Reviewed in Australia on 5 December 2016
Children of Darkness is a beautifully crafted story, with superbly written language and dialogue, it is such a pleasure to read. It is a story that is not unknown, the light vs the dark, but it has been told in such a way as to capture not only the adventurous spirit in all of us, but also our hearts.
Some calamity has happened in the past, basically returning Humanity to an earlier time of development, back before electricity and the modern age. People are happy, for the most part with their lives, going about their daily chores, but there are those called the ‘Vicars’ who keep people in line through fear of ‘The Darkness’ and what came before. Everyone now worships ‘The Light’.
After their friend, Tom, is taken to a ‘Teaching’, Orah and Nathaniel, all 3 lifelong friends, Orah and Nathaniel, decide that they cannot undergo a ‘Teaching’.
When Orah is taken, this leads to a chain of events that will see the friends eventually go on a Journey to find an ancient place, the Keep. It is here that answers might be found, and a way to stop the Temple of Light.
This story is about their journey, not only to find the keep, but also as they grow individually and learn about their own light and darkness, and that sometimes it isn’t all just straight lines.
There are elements of this story that reminded me of John Wyndham’s work, the artistic nature of the work, and the clever dialogue between the characters. The characters themselves were also incredibly well written, Nathaniel, the courageous young man, full of passion, but sometimes forgetting control. Orah, fiery, intelligent and beautiful, but with a calm patience that can hold the group together, and also talk them out of trouble. Tom is the friend that reminds Nathaniel and Orah of who they are, and what they are doing. He grounds them, and at the same time, he is also incredibly cunning in his own right. But he is also being consumed by ‘The Teaching’.
This is a story that can easily rival those like the Hunger Games and Divergent, as it is not only more intelligent, but the writing is superior in so many ways. Whilst there are elements of romance between the characters, they haven’t lost a large part of the story in ‘love triangles’.
This is a story about understanding the light and dark in all of us, that we are made up of a bit of both of it (or in some cases some people lean more to one side than the other). It is incredibly powerful, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes dystopian works, especially works like Chrysalids, Hunger Games, or the Tripods Series.