The Children of Darkness

Book One of The Seekers trilogy

Fiction - Dystopia
314 Pages
Reviewed on 06/13/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Eduardo Aduna for Readers' Favorite

The Children of Darkness by David Litwack is a compelling tale set in a future where religion has taken over people's lives. Three friends, Orah, Nathaniel and Thomas, find their bond tested as they uncover the complex secrets of a religion hell-bent on imparting their own version of the truth.

The Children of Darkness is 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 and impart his imagination to his readers. The novel has no weak spots. The cast of characters, the plot, the pacing, and the narrative, all are top notch. The writing is on point, with no wasted words and irritating distractions. One can see the time and effort spent whittling away the words and scenes of the novel so that what is left is the shining essence of the book. It is rare for a novel to tug at emotions so effortlessly while giving readers more than enough to satisfy their intellectual cravings.

One of the best things about The Children of Darkness is the the way in which the world is gradually introduced to the reader, which mirrors the way the protagonists' eyes are gradually opened to the myriad facets of the truth. It touches on numerous issues, from science to sociology, that give readers a new appreciation for the things we take for granted today. A timely novel beautiful in the simplicity of its writing and elegant in its underlying complexity, The Children of Darkness is a solid novel from a writer that I expect great things from in the future.

Lit Amri

The Children of Darkness, Book One of The Seekers trilogy by David Litwack is a dystopian fiction that re-establishes the change that the power of knowledge can make. A thousand years have passed since the violent fall of human civilization and their technologies. The present dystopian world is ruled by the vicars of the Temple of Light, bringing peace and keeping the “darkness” at bay by having people fully abide by the teachings of the Temple.

Orah Weber, Nathaniel Rush and Thomas Bradford are childhood friends who long to escape their mundane life in the small village of Little Pond. The vicars would take the young people who have come of age to the Temple for the “teaching.” The doctrinaire rule of the vicars is not fully accepted by the people of Little Pond, who try to protect their young ones from ever going to the Temple as best as they can, without raising a dangerous ruckus. I instantaneously sympathized with Thomas when the visiting vicar chose him for the teaching. He returns from the Temple changed and broken. When Orah becomes the next chosen, Nathaniel determines to save her from the same fate. They both discover the truth about the “darkness” that the vicars constantly warn through their preaching.

On the whole, The Children of Darkness is an interesting and insightful read. The humanist sense in the story is unmistakable; the dangerous will to power that can be anyone’s desire. Litwack provides a compelling story with gifted narrative writing, taking readers into the dystopian world through the perspectives of fully-fleshed characters.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Orah is a girl's name. It means light. In a town called Little Pond, Orah is coming of age with her friends, Thomas and Nathaniel. Thomas is taken away to the temple for a 'teaching', which turns out to be more of a brutal torture. Orah is taken next. The vicar informs Orah that whilst her name means light and they live in the era of light, it is a name from an ancient language, a banned language from the era of darkness. In fact, Orah is of Hebrew origin.

Orah, however, lives up to her name in so many ways. While Nathaniel meets a man in the temple's prisons who claims to be a keeper, he learns of a mysterious, mythical place called the keep, where all the knowledge and secrets of the so-called dark ages lay hidden from the people of the light. The temple must maintain its control and, in so doing, the leaders of the temple have become as corrupt and brutal as many people were during the age of darkness. Nathaniel helps Orah escape and they meet up with Thomas, now changed from his brutal teachings. They set out to seek the truth, to find the keep.

In The Children of Darkness, David Litwack has written a fantastic tale of a futuristic existence, a world that seeks a utopian existence, well ordered, safe and fair for everyone. His story is also an adventure, a coming-of-age story of three young people as they become the seekers, travellers in search of a hidden treasure - in this case, a treasure of knowledge and answers. This is a futuristic tale of probabilities - fascinating - on a par with Huxley's Brave New World. Well done!

Paula Tran

David Litwack's fictional novel, The Children of Darkness, is a suspenseful, amazingly crafted story that will have readers sitting on the edges of their seats. The story revolves around Orah and her two best friends, Thomas and Nathaniel. The three of them live in a highly conservative, religious town named Little Pond, restricted from living frivolously in order to preserve the "light." Orah, Thomas, and Nathaniel always struggle to keep their disdain for the vicars (priests) a secret, but when Thomas is summoned for a "teaching," everything starts to go wrong.

The story is very beautifully written and well thought out. Under the guise of peace and happiness, Little Pond is under the control of fear. It is clear from the very beginning that this town is not what it seems. Citizens try to act happy, but their insincerity and monotonous voices while chanting the religious sayings are enough to tick a reader off. Being stripped away from many forms of pleasure and entertainment, I am surprised how townsfolk haven't rebelled against the vicar yet.

The three protagonists, Orah, Thomas, and Nathaniel, are all well rounded characters and seem dynamic in structure. Unlike many characters in this genre, the three children/characters are complete with logical flaws. There aren't too many yet to make anyone seem like a loser, but not too little to seem like Mary Sue characters. Each character also has a relatable personality, each having their own problems and issues to face, especially now that they have reached adulthood. They also respond well to challenges along the course of the story, with various success and failures, all adding to the dynamics of the plot.

K.C. Finn

The Children of Darkness is a work of dystopian fiction by David Litwack, which forms book one of The Seekers Trilogy. The plot centers on three young people – Orah, Nathaniel and Thomas – who abide by the laws set by the vicars of the Temple of Light, living a quiet existence in the village of Little Pond. When Thomas’s training in the ways of the Light leaves him broken and irrevocably damaged, Orah is next in line, and Nathaniel will stop at nothing to stop her suffering the same fate. So begins a journey to discover the foundations on which the world around our trio is built, a journey fraught with secrets, prophecies and enemies of the power of dreaming.

David Litwack weaves a marvellous web of conspiracy, intrigue and action with his three teenage protagonists, who are all fully rounded, relatable characters. The concepts of dark and light and good versus evil are cleverly subverted in The Children of Darkness to make it an unpredictable and engaging read throughout. 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. I’d highly recommend it to readers from young adult up looking for a vivid and captivating adventure.