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(The Books of Mortals #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  8,564 ratings  ·  844 reviews
A terrible truth has been revealed to one man: the entire human race has been drained of every emotion except fear. To bring life back to the world, Rom must embark on a journey that will see either his own death or the reawakening of humanity.
Paperback, 376 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published September 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  8,564 ratings  ·  844 reviews

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Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I am restraining the urge to go all fangirly, given that is the first book of Dekker’s that I’ve read. But me saying ‘I liked this’ is quite the understatement. I don’t know what I was expecting when I first started it, but not this: Forbidden, with some (not all) of its well drawn characters. Or Forbidden, with its political intrigue. Or Forbidden with its world of fear.

The world. I should not compare this one to Delirium, but it’s what came to mind upon reading the first few pages. The d
Lancelot Schaubert
(originally @

This was, by far, the most frustrating novel I’ve read. It comes out tomorrow, for those interested.

Don’t get me wrong, Dekker put effort into Forbidden. He’d have to with his “New York Times Bestselling Author” blurb on every book. The book had moments of rapture, these moments where I believed these characters existed out there. Chapters clipped along, tiny hybrids of Brown and Grisham, pulling me in. Overall, it’s probably worth your time
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First posted on my blog, Legacy of a Writer.

Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee make an awesome team! Wow! Forbidden, the first in what I am sure will be an amazing series, had such a unique (and really cool) story plot. A world where no feeling, except fear, exists. It may seem like a really bizarre and far-fetched concept to grasp, but—in true Ted Dekker style—by the end of this book you’ve come to believe in it as firmly as Rom and his friends do. Simply amazing!

Each and every character in this book was
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to the audiobook and while the narrator did a good job with the voices and emotions, I think this one may be better suited to an actual reading. My own mind could fill in the anger, love and spite of the characters.
The overall dystopian premise behind the book was interesting. When it began to fall into the realm of mystical occurrences it started to lose me. I'd rather have the story fleshed out with science completely or fully into the realm of the mystical. And I feel this one could
Chris Bauer
"Forbidden", the first in a series by Ted Dekker and Toscas Lee, is the story of a dystopian future where humanity exists without any emotion, save fear. An unlikely band must find a way to defeat the Order and restore mankind.

I'm not certain why but this book did not appeal to me for a variety of reasons. I thought the premise, basic challenges and background were very unique and original. It appeared that the authors provided great effort to making a coherent and compelling background. Several
This book is basically a dystopian retelling of the story of Jesus. It's about 500 years in the future, and society has eradicated every emotion except for fear. And everything is going along peacefully, if boringly, until one day when a young man named Rom finds himself in possession of a vial of blood and a sheet of vellum with an odd code on it. When drunk, this blood will return to the drinker the full spectrum of human emotion, thus waking him from the dead life that is humanity's current l ...more
Full post at One More Page

My supply of Christian fiction has sort of run low ever since I started reading more YA books, so new books from my favorite Christian authors are always exciting and squee-worthy. One of the dream team-ups I had ever since last year when the news went out was Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee, and I have waited with anticipation over this book, Forbidden . Imagine my excitement when I saw that the book was available in Netgalley.

In the year 2005, geneticists discovered that
Cheryl Olson
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
There are just certain things that apart, truly are great all by themselves, but if you were to combine these two things, you get an end result that is quite remarkable. For example- love peanut butter, love chocolate, together they are amazing. Then there’s Batman and Robin- both very cool crime-fighters in their own right, but put them together and you have the Dynamic Duo. This is of course what you get when you combine fast paced, adrenaline producing, NY times bestselling author Ted Dekker ...more
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FORBIDDEN (The Book of Morals, #1) is the collaboration of authors Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee. It is no secret that I am a huge Dekker fan, so when presented with the opportunity to review this book, there was no hesitation on my part to accept. There was just something about the entire premise of this new series that just screamed EPIC.

FORBIDDEN is so reminiscent of Dekker's Circle series that I was immediately emotionally invested.It has Dekker's mastered thriller feel and slightly graphic conte
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..
Rachelle Sperling
I loved Dekker's early works, but his latest books haven't appealed to me...until now.

The world is populated by the living dead; they just don't know that they have died.

Stripped by a virus of all emotion except fear, humanity as we know it has ceased to exist. War and the pain of loss are unheard of on the earth. But so are love, hope and joy. But not all have forgotten what it means to be alive. A secret society of keepers guard a vial of blood that has the ability to temporarily re-awaken emo
A Book Vacation
It pains me to say that this novel wasn’t my forte. This is my first Dekker novel, and while I’ve heard many glorious things about his writing, this particular story just didn’t reach out and grab me. Although the underlying concept of the novel is quite superb, I never personally connected with the characters, which is a must for me. I understood the character’s plights, and I disliked the bad guys and cheered on the good guys, but that was the extent of my connection with them. Now, I was quit ...more
Anna Tan
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: realmies
Liked the concept, hated the fact that I got to the end only to discover it's book 1.
And the library doesn't have book 2 or 3. LOL

So... I might just end this read here for now.
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy this book, don't get me wrong. But I had a few problems with it and I was in a major reading slump. But let's move on.

Humanity has been stripped of it's emotions, all except for one: fear. The world is at peace, but is it really peace when humans no longer have what makes them human? But it is all about to change. Rom is given vial of blood that, once consumed, has the power to give the person back all the original emotions people use to have. The message that came with the vial will
Well... this was one interesting story. I've read Dekker by himself, then Dekker and Healy, and now Dekker and Tosca Lee (whose writing I adore!) I can see bits an pieces of the feminine perspective in this story. The imagery surrounding love was pretty profound. Better to have loved and truly live, then to merely exist. That was a big part of the story. It made me also think of the scripture where it says Jesus came to give us life, and not just life, but abundant life. That symbolism is clearl ...more
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forbidden is the first book in a new trilogy by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee. I've never read The Circle Series or anything by Ted Dekker for that matter, but after reading Forbidden I will finally pull The Circle Series off my shelf.

