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Posted March 27, 2013
The world created in this book was very intriguing and at times reminded me of the movie The Village - a kinder, gentler time, but more of regression than advancement. Physical violence was almost nonexistent, but more psychological and religion was used as a means of controlling people. Although I found the individual characterization of Nathaniel, Orah, and Thomas to be a little inconsistent, the bonds of friendship and loyalty were portrayed very well. The pacing lagged a little at first, but picked up once the MCs began their quest for the keep. I only noticed a few grammatical errors, but my biggest problem was the last 5-6 pages of the book - they were out of order and some seemed to be missing, so I really don't know what happened at the end.
Overall, I thought this book was very well-written and interesting and would recommend it to dystopian lovers.
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Posted May 29, 2013
This book reminded me strongly of The Village, with pure and gentle characters and a straightforward plotline that was as easy to accept as second nature. It led me to imagine and connect with a side of myself that is not supported by modern society - exactly what I search for in dystopian fiction.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 7, 2013
This book was fabulous. I totally love it. The characters Nathaniel, Orah and Thomas was great. I love them.
Nathaniel was the one with a lot of dreams. He care for his friends Orah and Thomas. And tried to save Orah from being teach by the vicar. I think he's really brave. Orah is a really caring and smart girl that really cares for her two best friends too. She is also a weaver. And follow Nathaniel on his journey. Thomas was the first one out of his two friends being taught and came back changed. Though he still follow Nathaniel and Orah on their journey.I find the keep very interesting. I really recommend this book to people who really love SCI-FIor Fantasy/Dystopian books. It's really great.
Posted March 14, 2013
I received a copy of this book in exchange for review. This review contains spoilers.
There Comes a Prophet is a really good young adult sci-fi/dystopian novel. Set in the distant future (at least 1100 years), it is the story of a society ruled by the Temple of Light, a vague theocracy determined to keep the "darkness" away. The darkness they speak of is basically today's society or the society of the near future. They have basically erased any mention of the good of the past society, choosing instead to focus on war and destruction. They rule by fear: Anyone questioning them is subject to a "teaching," which means they will spend their days in the Temple City, in a box or cell in complete darkness, except when they're being shown evidence of the Darkness's evil via video or being quizzed on what they believe by the vicars. This is meant to break them down and make them afraid - and also to destroy any feeling of honor, as they must "betray" their friends, meaning they tell the vicar all about their friends. The friends may or may not be subject to a teaching.
The main characters are Nathaniel, a dreamer; Orah, a very intelligent young woman, and Thomas, the musician of the group who is taken for a teaching and spends weeks in Temple City. He is not the same person when he returns. He is now withdrawn, and the friends can see that the teaching has taken a toll on him. They find out that teachings are designed to stimulate fear as a means to control the population. They also realize - and understand and ultimately forgive - Thomas has had to betray them in order to be released.
Later, Orah is taken, and Nathaniel goes to Temple City to take her place. He meets Samuel, a "keeper," and ends up with a quest: To find the Keep, a place holding all the secrets of knowledge. Along with Thomas and Orah, Nathaniel sets out on this quest.
The friends embark on an adventure for truth in an exciting, thought-provoking coming-of-age story. Though the story seems a bit slow at first, it certainly picks up. The teens have a way of speaking that seemed a little odd to me at first. "What 17 year old talks like this?" I asked myself. Then I realized: These kids are growing up in a futuristic Dark Ages. Everything is more formal; though they have a childhood, there are many restrictions. Once I put myself in the "mood" of the tale, their speech was not odd at all.
I think my only real complaint - and I'm nit-picking here - is the few spelling errors (two, I think) and one formatting issue that bothered me. The author does not use spaces on either side of dashes, so instead of reading a line as they should be, I occasionally read the words on either side of the dash as hyphenated words. That slowed me down a bit and was a little distracting. This is just a minor issue, though. It's more about me and my tendency to catch things like that and dwell on them.
Overall, this was a really good book, and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
This review originally appeared on GoodReads.
Posted January 21, 2013
Originally posted at Jordan's Reading Nook.
Disclaimer: Please note that I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
As has been previously stated, some people have had a concern with the religious factor. After reading this for myself, I can assure you that the book is not religious in tone but more like the government is being led by religious leaders. They don't worship an actual God but the light which makes this enjoyable even for the people who avoid religious books at all costs.
This book takes place in a dystopian setting where the government is led by religious leaders whose job is to prevent the people from ever going back to that era where only destruction and chaos occurred -- the darkness. Nathaniel has always been wary of the Temple. Their methods of keeping the peace, and preventing the darkness from returning were unjust, and he believed there was more to the darkness than the Temple was letting on.
