The Children of Darkness by David Litwack is the first book in a brand new dystopian series titled The Seekers, and having been given the Seal of Excellence by Awesome Indies and winning the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best Science Fiction, this book already sits apart from others in it’s genre.
The novel poses the weighty question: “But what are we without dreams?”, which is true enough. Everybody has dreams, whether they remember them or not, and there has been many debates whether what you dream about reflects your wants and desires, hopes and fears, or what kind of person you are subconsciously.
Litwack’s novel tells the story of the Darkness. A thousand years ago the Darkness came–a time of violence and social collapse when technology ran rampant. But the vicars of the Temple of Light brought peace, ushering in an era of blessed simplicity. For ten centuries they kept the madness at bay with “temple magic,” eliminating the rush of progress that nearly caused the destruction of everything.
Orah and Nathaniel, grew up in a tiny village, longing for more from life but unwilling to challenge the status quo. When Orah is summoned for a “teaching”—the brutal coming-of-age ritual that binds the young to the Light—Nathaniel follows in a foolhardy attempt to save her. In the prisons of Temple City, they discover a secret that launches them on a journey to find the forbidden keep, where a truth from the past might unleash the potential of their people, but may also cost them their lives.
When I first began reading this book, I was pleasantly surprised. The opening section of the novel has such a haunting feel to the writing, similar, I felt, to The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Also, the dynamic between Orah, Nathaniel and Thomas gives a sense of deja vu, as we as young readers, are also trying to find our place in the world. This made me immediately connect with the characters, and identify myself within them. Having said that, Thomas’s tricky character post-teachings made the perfect mystery subplot. The beginning sections that describe Little Pond sounded idyllic, and secluded, perfect for a creeping, haunting read such as this. Although I found it difficult to get hooked initially, there were so many layers to this book, waiting to be stripped back.
You can purchase the book on Amazon here.
Praise for David Litwack.
“A tightly executed first fantasy installment that champions the exploratory spirit.” — Kirkus Reviews
“The plot unfolds easily, swiftly, and never lets the readers’ attention wane… After reading this one, it will be a real hardship to have to wait to see what happens next.” — Feathered Quill Book Reviews
“… a fantastic tale of a world that seeks a utopian existence, well ordered, safe and fair for everyone… also an adventure, a coming-of-age story of three young people as they become the seekers, travelers in search of a hidden treasure – in this case, a treasure of knowledge and answers… a tale of futuristic probabilities… on a par with Huxley’s Brave New World.” — Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite
“The quality of its intelligence, imagination, and prose raises The Children of Darkness to the level of literature.” — Awesome Indies
“…a solid fantasy-dystopian offering, one that is not merely written by some author looking for a middling entry to the genre, but excellently crafted by an artist looking to make his mark… A timely novel beautiful in the simplicity of its writing and elegant in its underlying complexity.” — Eduardo Aduna for Readers’ Favorite
“I found the world-building surrounding the people of the Ponds so descriptive that I was transported to their homes and way of life, and when the trio embarked on their journey, I could clearly picture them every step of the way. If you’re looking for a classic fantasy quest wrapped in a fascinating, dark archaic world, then this novel will not disappoint you.” — K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite