Imagine the year is 2088. Your world and everyone you know and love has been stolen from you in one catastrophic moment.
Such is the case in Jill Williamson’s heart-pounding new novel, CAPTIVES (Zondervan; $9.99; April 2013). The Replication author delivers an enthralling account of what happens to seventeen-year-old Mason, his younger brother, Omar, and their older brother, Levi, who live in the humble village of Glenrock.
With the intriguing plot of CAPTIVES, Williamson continues to display her ability to take on a multi-layered futuristic narrative filled with suspense, philosophical messages and teenage candor similar to that in the popular Hunger Games trilogy. She deftly pens a tale that it will stay with readers long after the last page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alaska-born Jill Williamson is an award-winning novelist. Her debut novel, By Darkness Hid, won the 2010 Christy Award and was named one of VOYA’s Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Books of 2009. In 2012, she released the popular futuristic novel, Replication. Williamson also hosts blog tours for other YA authors, and conducts writing workshops at libraries, schools, camps, and churches. She lives in John Jay, Oregon, with her husband and two children. www.jillwilliamson.com
What I thought:I was looking forward to trying out a Jill Williamson book after hearing so much about her writing. While I found Captives to be quite well-written and edited, the plot didn't grab me like I thought it might. I suppose it's because apocalyptic-type stories just aren't my favorite genre. I did find that this book was 'clean' enough to read and if one was looking for an alternative to The Hunger Games, this might be a much better option. (I have not read the Hunger Games trilogy and do not plan to.)
This was not a very satisfying story in regards to inspiring faith. The characters pray and wonder aloud what they should do, but one does not really see them following the Lord's leading or seeing his work in the storyline. I found the characters mildly interesting but they didn't strike me as absorbing or gripping. A lot of the book was lengthy descriptions about the surroundings - which was neat to read, but I prefer a book to be story-centered and character-driven, not focused on the atmosphere.
I would not recommend this book to readers younger than 16 due to references to futuristic counterparts of drugs and alcohol and the immoral lifestyle portrayed in the Safe Lands city. I was a little surprised to find that in there, actually, as there wasn't any hint of it in the book description. But it seems like a lot of books aimed at young people these days include these elements, which I think is sad. This book did portray them in a negative light, but still... :(
The ending kind of leaves you hanging, too! If you are going to read this book, be aware that there isn't really an ending that wraps up the loose ends. I realize this is part of a series and that the story continues in the next book, but it would have been nice to have some resolution near the end of this one.
I would probably read the rest of the series if given the chance to do so for free like at the library, but otherwise I would probably decline.
I was provided with a free copy of this book for review by Zondervan. These are my own thoughts on the book. :)