Homeschooling Teen

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Captives, by Jill Williamson

Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ façade before it’s too late?

Amazon 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. Now alone, 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 Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back.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 Lands 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 the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls. Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ façade before it’s too late?

My Thoughts:

This book rocks.

Seriously, I loved it. I’m not sure what else to say! The future lifestyle, the beliefs of Safe Lands nationals and of outsiders, the technology, the customs… it was all so believable, so realistic, so awesome. I’m inclined to agree with other reviewers who said it’s a little scary. If a plague like the Great Pandemic were to hit in real life, this is a future I could see forming in my lifetime! (Granted, I’d be as old as the grandfather Papa Eli by the time it reached the point where this book opens.) I honestly couldn’t put Captives down.

The characters were great. I understood and connect with Omar, even though he’s the one who betrayed his village. I had trouble clicking with Levi and Mason, but once I did I came to respect Levi. Mason is my absolute favorite character. I love him, his thought process, his personality – man, he was great. As for the supporting characters, I couldn’t stand Father, but you’re not really supposed to like him. Papa Eli was a wonderful grandfather and leader. Shaylinn, a young teenage girl from Mason’s village, was sooo sweet and my favorite girl from the village. Ciddah, a Safe Lands national, was amazing. I can’t wait to see more of her. The rebels that Levi connected with were not cliche at all – everyone in the book was their own person. Red and Belbeline (red-headed women who like men and clubs and have… unique style) were a little too similar in my opinion, but most of the time they’re still pretty easy to distinguish.

A good dystopian has to have some new technology and culture. ColorCasts, ChatterBoxes, SimArt, PVs – I loved it. Totally believable and really, really cool.  As for the culture, I love how the Safe Lands has its own words – femme for girl, glossy as ‘cool’ or ‘in’ sort of thing, mimic for fan (as in I’m a fan of Jill Williamson), etc. The television shows, medical information, clubs, and architecture all added to the creative and plausible future world.

This book does have some mature themes, so it’s not for kids. However, for Jill’s target audience of older teens, it’s perfect. Just perfect. I can’t find anything wrong with this book and recommend it to everyone 15 and older. Five stars!

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

~Emily Rachelle

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Emily is an author of contemporary teen fiction, including Christian coming-of-age novella Sixteen. Find her every Tuesday and Thursday at her blog, Emily Rachelle Writes.

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