Together with his friends, Nathaniel embarks on a quest to find the keep -- it's the only way to find out the real truth about the darkness, and the mysterious "magical powers" the vicars wield. Together, they encounter many obstacles, and learn more about themselves and each other than ever before.
What I really liked the most about this book were the characters. All of them were multifaceted, and the actions of some were very unexpected. Throughout their journey of finding the keep, they matured, and were no longer the young adults you were introduced to at the beginning of the book. Nathaniel, Orah, and Thomas all had different strengths and weakness which made them much different from the cliche characters you usually read about in the young adult genre nowadays.
The mystery behind the keep's location is also very well written, and you won't know what's coming next until the characters do. Mr. Litwack's creativity definitely shined throughout the whole story, especially during the twists and turns you never saw coming.
Despite a couple of spelling and grammar errors, everything about this story is beautifully written; the characters, the plot, and the writing style are all superbly crafted, and will be sure capture the hearts of people of all ages.
Posted December 12, 2012
There Comes a Prophet can be viewed as the YA version of 1984. The key point of 1984 was that the government controlled every aspect of life, particularly thought and ideas. There Comes a Prophet has Nathaniel and his friends living in the same bleak universe. But there’s one major difference between the two novels – hope. The children in There Comes a Prophet have an idea that transforms into a mission, which transforms into a revolution. I think that the message within this book is perfect for MG and YA readers – one person can make a difference. Three people can change the world.
During the first half of the novel, I had some trouble connecting with the characters. I wasn’t sure why Thomas was on the mission since he felt useless – but then he becomes important to the plot near the end. Orah reminds me horribly of Hermione at times with her smarts and loyal nature. I did like Nathaniel throughout the novel, especially since he didn’t whine or wallow in self-pity.
The world building was phenomenal and I like how each place on their mission was described so adeptly that I could visualize the map of their world without needing a paper copy. It’s rare that a book written at this age level can have the depth of an adult novel. I think at times the message might be too deep for a MG reader to fully comprehend, but the story line is still entertaining enough for younger readers to enjoy. And the preaching is very limited, unlike 1984. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of dystopians or wants to read a fantasy book that isn’t the typical find this item quest. The romance is limited, yet extremely sweet and touching. The subject matter of the book is dark, but there is very little violence on screen.
And yet another book that I need to buy in paperback for my mom and her schoolkids. This book deserves full marks.
(I received a copy of this book as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.)
Posted November 18, 2012
There Comes a Prophet is an enchanting and well-written YA/MG novel that will appeal to adults and children alike. It is inventive and imaginative, with clear, crisp writing and an engaging tone. The main characters are Nathanial, Thomas, and Orah, who live in a place that is lake the dark ages, except it is in the future. They are brought up to follow the “Light” and the “Dark” and their ways. When Thomas is picked to go to a “Teaching”, everything they thought they know comes into question. So the three embark on a quest to figure out what is really the truth about what is going on. I read this book in one night --- I didn’t want to put it down! It had it all and was never boring or confusing. There were some twists and turns I didn’t see coming, and liked the complex world the author created. Highly recommend.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 16, 2012
This novel was fabulous, a real breath of fresh air! What lovely narrative and vivid atmosphere David Litwack weaved into this imaginative story! From the alternate, futuristic, yet primitive world to the strange “religion” of the people and the mystery to be solved. I was hooked almost from the opening pages and didn’t stop reading until the very last page. It has danger and excitement, enough to keep the teens invested, and enough of an intelligent message to keep the older readers interested as well. Mr. Litwack is a talented author and I’ll certainly be looking for more books from him in the future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 15, 2012
There were many things that I really loved about There Comes a Prophet, and a few things that I though could be improved upon. First I have to say that I adored all of the characters, and thought they all felt really authentic. I loved that no one ever felt really cliché or stereotypical, and that each one had qualities that made them unique. I loved that unique premise and the “Set up” of the Light and the Dark, the Teaching and the Keep. What I didn’t like was that I didn’t feel like there was much character development or real internal struggle or conflict…there was just a certain amount of tension I thought was lacking. I never worried for our mc’s safety, and never felt like all hope was lost. It just felt too “safe” for all the build-up that was happening, almost as if the author didn’t want to go “too” deep, and not that I blame him, I just thought there was some missed opportunities. But overall this was a very solid novel, one that is well-written and edited. It has a bit of a bumpy start but then it smoothes out nicely. I give this book a solid 4 stars, as I did really enjoy it and think others will tooWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 12, 2012
