See the full tour schedule HERE
There Comes A Prophet
by David Litwack
Read: December 16 - 18, 2012
Published: July 9, 2012 by Double Dragon Publishing
Source: Gift from author in exchange for an honest review
Category: Science Fiction, YA (also fine for MG)
Who among us will cast aside a comfortable existence and risk death to follow a dream?
A world kept peaceful for a thousand years by the magic of the ruling vicars. But a threat lurks from a violent past. Wizards from the darkness have hidden their sorcery in a place called the keep and left a trail of clues that have never been solved.
Nathaniel has grown up longing for more but unwilling to challenge the vicars. Until his friend Thomas is taken for a teaching, the mysterious coming-of-age ritual. Thomas returns but with his dreams ripped away. When Orah is taken next, Nathaniel tries to rescue her and ends up in the prisons of Temple City. There he meets the first keeper of the ancient clues. But when he seeks the keep, what he finds is not magic at all.
If he reveals the 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.”
NOTE: Before you read any further, please take a moment to erase the book cover above from your mind. It will give you the wrong impression about what this story is about, at least it did for me. Although I understand it conceptually - if I squint really hard - it is extremely misleading about the nature of this book. In other words, please don't give up on this review if the cover makes it 'look' like a story you'd never read.
There Comes A Prophet is an inspiring book about three young friends who set out to discover the truth about their world and end up changing it in the process.
But what are we without dreams.
Nathaniel, Orah and Thomas are best friends who have grown up together. Nathaniel has always been a dreamer, creating elaborate fantasies featuring knights on horses; Orah is practical, cautious, and not a risk taker; Thomas is careless and fun. They love each other as close friends do, and beyond that, they are just normal kids on the verge of becoming adults. The three live in a small rural town called Little Pond that is ruled by the Temple. They work hard, but most forms of leisure activity, sweet foods, and musical instruments are banned by the Temple as part of 'the darkness.'
'Beware the stray thought. Like water dripping on rock, it can erode the strongest mind and open a path for the darkness.'
Children in this world come of age at 17, and at that time one out of every three is taken by the Temple for a teaching to learn to fear the darkness. When one of the three friends returns from his teaching a frightened shell of his former self, a chain of events begins that will change their world forever.
When I started reading There Comes A Prophet, I had no idea what kind of book it was going to be. At first it had a dystopian feel, and I kept thinking of Lois Lowry's The Giver. Not because the worlds are anything alike, but because both are societies that are tightly controlled, including any knowledge about history or the past. This story then morphs into a quest that eventually leads to a revolution. I also didn't know whether There Comes A Prophet would take a turn towards magic or science fiction, and I really enjoyed discovering the answer to this question along with the characters. I loved seeing the world through the eyes of these characters and experiencing their wonder as they got closer to the information they were seeking.
Ideas combined with courage can change the world.
I also love that There Comes a Prophet is many layered. This book inspired me to think past my limits and realize that you don't have to be big and powerful to make a big and powerful change. But this book also raises some difficult questions. Every new advancement or discovery our world makes also means more ways for humans to hurt each other. Would it be better to limit that information to protect people from violence? What if you had to give up your freedom to gain peace and safety? And if you no longer had the freedom to discover, what would you be willing to sacrifice to get it back? These are some of the questions explored in this book, which I found to be very relevant to our lives today.
There Comes a Prophet takes place over about a years time, but it is extremely broad in its scope, encompassing 4 distinct and important sections. The book chronicles the entire evolution of change brought on by Nathaniel, Thomas and Orah, and I loved being able to see it unfold. But it was still a lot of material to cover, and the book read slowly for me at times. Also, while I was inspired by the message of this book, and fell in love with the journey of discovery that led to revolution, the only character that I fell in love with was Nathaniel the dreamer.
There Comes a Prophet is a book that I enjoyed as an adult, but I know I would have loved it in late middle school and also high school. I can imagine my younger self being filled with wonder and inspiration right along with these characters, and I love that this book was able to affect me in the same way today.
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone
The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter's editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.
Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned. There Comes aProphet is his first novel in this new stage of life.
David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.
10 paperback copies of There Comes a Prophet open to US/Canada
10 ebook copies of There Comes a Prophet open internationally