Genre: YA Dystopian
Part of a Series: Book #1 in The Safe Lands Series
Release Date: 4.2.13
Summary: One choice could destroy them all.
When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many—including his fiancée, Jem–taken captive. 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 Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back.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 Land 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 his people, but also find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone inside the Safe Lands.
Can Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Land’s façade before it’s too late?
What I Loved: Jill Williamson absolutely knows how to write from a male character's POV (point of view), and she does it very well at that! The dialogue from Mason, Levi and Omar (the brothers that the story is primarily centralized around) was great, and completely believable. The prologue was stellar - really plunged you into things at warp speed, and I wasn't complaining one bit. The Safe Lands is a completely unique 2088 world . . . full of Wyndo's, SimTags, Roller Paint, the To Dye For Salon, CompuCharts, GlassTops and a couple of wacky reality television hosts named Finley and Flynn. That said, this was probably one of the more unique "worlds" I've dived into in a long while - everything was true to Safe Lands form and remained that way throughout its entirety, which gave this novel a great sense of realism in its own rite.
I was really excited when Levi, Jemma, Mason and Ciddah became a more prominent part of the story in the later chapters, as I found myself growing quite attached to these 4 characters in particular. Speaking of characters . . . I really liked any snippet where I got to hear about Bender. Yes, I love me some rebels! I admit it. I really wanted to know more about him (and Arris and Lonn) and the rest of his rag-tag crew, and about how the Black Army had evaded The Enforcers' rules and watchful eyes for so long without being noticed. Quite frankly I wanted to be a fly on those underground Safe Lands walls!
Overall this book did continually bounce back to its faith-filled roots, even when I was afraid it wouldn't. The story, based on the first chapter of Daniel in the Bible, never became fully submerged in the Safe Lands' Pagan Babylonian/Sodom-and-Gomorrah-like atmosphere, thankfully. That said, I definitely think this book asked us to reflect upon morality, both good and bad, and continually asks us questions along the way like: "Would I be able to survive if I was taken captive and held in The Safe Lands? Would I let my beliefs fall to the wayside?Would I stand up and fight, or back down and blend in?" I love the deep questions that Captives pose for us to ask ourselves! Ultimately this book has really begun to grow on me, despite finding it difficult to get through the first half of the book at times. (The second half and the ending are even better, folks!)
I'm really looking forward to seeing where Jill Williamson will take the story in the next installment!
What I Didn't Like So Much: I almost wanted to stop reading quite a few times, mainly due to "the horror of it all," as my dear friend Rachelle Rea puts it. This book was dark. It was hard to stomach at times. And oh, how I shuddered at so many turns! But maybe that is the point that the author was trying to make? That life can be dark - really dark. Life is chock full of vices, and it surely isn't always pretty - especially for our captive characters, some of which try desperately to blend in with The Safe Landers. People, including the characters in Captives, don't always make the right choices - the choices that we think they should make. But therein lies a house of redemption for all sinners, Safe Landers and otherwise.
I’m recommending this book… Keep in mind that while this book does contain some mature content (that may be inappropriate for younger teens) this book is ultimately founded upon a Christian Worldview. If you loved reading The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and The Giver Series by Lois Lowry then you'll most likely enjoy reading Captives by Jill Williamson too.
* In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from Jill Willamson through Team Novel Teen. *
About The Author: Jill Williamson is an author of all things weird. She grew up in Alaska with no electricity, an outhouse, and a lot of mosquitoes. Her Blood of Kings trilogy won two Christy Awards, and she recently released Captives, a dystopian teen novel from Zonderkidz. Jill lives in Oregon with her husband and two children and a whole lot of deer.
Extras for Captives . . .
author's website // www.jillwilliamson.com
Read the prologue and first chapter on Scribd // http://www.scribd.com/doc/126267646/Captives
The Safe Lands Website // http://thesafelands.com
Jill Williamson's Facebook Page // https://www.facebook.com/jwilliamsonwrites?fref=ts
Also, check out these other Team Novel Teen bloggers ( below ) to see what they had to say about Jill Williamson's new novel, Captives.
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