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 Living off the land like nomads and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back.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.


  1. I think I liked Mason better than Levi because of their personalities. I just connected better with Mason from the get-go. (Plus Levi's total blindness at first to Father's cruelty bothered me. I think I never really got over that. Seriously, everyone else could see it.)

  2. I agree Emily, Levi's alignment with his father in the beginning was hard to forget and it take longer to like him.

  3. Thanks for the review, Ryan. I loved your breakdowns of the main characters. I'm an oldest child, too, so I enjoyed writing Levi. Loved the pictures you added! :-)

  4. Love your thoughts about Shaylinn. I'm looking forward to seeing where that girl goes!

  5. Would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds awesome. Bluenichols (at)gmail(dot)com

  6. Captives sounds pretty interesting, and a science-fiction plot instead of the fantasy plot of Mrs. Williamson's Darkness series. I enjoyed her earlier books and the way her writing pulls readers into a scene, so I'm curious how she handles a future world.

    Timothy Hicks

  7. Good review -- like the visuals you added too! You bring up some good points. I agree with you, this is more a high school read than a book for younger kids -- although I know many younger kids at school read Hunger Games which I also think is more of a high shool read.