The Children of Darkness, by David Litwack, is a dystopian young adult novel, of the sort that seems to be very popular these days. This isn’t a Hunger Games clone, though, and has original characters and plot. I was given a copy of this book by the good folks at BookBear in exchange for an honest review.
The book follows Orah, Nathaniel, and Thomas, three friends who have just come of age and who grew up together in the town of Little Pond. In the opening scenes, Thomas is taken for a ‘teaching’ by the vicars of the Temple of Light. This ‘teaching’ sets of the chain of events that make up the novel and its sequel(s).
This book takes place in the future, a future in which knowledge and curiosity is replaced with blind faith in the Light. A thousand years prior to the beginning of this novel, there were wars and all manner of ‘darkness’ which was eradicated by the ‘light.’ I’m trying not to throw in any spoilers here, but a biblical analogy may explain the theme – we lived in paradise before we ate of the tree of knowledge. The society the friends live in gives back the nourishment of the tree and attempts to reenter paradise. It reminds me a little bit of Jasper Fforde’s Shades of Grey which detailed society after “The Great Leap Backwards.” (The plot of Shades of Grey is very different, just the idea of a society thinking that giving up knowledge is a good exchange for a certain amount of order is similar.) “In the darkness, they claimed, people spoke different languages and worshipped different gods. Their leaders used these differences to separate the people – each from the other – and then rail against their enemies to turn focus away from their own shortcomings.”
It’s an interesting idea, and one that resonated with me as every time I look at Facebook I have the sneaking suspicion that people enjoy being willfully ignorant and are doing this very thing to each other. In the book, by giving up disorder, people also give up understanding. In giving up curiosity, they lose the stars. “The Temple of Light needed only ignorance to overturn our world. Let knowledge be your weapon to reverse the damage.”
Litwack is a good writer, and some of his sentences are gems. “We should not be so seduced by our mission that we forget how to live.” “Nathaniel grabbed him in a strong embrace and held on for a dozen heartbeats.” “Only after years did eh realize the truth – one could not separate the thirst for knowledge from the lust for power. His kind needed to be kept simple. Better ignorance than chaos, better innocence than violent death – that was the lesson o the darkness.” “Like a foolish parent trying to save us from our own wickedness, they’ve given us a world of limits and not a world of possibilities.”
To read more about this book, click the Amazon link below.
Lori B. Duff is the author of the Amazon ‘Hot New Release’ Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza, a collection of autobiographical humor essays. The hard copy of the book can be found on Amazon & BarnesandNoble.com and select local retailers. The e-book can be found here. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here.