Monday, May 27, 2013

GIVEAWAY Teen Novel Team: Captives by Jill Williamson...

About the Book:

Author: Jill Williamson
Series: The Safe Lands
Book One: Captives
Pages:416 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Genre: Dystopian/ YA/ Christian
Age Range: Mature 14+

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 by enforcers, and many---including his fiancee, Jem--taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Land, a walled city that seems anything but safe. Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away to Denver City, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land like nomads and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back.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, Jem is locked in a cell, awaiting the Safe Landers' plan to protect their future by seizing her own. Can Levi uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Land's facade before it's too late?

My Review:
Captives was different from what I was expecting. Jill Williamson is a talented writer to say the least and has written another great story, yet it was not my personal favorite by her. Usually I get sucked into her characters world from the very first page. Captives took me some time to get into.

Captives was loosely inspired by the book of Daniel in the Bible and I can see it in the story theme, but it held a lot of issues I wasn’t expecting and I think that’s why it took me some time to get use to.

I noticed that a lot of reviews mentioned how they didn’t care for Levi. I don’t really understand why? He was the oldest out of the three brothers, he had a bit of a temper at times,  but was working on it, and always tried to do what was right.  He had a lot of responsibility and handled it all as best as he could. I think he would be better understood by older readers and perhaps us older siblings. ;-)

Omar whom I’m thinking is the middle brother was put into a bad place within the story.  He did something pretty horrible and Jill Williamson truly did a really good job at showing his heart within the pain. Deep down he had a heart. Omar was not my favorite character by far, but I did in a way care for him. I felt bad for him. He did so many stupid mistakes and all he really wanted was to be loved. So many of us I think can relate to him, especially the worldly non-Christian youth.  I hope he touches others and shows that no matter how bad you've messed up there is always hope… that is if you choose it.

Mason the youngest (I think ) brother, seems to be a favorite character among readers. I liked Mason,  and he is a great character, but I didn't love him like many readers did. 

Shaylinn. Now this girl was my favorite character. She seemed  so real and struggled with things many of us girls do. I loved her heart and greatly enjoyed her character even with her being the youngest within the story. Shaylinn you are beautiful!

One warning I have with Captives and perhaps it’s just a me thing. Captives holds a lot of mature content. Things like I have mentioned above, that I wasn’t expecting and I wouldn’t want a younger reader to read. Jill Williamson wrote it in a nice way and some of it might go over younger readers heads.  I was homeschooled so I was raised differently and I don’t have brothers so... yeah . Our youth are sadly different now days and Jill Williamson brought up a lot of issues that the world struggles with.  Sex, alcohol, drugs, and do what YOU want no matter the consequence.  “Have pleasure in life,” the Safe Lands motto, is something that seems to run pretty wild in the real world. If we aren’t careful it becomes our motto too.  Another thing which I might be getting picky on is the chip in the hand. It seems to be pretty popular theme within the Dystopian  genre. It's just too close to  what the mark of the beast might be and I think it could be very confusing to others, especially the youth. Just a personal thing that doesn't settle well with me.

Jill Williamson is a talented writer and Captives isn’t a tale to be missed, but forewarning, I recommend mature readers only or a parent reading first. I can tell that Jill  greatly loves the youth and holds a good heart, but I would feel bad if I didn't warn others about certain things mentioned within this story.

Jill Williamson's publicist has kindly offered a paperback giveaway for each blog reviewer.
If you would like to be entered to win a copy of Captives please leave a comment with your name and email address.
USA only Please!

Here is a link to her website:

Here is the link for The Safe Lands website, as if you are online in The Safe Lands itself: 
To purchase a copy of Captives:  Amazon paperback

In conjunction with the Team Novel Teen Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you, Jill Williamson, Team Novel Teen, and Zondervan.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Team Novel Teen: Storm...

About the book:
Series: The Swipe Series

Book Three: Storm
Author: Evan Angler
Reader Age Range: Amazon says 8 - 11 years? ( I recommend 13+ but that's just me.)  
Page Count: 288 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre:/Christian/ dystopian/Young Adult

In a future United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark lets citizen shop, go to school, and even get medical care—without it, you are on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.

Logan Langly went in to get his Mark, but he backed out at the last minute. Ever since, he’s been on the run from government agents and on a quest to find his sister Lily, who disappeared when she went to get her Mark five years earlier. His journey leads him to befriend the Dust, a vast network of Markless individuals who dissent against the iron-grip rule of the government. Along the way to the capital to find Lily, the Dust receive some startling information from the Markless community, opening their eyes to the message of Christianity and warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.

In Storm, Logan and his friends are the leaders of the Markless revolution. But while some Markless are fighting Chancellor Cylis’ army, the Dust is busy trying to find a cure for a horrible epidemic sweeping through the Marked. And it's difficult for them to know who to trust, especially when they aren't sure if Logan's sister Lily, one of the commanders in Cylis' army, is on their side or not. And all across the nation—and the world—the weather has become less stable and a storm is brewing that bigger than any of them could have ever imagined.

My Review:

Storm is book three of this dystopian series. A series that is fiction, yet doesn't stretch too far away from reality.

Lately I've been reading a lot of dystopian type books, all on a destroyed, lost America. Kinda depressing when you think about it... yet I can't stop.

In my opinion America is dying. Perhaps I'm getting political in this review, and I'm sorry if I may sound a bit crazy, but don't you, especially if you are a Christian feel it too?

Many of our rights are being taken away and someday this "mark" will happen. Will you be courageous enough like the Dust to say no? Or do you not know what I'm talking about? Read Revelations. Study it and wake up.

So many of our young adult books are about the end of the world, even tv shows, and movies are flooding into it. Perhaps this is preparing us or desensitizing us?

I know that is a lot to soak in and sort of odd for a review on what is called a "children's" book, but I think we really need to wake up.

All in all I enjoyed Storm, yet I wouldn't recommend it for a tween reader. I don't think they will completely understand it and in my opinion it's a bit graphic for that age. Kids are different now days, but we need to still protect their minds. Evan Angler is a talented writer and I enjoyed his own touch he has woven into the story. The letter of "warning" in the beginning of this book was very clever.


To purchase Storm... Amazon

Check out the author's and series website...

Become a fan on... Facebook

And be sure to see what others for this months blog tour are saying about Storm. :-)
ADD LibrarianBlooming with BooksThe Book FaeBook Nook 4 YouBookworm ReadingChristian Book Review BlogChristian Bookshelf ReviewsCTF DevourerJill WilliamsonLabor Not in VainThe Life of a Teenage WriterThe Maniacal BookwormOh, Restless BirdThe Ramblings of a Young AuthorRealm of HeartsShadow Writer WorldA Slightly Nerdy BookwormWho YA Reading?Worthy2Read

In conjunction with the Team Novel Teen Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you, Jill Williamson, Team Novel Teen, Katie Powell, and Thomas Nelson.