This book reminded me of several of my favorites I read growing up, The “Chronicles of Narnia”, “Alice and Wonderland”, “A Wrinkle in Time,” and even, “Harry Potter.” Of course this is probably in my head as this book isn’t LIKE them, just had a similar flavor, which I thought was great! It’s tough to sum up the complex plot in just a few sentences, but it was definitely one of the better books I’ve read in a long time. I must say that the beginning was a tad slow and I didn’t really feel like I had my bearings until maybe 20% of the way in. But after that I was hooked and was along for the delightful ride. I would recommend to anyone who wants a nice, clean read that has an incredible journey with great action.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 10, 2012
I give this book 5 stars! I didn’t want to put it down until I had read the whole thing, and finished it in the course of 2 nights. In the beginning we meet Nathanial and his friends Orah (a girl) and Thomas, (They reminded me a bit of the Harry Potter trio) and we are thrown into this futuristic world. This was a great book that felt familiar, but still original and fresh. Author David Litwack creates a complex and imaginative and thought-provoking world. I thought the descriptions and characters were wonderful, and I could picture everything happening perfectly. I think the story as a whole could have benefited from some tightening, and at times it seemed to lose some focus as the plot seemed to happen “to” the characters and “around” them, instead of them being the cause of action. But I must say that I did enjoy this story and would definitely recommend it for readers ages 12 and up.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 7, 2012
This was more like a 3.5 stars for me, but I'm rounding up... There were things I loved about this book, and a few things that I didn’t so much love. First, the writing was great, which is VERY important to me. I read a lot of indie authors and nothing makes me more bonkers than poor editing. This novel was excellently edited as far as I saw. I thought the plot was great, if not a tad deep for the intended audience. While I believe youngsters can grasp complex ideas, sometimes I feel that the deeper messages may be lost on them. Also, at times I wondered if certain parts were really necessary, that although it added to the overall flavor of the book, seemed to slow the pacing down. But there was great action and I definitely see teens and middle-graders eagerly gobbling this up. Even if some of the messages are over their head, there is a great story in there they will most likely adore.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 5, 2012
I thought “There Comes A Prophet” was simply marvelous and had many of my favorite elements in a book. It’s hard to totally categorize, as I felt it was sort of a blend between fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, and had subtle religious undertones. But the characters are youths, so this is a YA/MG book, although I feel it would most definitely appeal to adults as well. I did feel that at times the pace slowed down a lot, and I found myself skipping ahead at some places, as it seemed like there were a lot of words but it wasn’t really saying anything. But there was so much going on, I wasn’t bored, just curious what would happen. I appreciated that not once did I feel like the story was being “told” to me, but instead, I was a part of it and experiencing the action in real time. I felt a genuine connection to the world the author created and to the characters, and aside from the occasional slow spots thought it was quite a wonderful read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 4, 2012
There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack is one of those rare books that will appeal to adults as much as it does younger children. I recently read the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini and was extremely impressed, and of course there’s the behemoth of The Harry Potter series. While this novel isn’t quite in their league, the author definitely demonstrates considerable talent for penning a fabulous multi-layered plot with universal themes that almost anyone who reads it will connect to. It has a good, positive message, secrets, danger, action, intrigue, and adventure. This isn’t one of those “dumb kid’s books” – quite the opposite. I think the author is highly intelligent and creative. I would love to read more from him in the future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 31, 2012
This is a hard book to describe in a paragraph as so much happens!! But the main thing is that Nathanial, Orah, and Thomas are friends in a place called Little Pond. This is set in another time and the world is very different from what we know it to be today. Nathanial and his friends had always accepted a certain way of life under the Vicars. But then something happens to make them question all that and they are forced to make some hard choices and a perilous, eye-opening journey. This novel has action, adventure, suspense, danger, and an amazing plot. The characters are believable and easy to relate to. The quality of writing is terrific, bordering on literary at times with an elegant and beautiful prose. Mr. Litwack is an author to watch for in the future. This book is appropriate for all ages (middle grade on up) and will appeal to fans of dystopian and fantasy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 31, 2012
Every blue moon I read something that makes me totally forget about the outside world for a little while and it sweeps me off me feet. It’s not all that often, but when it happens, it is amazing. That is how I felt while reading “There Comes a Prophet” by David Litwack. I was intrigued from the very beginning in this interesting and creative world the author created. The writing is strong and pulled me right in, although I must confess in the beginning I felt a tad lost, almost as if I’d missed a section somehow. There were words I didn’t quite understand and I was unclear of the characters’ roles. But as I kept reading everything got clear and was really amazing! Can’t wait to read more from in in the future!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 22, 2012
A perfect read for any science fiction fans!
(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my review)
There Comes A Prophet is a superbly written tale of science fiction. This story is set in a dystopian society where the age of discovery has been ruled as a deafening darkness. The people have come to believe that the Vicar's who rule and teach them have the final say. Although some express their discontent in minor ways, most choose to exist under their rule and except their way without question. I was enthralled and intrigued by the authors creation of this society. Instead of the usual destruction of a society which leads to a struggling rebirth, There Comes A Prophet deviated slightly from this norm. This society started out in an age of invention and knowledge and became stripped down into a state of controlled calm. Although, the Temple of Light is strict in their teachings they do not make their people suffer. This story is about the journey to restore knowledge to the society. David Litwack has an enjoyable and captivating writing style. His characters are wonderfully developed and endearing. Orah, Nathaniel and Thomas are all strong in their own way. They believe in their task as Seekers and for the betterment of their world. This story is full of emotion and plenty of mystery. You will love following these characters on their journey and excite in their discoveries. I highly recommend reading this novel! Especially if you are a fan of science fiction. I look forward to reading more from this author!
Posted September 7, 2012
Reviewed by Stephanie D. for Readers Favorite
"There Comes a Prophet" by David Litwack is a superb fantasy novel. It is set in a puritanical world where politically motivated religion holds sway. Music and honey are among things that are frowned upon, and certainly free thought and innovation. The menacing vicars rule by terror and brainwashing. It is a world of light versus the darkness too. The vicars supposedly represent light and are protecting the people from the darkness, but maybe that is not the truth. The story has great protagonists in the form of Orah, Nathaniel and Thomas, the only three of their age group. One of them has to be selected at the so-called blessing to receive the Teaching by the vicars in Temple City. But people come back broken with their dreams ripped away. It turns out they have to betray someone in order to be allowed to leave during this barbaric method of indoctrination. But there could be a way out, although not much time is left. Our three heroes become seekers, searching for the keepers and the magical keep that is their only salvation.
This is a typical fantasy with its journeys, both physical and spiritual, the elements of magic and the ultimate fight of good versus evil, which here is both light versus darkness and the old ways versus the new dictatorial ways. Untypical is the clear anti-bigotry message this book carries and the illustration of how power corrupts. Presumably the vicars only wanted the best for the people to start with but it all got out of control. There are many layers to this excellent, unique novel, which is enthralling and exciting and a must read.
Posted September 7, 2012
Reviewed by Jean Brickell for Readers Favorite
"There Comes a Prophet" by David Litwack, seems at first to be about some time in the past, in a small village called Little Pond. It is a quiet village where all food, clothing and footwear are made by hand. We see Nathanial, Orah, and Thomas, three friends since early childhood. As the story unfolds, we are led to believe this is not the past but the future where all is governed by the Vicars and kept under tight control to prevent anyone from knowing about the past and the industrialized world that came before.
Nathanial, Orah, and Thomas have been fast friends from early childhood on and they have decided to go on a quest to find out what has been hidden from the people in the small village of Little Pond. They rebel against the governing body of Vicars that want to maintain the status quo. Nathanial is given the scroll that points him to make a dramatic discovery and he and his friends start off on the journey that could possibly change everything. They are followed by the Vicars but they try to elude them. They are helped by a few people who know about the journey that is the young people's desperate quest. You will enjoy "There Comes a Prophet" by David Litwack, as you follow the young friends and discover the 'Keep' and what lies behind the walls there.
Author David Litwack has created a vivid world and a great adventure that transports the reader far into a fascinating future.
Posted September 7, 2012
Reviewed by Molly E. for Readers Favorite
I am not a big Science Fiction reader. I just don't get lost among the fantasy aspects of it. But, David Litwack is a highly talented author, and one who really captured my attention with this novel. It has a unique plot filled with awesome characters, and each page turn had me hanging on to something new, dying to know what would happen next. Orah, Nathaniel, and Thomas are three uniquely created characters who quickly work their way into the reader's heart. These three friends are on a mission to find puzzle pieces to a past that will forever change their lives. Vicars and wizards and ancient prophecies make up the plot line that these three friends are encompassed in. Litwack takes the reader on an adventurous, suspense ride of ups, downs, ins and outs as Orah, Nathaniel and Thomas set out to find their true selves and the place of the Keep all the while trying to keep their world in line.
Though not generally a huge fan of Sci-Fi novels, I can truly admit that this one was fantastic. This book is a wonderful novel to read if you enjoy books that grab your attention quickly. It is a fast-paced novel that will never leave you, always calling you back when you have got other things to do. I had this book finished in less than 3 days and will be looking for more 5 star work by this amazingly talented author. I have just become a permanent fan of David Litwack. Bring on the next!