“Balance is key. Never shut yourself off from any possibility, but don’t let that possibility control you either.”
As many dystopia stories go, it has been centuries since the end of civilization as people on Earth knew it. The Dark Filament and its demon Incarnates came from nowhere and went about their mission: to deprive humanity of hope.
Their most efficient method of doing this? Slaughtering all of mankind’s children. Anyone under the age of 18 is a target of the Incarnates. Those older are only killed if they stand in the way of the demons.
Understandably, the remaining pockets of civilization refuse to allow their citizens to have children and in some areas all contact between men and women in strictly forbidden. With the use of a magic that was discovered around the time the demons began their assault, some humans are able to survive to be hundreds of years old. But even with this magic, there are not many people left in the world.
Sixteen year old Korden Bright just might be the youngest person left on the planet.
He has been raised behind the protection of a magical Barrier that hides him and the small community that he lives in from the Incarnates. But 16-year-olds aren’t really known for their willingness to stay within a few square miles their whole life knowing that there is a vast world just beyond their reach.
I found this story to be a wonderful mix of a dystopia with a high dose of high fantasy. Note: HIGH fantasy. This story has a dystopic setting but it really reads more like what you would expect from more “traditional” fantasy.
This blending of genres I felt worked really well. Dystopias have been kind of overdone in the past few years and there were elements of so many other stories here; Korden’s story, for example, felt a lot like Rnad al’Thor from The Wheel of Time. But there was never any point where reading it where I got a sense of “Oh, I’ve read this before…”
Also, I just absolutely love the reason for the apocalypse. Demons that seek to eradicate hope and thus target children. It is terrifying because it strikes at something that humanity as a whole, across nationalities and religions, holds sacred. These demons don’t kill indiscriminately. They are savage but they kill with purpose.
This was a very refreshing read that took familiar, sometimes overdone, elements from other stories and blended them into something unique.