Let's start at the beginning. In order to create peace, 480 years ago humans were given a highly contagious drug created to alter human DNA to remove all emotions other than fear. Can you imagine a life without pain and sorrow? Without joy and love? That's the only life
Jill Williamson
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rom, an obedient member of society, becomes an instant outlaw when he comes to possess a vial of blood and ancient letter, given to him by an old man his father knew. In a society devoid of all emotion by fear, Rom is scared of being killed. He flees to his friend, Avra, but she is afraid as well. Rom replays the words of the old man over and over in his mind, and seeing no other way, drinks a portion of blood from the vial. And becomes human again, fully feeling all things. Avra takes some bloo ...more
Timothy Ward
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forbidden is a book about a dark future where the only emotion your genes can produce is fear. The world is ruled by a Sovereign, who obeys the rules set forth in Order, to live in harmony with the rest of mankind. Death is uncommon and war long forgotten, though vile practices still slither unnoticed in the shadows to make it all possible. Everyone is dead because there is no love - that is, until one man is given a vile of blood capable of restoring all of his emotions. Ted Dekker and Tosca Le ...more
Listening to the CD first and plan to get the book hopefully today from the library. I like to follow CD while reading; sometimes the audio works when multitasking but can lose sight without the words in your face.

It starts off pretty interesting and different style of Ted Dekker so far with a co-author could be the reason. Never read Tosca Lee but will consider to do so after this series. The narration is very intriguing and grasp me into the storyline about a new world, its order, and former R
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-dystopian
1.5 stars. Sigh, such a fascinating premise, but such a dreadful writing style. The problem with this book is that it is adult fiction, but if you took out the few violent scenes, it is written as a middle grade book. Short sentences, stilted cheesy conversations, over-usage of the same words, overly dramatic behavior, and moral lessons being repeated over and over until they are chiseled into your head. Worst of all, the mother of all instaloves is in this book. To be fair, it is due to a chemi ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, ebooks, nook
I can usually get some enjoyment out of just about any book, but I found this one really hard to get into. The premise of the book was really promising, and I even read the prequel first and enjoyed it. But for whatever reason I just found the characters boring and all of their actions so improbable and ridiculous. The way they acted never seemed to match the way the story line and the world was built (they're supposed to consumed by fear and always follow the Order, but they never seem to have ...more
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one took me by surprise. Interesting take on a future world where humans are genetically manipulated so that the only emotion they have left is fear. This fear is used to keep them pacifistic & docile. The current humans are unaware of this manipulation. In comes our hero Rom who discovers that there is a potential cure and a little boy who can help the human race recover their other emotions. Good read & I'm looking forward to the sequel. ...more
I'd forgotten how utterly amazing this series is. The setting, the plot....the setting. The characters aren't that influential in my enjoyment of the book, so that's why they didn't get a mention.

But I said setting twice, did you see that? That's because it's BEAUTIFUL! Dekker and Lee created a world that is both medieval and modern. Medieval in that we have castles,leaders rulers, guards knights, and heroes and villains dashing about on horseback; modern in that they have cars, televisions, cam
Book Club, July 2017
Listened on audiobook via Hoopla

This was one of those books that captured my attention with a cool premise, but then disappointed me in the execution of the story. I understand what the author was trying to do considering the premise. Humanity has lost the ability to feel any emotion besides fear. Obviously the story will require emotive language. However, sensationalism doesn't make up for weak writing. The story was rife with clichés, heavy-handed symbolism, mixed metaphors
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had not read anything by Ted Dekker and very wary of trying new authors. However, I am new fan of the co-author, Tosca Lee, so I decided to give “Forbidden,” the first book in The Book of Mortals series a try. I am very pleasantly surprised to find that Dekker is a very good at weaving a compelling, albeit gut-wrenching story. It seems that fiction lends more towards savaging kind, compassionate, noble characters. The brutal death of innocents appears to be the driving plot device in a lot of ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really expected more from this, but it just didn’t draw me in at all. I finished out of my duty to finish books I start. I love other works by both authors, so I had hoped a project they worked on together would be incredible.

The premise was interesting enough, but the characters felt flat and despite colorful depictions of emotion, seemed to have no distinct personalities. Many of the characters felt disposable and the ones that died didn’t leave a significant impact on me like most characte
Rachel (Book Boop)
Reminded me of Ted Dekker's Circle Trilogy (fantastic read!). Love how Ted draws parallels to the gospels and uses his epics to point to Christ! ...more
DNF @ 30 pages. Ain't my cup of tea. It's not bad, but I was not interested AT ALL.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found it started off with me wondering where it was going, intrigued, then slowing down in the middle and near the end it peaked my interest again.
Donald Hahn
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is book 1. Mortals I read out of order which i hate to do. Couldn't put it down. Now on to book #3. ...more
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Ted Dekker is known for novels that combine adrenaline-laced stories with unexpected plot twists, unforgettable characters, and incredible confrontations between good and evil. Ted lives in Austin with his wife LeeAnn and their four children.

Other books in the series

The Books of Mortals (3 books)
  • Mortal (The Books of Mortals, #2)
  • Sovereign (The Books of Mortals, #3)

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