Five hundred years into the post-apocalyptic future, in a world largely populated by a different kind of walking dead--people who think they're alive but have been emptied of all emotion but fear--a group of living, feeling Mortals fight for humanity against the brutal forces of the Order. Nine years ago, in Forbidden (2011), the first installment in Dekker and Lee's Books of Mortals series, 23-year-old Rom Sebastian brought himself back to life by imbibing an ancient blood potion. He discovered the existence of a boy, Jonathan, "with true life flowing through his veins," who was next in line to become Sovereign leader. Now, on the eve of Jonathan's ascendant 18th birthday, hope rests in Jonathan's ability to reawaken humanity. The megalomaniac Saric, who commands a race of lowly, foul-smelling Dark Bloods, will have something to say about that. So will Saric's sister Feyn, newly revived from a suspended state. She will accede to her brother's demand that she treat him as her Maker; her relationship with Jonathan will prove to be crucial in this tale of scheming, betrayal, murder and warfare. So will the purity of Jonathan's blood, which shows signs of deteriorating to Corpse quality. The overall tone of this book is decidedly Stentorian, but the asides and descriptions can be quite funny, and the book offers plenty of food for philosophizing concerning religion, states of consciousness, freedom, fate and the will to power.
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