4-5/5I 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 difference is this world came out as more plausible than the latter. In Lena’s world, peace is attained by wiping out love. Here, it is every other emotion that has been repressed, save fear. And it is fear that has led a relatively peaceful world. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of Delirium… it’s just that there were some obvious (read gaping) plot holes in it. Forbidden, just took the same thing (repression of emotion for a kind sameness and fear-filled people guided toward Order,) dealt with it better (I still have questions, but I did buy most of it.)The characters. The lot of them were so far from perfect that I wanted to drop-kick one, some or all of them at one point or another. But at least they some were well drawn. I could understand what motivated them. Note that understanding the why of someone’s actions does not mean I have to like said action. Take Neah, whose familiarity with fear had her acting in a certain way. Or Feyn, Sovereign- to-be, whose acts revealed not just her wisdom, but faith too. There is, however, a moment in it when a certain someone loses it after losing someone (a la- “My world has ended and thus, I too want to end.) Yet I wasn’t as annoyed as I normally would be. Why? The context, take someone who had known nothing but fear plunk emotion in then let them lose something precious. So yeah, I get why said someone lost it. Political intrigue. I would never have considered myself a fan of such a thing, but a lot of things in this one just drew me in. Wanting to know what someone would do, being surprised by another’s actions… I really enjoyed a lot of this. But Forbidden isn’t dry nor that difficult to follow. The ‘baddie’ in this one was motivated and ambitious, contrary to the norm. So he simply stood out. Of course, a lot of the time he felt like the token crazy bad guy, but there were bits when I caught glimpses of conflict in him and it was those moments that creeped me out and had me curious about what he would do next. Like I said, I’ve never read anything by Dekker before… but Forbidden is epic fantasy meets a utopia/dystopia. It’s an epic fantasy of man/boy on quest with people aiding him along the way. His quest? To find something, (here it’s a someone.) Those who helped him? A warrior, his Heart and Keepers of knowledge. Then stick them in a society that’s not quite complete particularly since people are limited (even if they are unaware of it.) OK, I can’t help it:THANKS NET GALLEY!