So, as many of you know who follow this blog – not long ago I got the second book of the Books of Mortals trilogy, Mortals. The first book was titled Forbidden, and I was lucky enough to have both of them signed, when I met the authors not long ago.
Since then, I’ve been wanting to come on here and type up a book review. I’ve just been either too lazy, or couldn’t find the right words, or typing up something fangirly for tumblr…
Not that those are good reasons, but still!
And even now- now that I have the time, have time on the laptop, and have had plenty of time to think about what I want to say – I’m coming up dry.
Which, I mean, works for me. I’d much rather you go read the books without any of my opinions rubbing off on you. 🙂
However, there is an undertone to the books – whether intentional or not — that I just have to rave about. (And, with it being Hydrocephalus Awareness month, it seems quite fitting,) It’s such a cool thing, and it didn’t sink in with me much until I was in the middle of reading the second book…
The books take place in a sort of post apocalyptical society – and without revealing too much, the government has found certain ways to control the population. For their safety, of course. One of the many new rules or doctrines in their “religion”, is that no one can enter “Bliss” with any sort of defect, disability, scar, or handicap.
If they have such a thing, they have to report to this, jail, of sorts, where they are held for a year, and then put to sleep. They aren’t fit for this society’s version of Heaven. Of course, me with my hydrocephalus, I was absolutely incensed. How can they say that?!
To make matters worse, one of the main protagonists has something wrong with them. One of these “blemishes” that would prevent this person from entering Bliss. It terrifies her, she wants nothing more than to enter Bliss and be happy. But – nope. No confessions, no Hail Marys, nothing can help her. She can’t win.
As the book progresses , you learn of a sort of savior character. This character, it’s prophesied, is somehow going to save mankind, and the world.
No, I won’t ruin it and tell you why. Sorry.
There’s only one problem.
He was born with a major birth defect/disability. If he even DOES exist, he’d have been killed shortly after birth.
Well, isn’t that fantastic.
Time goes on, and you find out that nope, he’s indeed alive. Handicapped, but alive.
When the two characters with the handicaps/blemishes meet… there’s this beautiful moment where the savior character says something to her about how one day, no one will see or remember that. She’ll only be remembered for who she is, and the amazing things she’s done.
I don’t want to get too much into it – but it really resonated with me.
This entire society… the entire trilogy is based around the world being saved by a person, who if he lived by the rules of the society, would have been killed years before he could ever save anyone.
I wish I knew if the writers had some sort of personal reason for writing this – maybe a friend or a family member with a disability, or some sort of challenge in their life… or if it was just a plot device that popped into one of their heads.
Either way, it’s brilliant. Not in a it-jumped-off-the-page-and-grabbed-me-by-the-throat manner… but much more like a small seed of an idea, that bloomed into this wonderful realization while I was reading and reflecting on the book. I think the message is so uplifting, and says so much… really, about even our society today. Just because someone is “disabled” or “handicapped” doesn’t mean that they are limited in what they can accomplish – by any stretch of the imagination.
As if I wasn’t a big enough fan before, both writers have that much more of my respect and admiration. It was tastefully and subtly done, so much so I can’t be entirely sure it was done on purpose – but it’s a thought I can’t get out of my head while reading the books, now.
Also, I’m grinning like an idiot as I type this, because it’s only four months too late, I finally know what I should have asked them or said at the book signing!
Looks like I have a jump on the signing for Sovereign….