I've had Forbidden in my TBR pile for about two years (I know, I'm about to reach book-hoarder status), and I never put it off for any particular reason. In fact, Tosca Lee is one of my favorite authors, and I'll recommend her to most everyone. I've only read one other Ted Dekker novel, and while I can see his widespread appeal, I wasn't amazed by it. It was a good, solid read.
To be honest, I'm a bit conflicted when it comes to this review. There were some parts I really loved, and I was moved...then, there were other parts that the writing felt a bit off. It was really obvious that two different styles of writing were coming together. Tosca Lee is very lyrical, almost poetic, in her writing style. And though I've only read one by Dekker, his writing seems to be more to the point and fast-paced.
I loved the premise of the story and the overarching idea behind it. The plot is fast-paced and held my attention. The stakes are definitely high, and you could feel that as the story played out.
At times the styles worked well together, but for me, there were times that they didn't. I don't mind a bit of darkness, a bit of ominousness and even violence, as long as it isn't gratuitous, and as long as it has a point in the plot. But some of the descriptions of death here were just unnecessary. They weren't even necessarily overly graphic, but they just felt pointless. Given the character, and the bloody nature of their death, I didn't need extra details about the body after death to make me more sad about it or understand the other characters' grief.
I'm not sure what it was that didn't always work for me, except that the phrase "trying too hard" keeps coming to mind. Sometimes the writing just felt a bit forced and the flow of the story felt a bit clunky.
I did like the book, and I don't like sounding harsh in my reviews. I think I was expecting to love it, but ultimately just felt a bit detached from the story. Like I said, the stakes were there, I just couldn't work up a lot of feeling about them. I tried though, I really did!
I would like to read the second and third books at some point, but didn't end this one feeling a desperate need to seek them out immediately.