A world kept peaceful for a thousand years by the magic of the ruling vicars. But a threat lurks from a violent past. Wizards from the darkness have hidden their sorcery in a place called the keep and left a trail of clues that have never been solved.
Nathaniel has grown up longing for more but unwilling to challenge the vicars. Until his friend Thomas is taken for a teaching, the mysterious coming-of-age ritual. Thomas returns but with his dreams ripped away. When Orah is taken next, Nathaniel tries to rescue her and ends up in the prisons of Temple City. There he meets the first keeper of the ancient clues. But when he seeks the keep, what he finds is not magic at all.
If he reveals the truth, the words of the book of light might come to pass:
“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.”
I received There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack for the blog tour over at Xpresso Book Tours. I found the cover to be fascinating, and I was in the mood for a dystopia/sci fi/fantasy type of book. I was a little interested in how the author was going to meld those three categories into one book, but he managed to do exactly that.
David Litwack’s writing is so beautiful and full of detail. I could really visualize everything that I was reading, which is something that takes a lot of skill. Sometimes I thought that there was a bit too much detail, though. There were some scenes that had two to three pages of detail for one specific thing, which I thought was a bit too much.
One thing that I loved about this book were the characters. Nathaniel, Thomas and Orah start out as young adults in the beginning of the book, and there is a lot of maturity that develops in each of them throughout the book. They each had their own individual personalities and voices, which I adored.
On a negative note, there was a bit too much religion in the book for my taste. This is obviously something that is not going to bother everyone, but that’s really just not something that I’m interested in at all. Litwack did a very good job of making it so that the reader wasn’t being preached to, and I really appreciated that. The religion also tied in well with the book. Again, it’s just a personal complaint.
Overall, I really enjoyed There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack. The plot was captivating and well-written, and I’m interested in reading more from him in the future. I would definitely recommend that fans of dystopia and sci fi YA books give this book a shot, as it will keep you on your toes and leave you craving more.
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
Publication Date: July 12th, 2012
Rating: [rating: 3]
Teaser Quote: “Like a foolish parent, to save us from wickedness, they’ve given us a world of limits and not a world of possibilities.”
The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter’s editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.
Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned. There Comes a Prophet is his first novel in this new stage of life.
David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.
Cats or Dogs? Dogs. I’m allergic to cats.
Hunger Games or Mortal Instruments? Hunger Games.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.
Can you tell readers about your latest book, There Comes a Prophet?
There Comes a Prophet is about a society devoid of technology, the result of an overreaction to a distant past where progress had overtaken humanity and led to social collapse. The solution—an enforced return to a simpler time. But Prophet is also a coming of age story, a tale of three friends and their loyalty to each other as they struggle to confront a world gone awry. Each searches for the courage to fight the limits imposed by their leaders, along the way discovering their unique talents and purpose in life.
What were the challenges with writing There Comes a Prophet?
As the story progresses, readers begin to realize this is not an idyllic past but a dystopian future. The main characters discover things that are familiar to today’s audience, but alien to them. I had to be careful to view every detail through the eyes of people who have grown up in a more primitive time. I tried to keep in mind the quote from Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Did you ever experience writer’s block? How did you work through that?
I’m sure no writer sits down and has words flow freely while writing an entire novel. I sometimes wander down plot paths that get me in trouble, so I have to back up and start again. I force characters to do things that are against their nature and they rebel. At a certain level, the novelist’s challenge is to be absolutely clear what he’s trying to say. The problem is that when we stare at a blank screen initially, it just isn’t that clear.
I try to have the mindset that there will be lots of drafts, that with each, I’ll better understand the characters and the story. When I get stuck, I go back to basics: what do the main characters want? What’s stopping them from getting it? How will they overcome the current obstacle and move on to the next, greater obstacle until they either achieve their goal or realize it’s not what they really wanted.
If I’m having trouble seeing the story clearly, I’ll take a break, read, or go for a long walk. Occasionally, I need to set the project aside and work on something else for a while, until I can gain a fresh perspective. The worst thing a writer can do is sit there and bang his head against the screen.
Do you have any writing habits?
I write in two hour sessions, the most I can do at one sitting. I generally try to get one under my belt first thing in the morning while I’m fresh. Then, after getting some exercise and having lunch, I’ll do a second session in the afternoon. On bad days, that requires a nap. On good days, when the story is clicking and I’m making good progress, I’ll do a third session at night.
How long did it take you to write There Comes a Prophet?
It took a year on the first try. Then I put it aside and wrote a couple of drafts of a different novel. After that, I went back to it with a much sharper pencil, figuratively speaking, and spent another six months of additional editing.
You have two other books that you’re working on: The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky and Along the Watchtower. Can you give us a little info about those?
Along the Watchtower is a mainstream fantasy about an Iraq war veteran from a troubled family background, who has been severely injured in an IED attack. Prior to the attack, he coped with tragedy and hardship by playing World of Warcraft every chance he had. Now, suffering from traumatic brain injury and PTSD, he lapses in and out of a dream world like in the fantasy game. But unlike the video game, his quest is not for gold or a higher level, but to find a reason to live.
The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky is about a world divided between the Blessed Lands, a place of the spirit, and the Republic, whose people worship at the altar of reason. A mysterious nine-year-old girl from the Blessed Lands sails into the lives of a troubled couple in the Republic and changes everyone she meets. She reveals nothing about herself, other than to say she’s the daughter of the sea and the sky. But she harbors a secret wound she herself cannot heal.
For more of an advance look, you can check them out at www.davidlitwack.com.
What inspires you to write?
Those people in my head who have stories they want to be told.
What is the best book that you’ve read recently?
I’ll give you two: Alan Brennert’s Molok’ai—a fictional biography of a woman who grew up and lived in the infamous leper colony. It’s sounds depressing but it’s one of the most uplifting books I’ve read in a while. And Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, for its originality and wonderful, lyrical style.
What is currently in your To-Be-Read pile?
I recently finished Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. So I’ve added to my to-read list The Remains of the Day and the last two books of the His Dark Materials trilogy.
One winner will win a paperback copy of There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack
Giveaway open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.
Giveaway will run from March 28th, 2013 to April 8th, 2013