Forbidden, by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee

I was given this book by the buyer for the bookstore I work in so I could suss out whether she should buy it or not: she shouldn't. The basic premise is good, though unoriginal - humans, having faced the horror and destruction wreaked upon their race by the capriciousness of emotion, eliminated the ability to feel any emotion aside from fear. The Order rules all in perfect dictatorship, and there has been no public act of violence in 480 years. However, we begin to learn that the birth of this new era was anything less than perfect, and that humans are not truly living. This is not a new concept. The movies "THX-1138" and "Equilibrium" have already covered this ground, and much better than Dekker and Lee have.

The writing is almost juvenile; there is far too much repetition and the dialogue is forced and awkward. We do not need people to be described as "dead" fifty times in order to understand what the authors mean. The book sorely needs an editor with a heavy hand. It's gripping, in its own way, and certainly isn't the worst work of science fiction I've ever read. But it also certainly isn't a good one. Unless you can't get enough of dystopias, don't bother picking this one up; there are much better options to choose from.


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