Lexie's Reviews > There Comes a Prophet

There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack
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I’ve read many dystopian novels the past few years, because I enjoy the different worlds, underlying themes, and action. I’ve found that the best novels not only provide me with a fascinating read, but they force me to look at my own world and beliefs and challenge them. Novels like the Hunger Games, Divergent, & Prison Nation are exciting, but what hooks me is the underlying themes that I’ll dwell on for months after reading the books. On that level, Litwack did a good job with his story There Comes a Prophet. While, I won’t reflect for months on the questions his novel raised; it did make me wonder for the past couple of weeks how our society as a nation and the entire human race could be judged in 200 or even 1000 years.

Nathaniel, Thomas, and Orah are teens in this novel. They live in a remote village where everything is peaceful and technology is non-existent. It reminded me of the early settlers in America, with the exception of the technology “The Temple” has. The Temple of Lightness is the ruling “government” and is determined to eradicate any type of “darkness” in its citizens. Darkness is essentially anyone who challenges the belief system in place. The Vicars and deacons hound citizens to essentially narc on neighbors and friends to send anyone from their village to the Temple for a “Teaching”. Believe me, a teaching isn’t like going to school! Think along the lines of Gitmo….. Ok not that bad, but a horrifying experience.

When Thomas comes back from a teaching a shell of his former self and Orah is called to the Temple for a teaching of her own, Nathaniel races to save her. As he awaits their fate he is told a secret that takes the 3 friends along a journey that not only changes their lives, but can possibly change the future of their entire world.

Litwack did an excellent job with his world building and character development. It wasn’t until the teens arrived at “The Keep” that I realized that it was essentially our society now that was what was referred to as the “Time of Great Darkness”. Having the Keepers explain the achievements as well as the violence of their time to Nathaniel, Orah, and Thomas was enjoyable to view through their eyes, as it gave me a fresh perspective on our own society.

The characters were well-fleshed out, you could relate to them and you either liked them or you didn’t. Thomas annoyed me on many different levels, but that just means that Litwack did an excellent job in his fleshing out of each character.

This was a very good debut novel. I did enjoy it, but the pace didn’t keep me pulled into the book. It was very easy for me to get distracted from this novel, but given that I read several books a day it takes a rare book to keep me fully engaged. I didn’t get a huge sense of urgency even when the 3 characters were running from the Vicars and deacons. The ending tied everything together a little too easily for me, but I think Litwack did a good job in trying to establish how and why things wrapped up the way they did. No regime will ever be perfect, and in trying to eliminate violence and evil a new type of “evil” will emerge. It’s like a jelly donut, there has to be a balance otherwise the jelly just squishes out in different spot. Maybe not the best analogy, but I have a donut craving right now!! 

All in all, this was an easy and enjoyable read that will make you wonder just how society will judge us in the future.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 6, 2013 – Finished Reading
July 13, 2013 – Shelved

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