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.
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!
So_I'm not really sure what to say about Captives by Jill Williamson. I could say that Inspirational fiction finally has contender on the dystopoian fiction scene, but it's probably not dismal enough for you if you're a die-hard dystopian fan. (Unlike myself-sick of it already.) Or I could say that Captives is Teen Inspy fiction at it's best. Williamson mimics the most popular themes in current teen dystopian fiction, skillfully incorporates biblical and social themes into her own unique story, and simultaneously raises the bar for everyone else. Of course, if you've read any of Jill's other books, you probably expected no less. Personally, I think Captives is my favorite Jill Williamson book yet! It was awesome. But then, I kind of expected it to be awesome.
"I understand why you ask me to donate. But not why I should help. You killed my father, all the elders of my village. You claim to value life, yet you willingly destroyed it. And to clean up the mess you've made of your city, you ask me to reproduce with my friends and family. It's completely unacceptable."
Book: Captives (The Safe Lands) by Jill Williamson, Zondervan Publishers, 2013
Summary: Jealousy between brothers caused the first murder in the Garden of Eden and now it has caused the murder of many in the village of Glenrock. The people of the Safe Lands have a genetic fatal disease - every single person in the entire land has it. So for the people to survive, they need people without the disease. A jealous brother betrays his entire village in hopes of gaining power and popularity. So the elders are killed and the young are taken from their home to the Safe Lands. The men are asked to donate sperm to artificial insemination. In the meantime they can live the easy life, getting anything they want. The women are to become pregnant and live as queens, baby making machines that will never get to see and raise their children, but queens nonetheless. So should these prisoners accept their lot and join the Safe Lands community or should they seek the impossible and attempt an escape?
Notes: This is the first in the Safe Lands series, a futuristic series on the issue of freedom - whether or not a person should deny themselves any desire and whether or not anyone has the right to force someone to help them. There is spiritual content in it, the characters do have a recognition of God, but it is a theistic view - they acknowledge God's existence and have religious ceremonies and such but don't look to Him for how to make decisions or for help in day to day struggles. Their engagement ceremony towards the beginning of the book and the wedding at the end both model a more involved God, just not the day to day life. Warning: This book is not appropriate for teenagers who have been sheltered at all. It deals with some very adult issues. Also, due to the issues dealt with in this book, it is not written as an enjoyable, entertaining reading, but rather than an intense, graphic look at a serious issue. If you would like more on this topic, check out The Center For Bioethics And Human Dignity, a Christian organization that helps people figure out how to respond to these sorts of subjects.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 2/5
Overall Quality Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Galatians 5:13 - You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Captives was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review as a part of the Team Novel Teen blog tour. Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction.
This Christian Dystopian novel is one you won't want to miss!
Captives introduces us to a whole new world in 2088. The Safe Lands practically pop out of the page and take you in. Jill did such a wonderful job making it believable and realistic with amazing detail. Speaking of The Safe Lands, as "safe" as it sounds, it really isn't. The place is actually rather quite terrifying the more you learn about it. I don't blame the Elders who said no to The Safe Lands.
The primary characters we focus on in the novel are Mason, Omar, Levi, and Shaylinn. Truthfully, I hadn't anticipated the many points of view, but it worked really well! It opened the door for me to look at what was going on through different pairs of eyes, who all had unique ways of looking at their circumstances.
Confession time. I am very partial to Levi's and Shaylinn's points of view. I found Levi likable primarily for his loyalty to his family and friends. His determination to put his own life on the line to get them back. His quoting Westley from The Princess Bride... *cough* Anyway, overall he earned his spot as one of my favorite characters. ;-)
As a result of The Safe Lands ungodly lifestyle there is many instances revolving around a character, whose name I shall not disclose. No instances are explicit, in fact, Jill handles all of it really well in a way with few details. Nonetheless, be advised.
My personal conclusion? This book is fantastic! And the ending has left me eager for the sequel!
I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thank you!