Saturday, October 1, 2011

Forbidden by Tosca Lee and Ted Dekker

What happens when two creative, innovative envelope-pushing geniuse authors collaborate? Well, the results are..."Forbidden". And the novel ROCKS!!

To be completely honest, I was a bit skeptical. I enjoy Ted Dekker's fiction, but lately I've wanted 'more' from the stories. And, while I thoroughly loved Tosca's novels, I didn't know how her style would blend with Dekker's. So I approached this new trilogy with mild trepidation.

They had me at 'hello'...that is, the first chapter! And I'm DYING to read the next two I'd say this combo was a raging success. However, if you're squeamish or easily offended, let me fill you in on a few things...

The basic story is this: Rom is an artist with no passion. Seems the world has evolved and eliminated all emotion except fear, all done in order to survive. As with any controlling and manipulating society, a renegade group approaches Rom with their secret, thrusting him into an unwanted responsibility that might free him...

...or destroy him and all he holds dear.

The secret is in the blood, hence the caution for the squeamish ones. The details are neither graphic nor gratuitous. Every drop is necessary to propel the story and to illustrate the juxtaposition of sin and grace. "Forbidden" isn't a true allegory, but you'll find parallels between your life and the life of the future.

Because the story deals with emotion, the tale becomes sensual and passionate at times, but again never in a graphic or gratuitious fashion. If you are easily offended or need to guard what you read for personal reasons/convictions, approach "Forbidden" with caution. But know that without the passion, the story does not flow and you most likely wouldn't care about these fictional people and where they end up.

I haven't been this excited about a collaboration or a trilogy of this magnitude in a long, long time. This series so far is miles above any of Dekker's previous works, and sets the bar higher than ever for Tosca Lee's writing. Can't imagine how these two dynamic authors can surpass the first book...but I'm hoping for more and to have my mind blown when "Mortal" releases in 2012.

And I will be holding my breath throughout the reading of "Sovereign", the final chapter, releasing in 2013. Yes, this is a long wait...but it will take you that long to really wrap your imagination around "Forbidden" and to capture all of the nuances of the writing.

This is a book I will re-read, savor, and keep. I think if you can set aside all preconceived ideas and just let yourself experience "Forbidden", you'll find it to be superb as well. Again, squeamish and easily offended be warned, but take a chance, won't you?

My thanks to my friends at Center Street Publishing for taking a chance on me and allowing me to review this one. I'm giving "Forbidden" five out of five bookmarks, and voting it "Best Breakout Fiction of 2011", as well as "Best Collaboration of 2011". Yup, it is THAT good.

"Forbidden" is in bookstores everywhere, and I heard it debuted at #17 on the NYT Bestsellers List. Be watching for "Mortal" in September 2012 and "Sovereign" in September 2013, all from Center Street Publishing, and here's to hoping I get sneak peeks at both!

Happy Reading!



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