The Tulip Driven Life Podcast

Monday, August 12, 2013

CSFF Blog Tour Book Review: Captives

By: Thomas F. Booher

Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

When I review books, I have a scale in my mind, and various criteria that go into it. I keep mental notes, and sometimes write them in the margins on each page. Shortly before the halfway point of this book, I was ready to give up on it. The story moved too fast to grasp it or get a feel for the many characters. Attempting to do so felt like watching a car fly down the highway as you sit from your porch. By the time you locked onto something, the scene or characters shifted. Beyond that, the lame "cursings" uttered by Jordan drove me crazy. Worse, I didn't think Omar's (and some of the other characters') actions and reactions early in the story were true to life, which put me off.  

I'll detail those concerns in subsequent posts, but I want to say that the second half of the book was vastly improved. It was almost like Jill Williamson vaped some grass, and a ten at that. The story slowed a bit, enough to catch its details and the intricacies of the characters. The Safe Lands are a fresh and fascinating place. Best of all, the moral dilemmas were, at times, realistic and palpable. This is due largely to the characters acting more true to life to the situations they were put in (certainly compared to their response to losing their family members at Glenrock). 

Williamson captures the appeal of the Safe Land's alluring sins in a powerful way, and this, I think, is where we see the potential of so called "Christian" fiction writing . The most poignant parts of the story deal with the issue of forced surrogacy and the separation the mothers experience as their babies are whisked away from them, sometimes before they even get to see them. The Safe Land's total rejection of the family unit stands in contradistinction to the villagers of Glenrock's way of life. This is fascinating to see play out (and strikes close to home as my wife and I will have our first child in about a month), and has me more intrigued than anything else to read the next book in the series. I will talk more about this in my next post. 

There are other questions and concerns I have, some of which the author raises with ten discussion questions at the end of the book, some of which the author does not raise. Young teenagers will most enjoy this book and most profit from thinking through the mucky morality of the characters. The discussion questions should help facilitate the process of thinking these things through, and hopefully my discussion in my following posts will as well. 

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. 

Author’s website -

Check out other reviews of Captives for the CSFF blog tour: 

<a href=""> Julie Bihn</a>
<a href=""> Thomas Fletcher Booher</a>
<a href=""> Keanan Brand</a>
<a href=""> Beckie Burnham</a>
<a href=""> Morgan L. Busse</a>
<a href=""> Jeff Chapman</a>
<a href=""> Pauline Creeden</a>
<a href=""> Emma or Audrey Engel</a>
<a href=""> Victor Gentile</a>
<a href=""> Timothy Hicks</a>
<a href=""> Jason Joyner</a>
<a href=""> Carol Keen</a>
<a href=""> Shannon McDermott</a>
<a href=""> Meagan @ Blooming with Books</a>
<a href=""> Rebecca LuElla Miller</a>
<a href=""> Joan Nienhuis</a>
<a href=""> Asha Marie Pena</a>
<a href=""> Nathan Reimer</a>
<a href=""> Chawna Schroeder</a>
<a href=""> Jojo Sutis</a>
<a href=""> Jessica Thomas</a>
<a href=""> Steve Trower</a>
<a href=""> Phyllis Wheeler</a>
<a href=""> Rachel Wyant</a>

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