Captives will captivate you!
The Safe Lands 1
By Jill Williamson
Levi is the favored son of Justin of Elias. He is to marry for love. He is a hunter. He can go on scavenging trips to Denver City. And he has earned the respect of his father, something that his younger brothers cannot do no matter how hard they try.
Mason has decided that trying to earn his father's respect and trust is an impossible tasks though he tries his best to please him. But Omar is determined to win it no matter what the cost, but does he know how much he is going to pay?
The Safe Lands were designed to protect the people from a plague, but what was to be a safety has turned into an even greater danger. The city is the plague and there is no way to stop it or to save the city without drastic measures. And Omar and the people of Glenrock may be the Safe Lands last hope.
Omar in an act of betrayal destroys Glenrock and rips Jemma and Levi apart just days before their marriage. Can Levi find a way to get within the city and free those who have been taken against their will?
The ease of life in the Safe Lands is a powerful draw, but is the loss of their freedom and the chance of becoming infected a reasonable trade? But the Safe Lands is home to people whose wild ways may have lead to the plague's spread through what was suppose to be a fortress of safety from the plague.
Mason has been put in a position within the Safe Lands where he is able to study the problem of the plague up close. Can he use the skills he developed in Glenrock and stop the plague? Can he bring hope where there is none or will it merely be false hope?
As Mason struggles to cure the plague and to save the people of Glenrock from forced surrogacy, Levi is working on a plan of escape. Meanwhile Omar is falling into all that the Safe Lands has to offer in an attempt to hide from his guilt over what went wrong with his grand plan.
If you liked the Hunger Games or The Sky Chasers series but wanted books that offered something more you will love Captives. Captives has a belief in something more than self and learning to accept the person God made you to be. Captives will tug at your heart as you experience the unhappiness that fills the Safe Lands. The only problem I have is now I have to wait until book 2 is published!
This is definitely for the older YA reader (16+).
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review and as a part of this May TNT Blog Tour.
December 4, 2013
relatively good novel for older teens
This novel for teens takes place near the end of the twenty-first century. Society in this part of the U. S. is divided between a rural area lacking modern technology and a walled and high tech city called Safe Lands.
The novel centers around three brothers from Glenrock, a rural village. Omar has always felt like he didn't measure up to his father's expectations. He meets some Ã¢ÂÂenforcersÃ¢ÂÂ from Safe Lands and is convinced he can be someone important there. All he has to do is provide some people from his village to go with him. When the opportunity arises, Omar sends his older brother, Levi, on a wild goose chase. While Levi is gone, the Safe Lands enforcers come to the village to take whom they need. To Omar's horror, the older villagers are killed and the young men and women are taken captive. Levi returns to find his village destroyed. It is up to him to rescue those he loves, including his fiancÃÂ©e. Middle brother Mason, who was also taken into Safe Lands and is being trained in medicine, helps his older brother in the rescue attempts.
The themes in this novel are mature and of the nature that I would recommend this novel for older teens. The reason Safe Lands needs young women from the outside is for surrogate motherhood. Because of a plague, Safe Lands people cannot reproduce viable offspring. The city is a place of high tech pleasure. Its culture centers on entertainment and gratification. Ã¢ÂÂThe Safe Lands is all about pleasure and comfort...Ã¢ÂÂ (145) There is frequent pairing for sexual pleasure and frequent drug use for pleasure (through an inhaler). A positive point is that the narrative is not overly descriptive of these behaviors.
Another theme in this book is teens' perceptions of themselves. Ã¢ÂÂWe all believe lies about ourselves,Ã¢ÂÂ Mason tells one of the female captives. (280) This theme could generate some great discussion among teens. There is also the overall theme of self-indulgence. Some of the rural captives succumb to the temptations in Safe Lands while others remain more faithful to their rural standards. There is a great price the Safe Lands people must pay for their self-indulgence and teens may want to discuss this lesson in living. There is a discussion guide at the end of the book.
I did not find the writing compelling. I had some difficulty picturing some of the scenes. Teen readers are probably much more interested in the action than in the setting, however. And there is plenty of action. There is also lots of high tech equipment while some of the tasks, like painting over graffiti and cleaning the sewers, seem to be done the old fashioned way. Also, changing the point of view so frequently means the readers must routinely leave other characters out of mind. For someone like me who spreads out my reading (I am always reading several books, based on assigned blogging dates), the narrative ended up being disjointed.
I also had difficulty believing some of the action, such as Levi's ease in getting into the walled city, with a rifle, no less. There was also the use of the hand held radios that did not seem to be consistent with the control exercised by high tech authority. There were times when Ã¢ÂÂbig brotherÃ¢ÂÂ was watching everything and others times when Levi and friends seemed to act without observation. I felt that was a bit inconsistent. Also, I can't see how impregnating a few plague free women will save Safe Lands. And, we don't know how Safe Lands sustains itself economically, although that may not be an issue with teens.
The Christianity in rural Glenrock is primitive. Levi and others know some Christian principles and even a few Bible verses but, in general, their actions are based on morality, not on Christian belief.
The end of the novel definitely leaves us waiting for the sequel. There is much about Safe Lands that could yet be revealed, in addition to furthering the plot.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour.
August 11, 2013
Great futuristic novel
This was an intriguing read, and at times, a bit scary in regards to relevance. The author renamed some things giving the story a definite futuristic feel to it. She also had some advanced ideas that made sense. But human nature is the same and hasn't changed since the beginning of time. I loved how the author showed that. I also appreciated how she showed the emptiness that comes with chronic self-indulgence. And how betrayal begets more betrayal.
The truly frightening thing about this story was the way they dealt with pregnancy, childbirth and families. How traumatic for women! I can see where that could happen if a society got desperate enough to do whatever it took to preserve their people. I liked the point that Mason made. It may look good, but it's still a gilded cage. And compliance that is not a choice is NOT freedom.
The way the story ended was satisfying to me. There is clearly a sequel in the works, but I won't be distressed while waiting for it to release. At the same time, I MUST read it to find out what happens next.
There were a lot of "edgy" types of situations which I appreciated for the realism, but they were tastefully done so they wouldn't be offensive to younger readers. At the same time, anyone who has lived in the world long enough would "get" what the author was alluding to, including teenagers. All they'd have to do is turn on the television to catch most of it. Anyway, enjoyable story.
June 28, 2013
A very creative dystopian story!
If your'e looking for a book that will take you to another time and place, Captives is a great choice. I loved not just the creative technology in the Safe Lands, but also how they had a whole different way of speaking and different philosophies about life.
My favorite part of the reading experience was getting to know the three brothers, Mason, Levi, and Omar. I loved their unique voices and struggles, particularly Mason's. I'm so eager for the second book in this series!
June 13, 2013