Monday, March 18, 2013

Blog Tour {Review & Giveaway}—There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack



Stopping by The LUV'NV today is the There Comes a Prophet blog tour, organized by Xpresso Book Tours!
We got the pleasure of reading this unique YA Dystopia, and you can enter to win an eBook or paperback copy!


There Comes a Prophet
by David Litwack
Publication: July 9th 2012 by Double Dragon Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia

Book Depository Amazon B & N Goodreads

Who among us will cast aside a comfortable existence and risk death to follow a dream?

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 wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up There Comes a Prophet. Was it truly a dystopia like many have tagged it to be, or did it just brush the popular genre? What's with the Fantasy label, as well? And why the Sci-fi cover, along with biblical nuances in the summary? All of it together intrigued me to no end; I just had to grab the chance to read it. And I'm so glad that I did.

There Comes a Prophet  is unlike any dystopia I've read. It completely surprised me by encompassing everything above and so much more. Set in a village known as Little Pond, with children playing, people trading homemade goods, planning festivities, and seemingly content, the beginning of the book reminded me of the beginning of Lord of the Rings—even more so when the three main characters set off on a quest across the country, leaving their small village and everything they've ever known behind, not knowing if they'll ever return.

Yet, as soon as Peter leaves Little Pond, that fantastical, peaceful setting merges with the Dystopia genre. The characters begin to question, in earnest, the government that rules them. The secrets begin to leak out, and the foundation of the world as the characters know it start to crumble. I love how the author wrote his Dystopian novel this way, with the fantasy first. The shift was fitting. Peter's known as a dreamer. He dreams a world outside his own and fantasizes being a hero. Then he starts to realize how utterly daunting it is to be a hero, how different—how exciting yet sad—it is to discover a bigger, better world than the one he envisioned. And it's one that's long gone, with only the demolished cities as the remains and the history of great civilizations held in a well-hidden Keep.

Once he and his friends find it, the Sci-fi kicks in—well, not in the true sense of Sci-fi. There are no aliens. There aren't even wizards or mages like the summary and the Fantasy label might suggest, either. It's supreme technology in the eyes of the characters. This was another aspect I absolutely loved about this novel. If a person has never seen or heard of a phone, a voice resonating from an object would seem like magic. Since cars and trains supposedly never existed, they wouldn't be known by such a name but described as a really fast wagon or a snake. It reminded of The Book of Revelation and how any prophet would describe what he saw but couldn't name.

But religion, of any type, isn't heavy or high-handed in this book—though it is what made this Dystopia so unique and enjoyable. Instead of a totalitarian or tyrannical government that needs to be overthrown, it's a theocracy, and the focus is not theology but philosophy. The phrases and themes were so amazing that I've bookmarked and sticky-noted this book more times than I can count.

I would've liked if it was longer, though. I'm not sure how to explain it, but while the pace was well done and all three characters had fantastic individual growth, the book felt ... short. It didn't lack anything, per se, except for maybe the typical YA romance, which I actually appreciated and still got the feels from when it did happen; the instances were rare, but that's what made each time so special and stand out. I was more than satisfied by the ending, too. But somewhere it lost the epic feel that was building throughout, and that made me bring the rating down half a star, albeit reluctantly because I floved the book.

There Comes a Prophet  has so many profound themes, lovely characterizations and relationships, as well as story-telling, I am astounded by David Litwack's talent to capture it within 265 pages. I'll be reading more of his work and putting There Comes a Prophet  on my to-read-again shelf. It's a must-try for Fantasy and Dystopia fans looking for a quick, unique, thought-provoking read.




Finished paperback copy provided by the author, David Litwack.
Thank you!



Favorites lines (out of many):

"Like a foolish parent, to save us from wickedness, they've given us a world of limits and not a world of possibilities."
****
"If none of this happened, if we were free to go and resume our lives, what would you have wished for most?"
"Do you think it's a good idea to dwell on thoughts like that?"
He considered a moment. "Our dreams may be all we have left."
"Very well," she said. "Then here's my list. I'd like to win a race at festival as an adult; to have you win someday ... to go with you to explore the mountain pass and discover the great ocean ..."
Her voiced trailed off. When nothing else was forthcoming, he assumed it was his turn.
"My list is short. If none of this happened—no teachings, no vicars, no seekers, no keep—I'd have been content to spend the rest of my life with you."





David Litwack

His Website | Twitter| Facebook | Goodreads
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.


Terms & Conditions:
By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 13 years old.
One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a paperback or eBook copy of There Comes a Prophet  by David Litwack. Winner’s choice of .mobi, ePub, or PDF format. Paperback copy USA/CAN only.
Winner will be contacted via email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST April 7th and has 48 hours to reply before a different winner will be chosen.
Prize will be sent the week of April 15th.
Note: You do not need to own an eReader device to enjoy Kindle or Nook books. Download free Kindle apps here and
Nook apps here to start reading eBooks on major smartphones, tablets, and computers.

1 comment: