In this YA sci-fi sequel, Litwack (The Light of Reason, 2016, etc.) pushes his characters into new physical, mental, and emotional realms as they encounter an unusual, tech-based society.
A thousand years ago, society crumbled into the Darkness. Now, the Temple of Light and its vicars guide the survivors with a stern hand, wielding miracles with dimly understood technology from a secret cache called the keep. Orah and her husband, Nathaniel, have washed ashore in a strange land after sailing from the village of Little Pond. They hope to locate the creators of the keep’s wonders, but instead, they’re greeted by children. Kara, the oldest, is merely 16, and she takes the couple to a decrepit village that’s repaired haphazardly by robots. It also contains devices that can generate a cooked meal from nothing—in seconds. It’s all presided over by the mentor, an elderly man who controls his wheelchair with his mind. He says that the village is full of children and failing machines because the dreamers—the adults who maintained the technology—left three years ago. They “ascended” into a mountain fortress, and everyone in the village hopes for their return. To understand the mentor’s tale better, Orah and Nathaniel visit with “the people of the earth,” who live off the land nearby. Their leaders, Annabel and Caleb, are committed to living without machines and claim that the dreamers’ hope is a dangerous one. In this second volume of The Seekers series, Litwack continues his enthralling tour of a future crippled by hubris and spiritual negligence. Readers will find it heartbreaking when the village children play with inert black devices—smartphones—that used to “let us speak to each other from far away and showed us the way if we were lost.” Throughout, the author explores the area between a soulful grounding in the physical world and the scholarly itch that makes one ask, “Why would we be given a universe so vast and wonderful unless our minds were meant to grow to encompass it all?” The astonishing truth about the dreamers is revealed in careful, dramatic stages. The protagonists’ courage—and Litwack’s magisterial plotting—will spur readers on to the next installment.
A grand, revelatory saga that continues to unfold.