As a Select, Minos has always felt a little bit on the outside of his community at the Flow. That said, he is a great scavenger of garbage and has won the respect of the others who survive collecting and recycling the refuse left behind after the second Fall and the coming of the Darkness.

Given the natural and supernatural dangers that surround his little pocket of civilization, it is strange that Minos would agree to escort a Prophetess across the wilderness to fight Yoshana, a powerful woman who commands the Darkness. Prophetess, who refuses to give her real name, is convinced that she is called by God to fight this new threat to mankind. Her beauty and charm overcome his skepticism, however, and they set out in spite of the risks.

This first novel in a new series is not a typical dystopian novel. The familiar degraded environment and social structure provide the background for a confrontation between faith and reason. Minos appears to be part of a group of humans that are highly discriminated against. While the author never explains exactly who the Select are, the reader gets the impression that they are probably clones or genetically engineered persons. Although an atheist, Minos still fears the Darkness that his companion seeks to defeat.

Prophetess, on the other hand, grew-up on a farm but feels a spiritual call to help others. Her religion, and that of most of the people the pair encounters, seems to be based on Catholicism. She is undaunted yet compassionate, determined to confront the evil before them regardless the consequences.

Unlike many young adult novels of this genre, Passing Through Darkness has no gratuitous violence or sexuality. The plot progresses slowly, giving the reader time to understand the internal conflict that each of these protagonists faces. For teens who enjoy apocalyptic stories, McKenzie’s series may be more thought-provoking than the usual futuristic books written for this age group.

A former teacher, Jennifer Minicus is a currently a full-time wife and mother.


Jennifer Minicus

Jennifer Minicus lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. A former French, Latin and mathematics teacher, Jennifer currently enjoys the responsibilities of a "domestic engineer", particularly making...