About the Book
Enter into a new world. The United States, which has been ravaged by both war and disease in a not too distant future. The country has been split in two, East and West. On the eastern side where the story starts government controlling almost all aspects of human life. No longer are marriages allowed, and families aren't allowed to even raise their own children. It is a place where the government knows best.
Early on you get a good feeling of who is the good guys and the bad guys are, but the more you read, the lines start to become a little blurred. Sure Samian is an evil man who is cruel to his people, but he wasn't always this way, he used to be a good leader. Sp like Syrus, you feel compassion towards him even though you know all of terrible things he does.
Duncan and his sister Dalia come in about half way through the story and create a huge shift in the whole of the book. While Dalia seems rude and brash to begin with it doesn't take long for her to become less robotic, something that is a symptom of her time in one of Samian's "schools". From the moment the reader hears about Duncan though it is clear what he is for. He is kind, and charismatic and although he isn't ready for his role immediately , both Dalia and Syrus are there to help him.
Soon, war starts to rage between the two former parts of the United States, and Duncan has a chance to show just how much of a hero he is. This is when the book starts to show the real parallelism between the main character Duncan, and the biblical character David when Duncan is made to slay a beast in order to stop an army. The book ends in a perfect place for volume two to start.
Although the book is based in the United States, the time period is a little further into the future and a lot has changed in the country, from technology to government. The description of the "new world" and its changes though is marvelous. Brian Ritchie uses amazing detail to show, the reader exactly what it the world is like, and not just how it looks, but how the people feel in the future.
I found the the totalitarian government to be very similar to what I expect China was like during the great leap forward. An all controlling state where families and individuals don't matter, a place void of religion. The schools were an extreme example of this and the use of them was executed perfectly by Ritchie.
From the very beginning this book talks about God, and makes Him a forefront issue. The reason that there are so many problems, is because the country has lost it's way. As soon as the character Duncan is introduced you can start to see the similarities between he and King David, the biblical character, this though becomes even more clear as the book continues, and I assume that the next book with be a play on the famous story David in the Lion's Den.