Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year + Book Review: Captives by Jill Williamson

2013 came and passed incredibly fast-- I mean incredibly! It felt as if I blinked and-- HAPPY NEW YEAR! It's 2014. Time to set new goals and forget about the one's we never completed. Oh well.

But, as with every new year, comes a new beginning. An anticipation to grow closer to the Lord and to see his glory manifested even more in our lives. And for book reviewers comes the anticipation of new books-- unless, of course, there are still a few books lingering that need to get reviewed (clears throat). So what better way to kick off a new year on Christian Book Review Blog than with a book review?;-) Once I have the time to compile a list of my favorite books of 2013 and ponder which characters deserve the CBRB Awards, I will create a new list to update the 2012. The holidays have a way to leave one disoriented...:-) Let's proceed to the review, shall we?

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Buy At Amazon
"In a dystopian future, eighteen-year-old Levi returns from Denver City with his latest scavenged treasures and finds his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many--including his fiancée, Jem--taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.

Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago ... and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar's dreams.

Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands' walls. Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands' façade before it's too late?"

I have recently become a fan of Jill Williamson’s young adult books and although Captives is not my favorite of her work, it is definitely an interesting read. The story-world was described vividly and while realistic, it was somewhat unbelievable which is completely expected when reading a futuristic, dysotopian story set in 2088.

Jill once again does a tremendous job in fleshing out a teenage male protagonist-- this book had three. The storyline jumped between the points of view of Levi, Mason, Omar and some of the captive women. When I finished the book, I felt something was lacking from it and I diagnosed the feeling to the fact that, because of the many points of view, the characters were not allowed to fully develop. Therefore, my relationship with them felt a little stilted. I especially would have liked to learn more about Mason-- and Ciddah. I am confident, however, that I will learn more about the characters in future books of The Safe Lands series.

The storyline itself had plenty of shocking downhill curves. It began with suspense... and ended in suspense. Jill handles some mature topics such as drug use, fornication, forced surrogacy-- so I would definitely recommend Captives for older and mature teens (as the youngest possible readers) even though the author handles these topics delicately.

I enjoyed the underlying similarities to Daniel and his friends in pagan Babylon yet with a twist of a highly technological society. The Safe Lands definitely had similarities with today’s society as well. I found the “futuristic” slang terms interesting and helpful in integrating me into Captives’ story-world.

Jill has crafted another creative, interesting and suspenseful book. I rate it 4 stars. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment to The Safe Lands series! It can be bought at Amazon.

**Much thanks to the publisher and the author for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review**