"But what are we without dreams?"
A thousand years ago the Darkness came - a terrible time of violence, fear, and social collapse when technology ran rampant. But the vicars of the Temple of Light brought peace, ushering in an era of blessed simplicity. For 10 centuries they have kept the madness at bay with "temple magic," and by eliminating forever the rush of progress that nearly caused the destruction of everything.
Childhood friends Orah and Nathaniel have always lived in the tiny village of Little Pond, longing for more from life but unwilling to challenge the rigid status quo. When their friend Thomas returns from the Temple after his "teaching" - the secret coming-of-age ritual that binds young men and women eternally to the Light - they barely recognize the broken and brooding young man the boy has become. Then, when Orah is summoned as well, Nathaniel follows in a foolhardy attempt to save her.
In the prisons of Temple City, they discover a terrible secret that launches the three on a journey to find the forbidden keep, placing their lives in jeopardy, for a truth from the past awaits that threatens the foundation of the Temple. If they reveal that truth, they might once again release the potential of their people.
Yet they would also incur the Temple's wrath as it is written: "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."
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this novel could have been a stand-alone story
The Children of Darkness by David Litwack is the first novel in a series called Seekers. This story follows the story of a group of young adults as they begin to distrust the world around them and yearn to find a way to change all the negatives that they have become accustomed to. When their friend Thomas is taken from their small village of Little Pond to a Temple City to learn and fear the darkness (a historical period of knowledge and violence), Orah and Nathanial are concerned for their friend. Thomas returns haunted. When Orah is taken next, Nathanial attempts to try to save her. During this ordeal, Nathanial learns of a quest to return knowledge to their dystopian and knowledge-fearing world. And so, the trio set out on a challenging path to find out if there is truth to the legend. Unwittingly, they are pursued relentlessly by the governing Temple. The Temple is set on stopping the return of knowledge to the land and will do anything to stop the three companions as they risk everything for a cause that they are not even sure they believe in.
While this novel touched upon a lot of standard dystopian themes, it was unique in many ways. I enjoyed the quest aspect of the story and loved the contrast between the characters, their motives, and ultimately their loyalty to one another. The story is also told from multiple points of view, which allows insight into individual characters and makes these aspects of the story richer. Similarly, explanations and feelings regarding the period of the darkness and the idea of knowledge were thought provoking. The end of their quest revealed something that I thought was incredibly interesting and loved how it was handled. I did not love the characters themselves, unfortunately. Perhaps, they felt a little flat for the most part or I was not particularly inspired by their dialogue and thoughts. The ending was well done and I am intrigued by the fact that the story continues, as this novel could have been a stand-alone story.
The narration by Erin deWard really did the story justice. Without her voicing, the story of have come off completely differently. It fit well with the characters and the environment. The production quality was good as well. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys young adult dystopian novels filled with righteous quests.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
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