Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1012
There Comes a Prophet
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
High fantasy, the kind with a quest, is not on my list of things I really like to read and, yet, here I am, about to share my thoughts on There Comes a Prophet. Is it high fantasy? No, not at all, but it is most certainly a quest. This quest takes three teens on a search for humanity’s past which should have been its present and future. For about a thousand years, people have lived in the modern version of the Dark Ages, and have lost all curiosity, all interest in developing technology, all inclination to dream of what might lie beyond. Much of this has been perpetuated by the ruling class of vicars who suppress all independent thought and behavior. Interestingly, this is not really religious tyranny so much as the evolution of, well, I’ll say no more about that for fear of spoilers.

Then, as you might expect, a “prophet” rises, a young man who has dreams in defiance of the vicars. Nathaniel is no daring hero, though, and keeps his dreams to himself until he’s driven to protect his friends. In doing so, he comes to learn about what might have been and what he must do to bring “darkness” back to the people. Nathaniel and his friends, Orah and Thomas, set off on what will become a great adventure.

In the end, the most important player might be a man named Kiran.

I found a couple of things very intriguing about this story. Most important, there were aspects of these teens that I didn’t care for. In simple terms—

Nathaniel…ineffectual

Orah…bitchy

Thomas…whiny

In spite of this, I actually did like these kids, perhaps because they weren’t so SHINY as many young adult characters are and there’s much more to them than these shallow impressions. The other thing I appreciated is the author’s creation of a good versus evil theme that is not at all like the usual. Just imagine how different things might be in our world if factions in power could bring themselves to true compromise.

There are certainly some flaws to be found in this story. The teachings are a form of brainwashing but seem to be too mild and short-lived to have the crippling effects we see in Thomas and there is little real tension or sense of danger in their search for the Keep. In fact, there’s no tension in the requisite romance either and I really think this novel might be better suited to the middle-grade reader rather than young adult. I also have to say I don’t like the cover because it’s too dark to see it clearly online.

When all is said and done, David Litwack is an accomplished author with a good story and I expect we’ll be seeing much more of him in the future.
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