package...means the premise is flawed and the story makes no sense.

You see....to accept the package means Rom is automatically feeling other things, like curiosity, courage, confusion, etc. If you TRULY had a world where people could ONLY feel fear...everyone would be running around like a bunch of paranoid schizophrenics. Society would be in chaos. People would be completely unproductive and terrified of everything from a housefly to their own reflection. The world would have to be institutionalized. This concept is completely ridiculous. I've never seen a book that creates such an unworkable and impossible premise for itself. I just couldn't convince myself that this was real. There is a rule in fiction writing that a story doesn't have to be possible, just "plausible" for it to work. This wasn't even close to being plausible.

So...all emotion except fear was eliminated because it's believed that "passion of opinions and creativity" caused the world's problems like war, etc. Again, this is absurd. It's very clear that FEAR, which gives rise to ignorance is the cause of all the world's ills. If you want a world of peace, how can you expect to achieve that through FEAR? How could this world have been free of war, murder and violence with a people that can ONLY feel fear. Not possible. Not even plausible. I'm still in shock at how ill-conceived this plot is.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Did not live up to other reviews 9 Aug 2012
By Milo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on the number of positive/glowing reviews and was pretty excited to read. The book has a great central concept that could have made for an excellent story. Unfortunately the authors spent more time rushing through the plot and very little time fleshing out the characters. I just didn't really care what happened to the characters which completely deflated some of the bigger reveals/twists in the book. The authors rely too much on telling you why a character did or felt something, instead of building the reader's understanding of the characters motivations via a well told story. I found it a bit of a chore to finish the book though I did finish. The ending was underwhelming and I will not be reading the rest of the series, just not interested enough. Not a horrible book, just did not live up to the hype.
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