I devoured Jill Williamson's Captives, the first book in the Safe Lands Series. When Outcasts released, I knew I wanted to continue the story.
The main characters in this saga include three brothers, Mason, Omar and Levi. Mason is smart and independent, Omar struggles with guilt and craves redemption, and Levi is responsible with great leadership skills. Each of them is trying to find their place and role in the world, and their stories unfold bit by bit in each book.
In Outcasts Omar is really fleshed out as a character, and Mason's story progresses from where we left him in Captives. For those of you who are curious about Mason's relationship with Ciddah, be prepared for intrigue. Every time I thought I had it figured out, I didn't.
The world-building of Safe Lands- the personalities, the names, the local traditions and the hyper technology, the plague affecting so many citizens, the rebels, the broader hedonistic culture, the machinations of the government- is very interesting. It provides a technicolor mental landscape for us to inhabit while the pages turn.
I have read Divergent and The Hunger Games, and I greatly appreciated them both. I don't think those characters and worlds will leave me for a long time. I sure hope not. I do think that if you are interested in dystopia, and aren't ready for those series, Safe Lands is something to check out. There is much less violence and blood in these books, while still preserving themes worth thinking about. And the lack of obvious gore doesn't make the Safe Lands any less deadly. In fact, their method of elimination for criminals and rebels is called "Liberation." That gives you something to think about right there: "Liberation" is apparently death packaged in classy, positive terms. Can that be fruitfully compared to euthanasia, which is supposedly "a good death?"
See, there is a lot to think about amidst the face-paced action and interconnected relationships that form The Safe Lands series.
Now with most of the Glenrock people safely in hiding, Levi and the others must save the children of Glenrock from The Safe Lands. Which is anything but safe. But as if things are not hard enough, evidence comes up and with it the question of who they can trust gets a lot harder. And while Levi's focused on freeing the remaining Glenrock captives, his brother Omar decides to take part of the rebellion in his own hands as a undercover vigilante.
Levi's other brother, Mason, still wants to find a cure for the disease that almost everyone in the Safe Lands has. But the problem seems so much bigger than him. But he finds out a shocking secret about the Safe Lands meds that could be a clue to what is going on. But when some immune suppressive drugs go missing from the clinic Mason is not sure what side his coworker, Ciddah, is on. And weather or not she has a agenda of her own.
Let me just start by saying this was a wonderful book! I love this series and can not wait until the next book comes out! "Outcasts" is exciting and has some shocking surprises that I never would have guessed were coming! And I love how it has so many high-tech things from the future. [The book takes place in 2088] But since Glenrock was a small village outside the Safe Lands living a more old fashion life you do not have to really worry about the whole book being to hard to understand. Because the people of Glenrock are coming from the same point of view as some people today who are not use to using lots of electronics. Jill Williamson did a great job with this story and I really enjoyed it.
I received this book free from the publisher, Zondervan, through the BookSneeze.com [ Now called BookLook Bloggers] book review bloggers program. The opinions are my own.
The Safe Lands series, set in 2088 America, continues. The women from Glenrock have escaped from the harem, including sixteen-year-old Shaylinn, who is expecting twins from the implant procedure.
Mason, Omar, and Levi strive to help their community and plan to free the children who are being held as the “future” of Safe Lands. Mason has discovered something strange going on in the medical treatment for the plague, for which he hopes to find a cure, and tries to uncover hidden history and suspicious agendas in this supposedly “safe” land. Omar can’t overcome his addiction to stimulants, which could compromise his ability to effectively complete his mission. Levi struggles to find his way as leader and in relating to his brothers.
Romantic threads play a role in the unfolding story too. Red wants Omar, but he’s growing tired of her demands. Shaylinn wonders if she and Omar could ever work as a couple, but he now has the plague. Kendall, the former “queen” who recently birthed baby Promise, also competes for Omar’s attention. Mason and Ciddah, his supervisor, are attracted to each other, but this relationship might prove dangerous.
Who can be trusted? The novel leaves the reader guessing, and ends with another huge cliffhanger. How could the author be so cruel! The third book, Rebels, will release in August 2014.
Oh my goodness Outcasts was so good! I enjoyed it a lot more then the first one in many ways!
The biggest thing I loved about Outcasts was the encouraging spoken Biblical messages by Shay! I loved how she used her talents for the Lord to give hope to people despite that it might look like the Safe Land nationals didn't need it!
Another big thing I loved was the action! I thought the first novel Captives was action-packed, but it had nothing on this one! I felt like I was on the edge of my seat over half of the book! So much was at stake with the rebels doing undercover "jobs" that left me more then fearful for these people!
Lastly I am shocked how Jill transformed my favorite characters! Omar really wasn't my favorite in book one, but he changed so much (sometimes good, sometimes bad) that my heart ached for him and what he longed to be! He's definitely one of my favorite characters now (he really is a good guy at heart)! Mason and Shay were already two of my favorite characters so it was awesome to seem them mature even more!
I desperately want to read the third one now because these characters gripped my heart and the action is sure to get even better!
I give Outcasts by Jill Williamson 5 out of 5 stars!
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Jill Williamson in her new book “Outcasts” Book Two in The Safe Lands series published by Blink continues the rebellion against the Safe Land.
From the back cover: Uncovering the truth could cost them their lives.
Since entering the Safe Lands, Mason has focused on two things: finding a way to free his village from captivity, and finding a cure for the disease that ravages many within the walls of the Safe Lands. After immune-suppressive drugs go missing in the clinic, Mason discovers his coworker, Ciddah, may know more about the Safe Lands than imagined … and may have an agenda of her own. At the same time, Mason’s brother Levi is focused on a way to free the remaining Glenrock captives, while Mason’s younger brother Omar decides to take the rebellion against the Safe Lands into his own hands as a vigilante.
Soon all three brothers are being watched closely—and when Mason stumbles onto a shocking secret about the Safe Lands meds, his investigation just might get those closest to him liberated.
The rebellion is on! The brothers manage to get out of the Safe Lands and free the children. However not everyone made it out so Mason needs to go back. When he arrives he is captured. Now they need to free him as well as the others. In the meantime they are looking at the drug the population is being forced to take because it may not be what they are told it is. The rebels are going to be exiled to the Lowlands where they are supposed to work. But no one comes back from there so they know they will die there if they are not rescued. I like a good adventure not only where there is action but where we are forced to think as well. In “Outcasts” Jill Williamson not only provides us adventure she also gives us much to think about. The brothers and their fellow adventurers are placed in deadly danger time and time again, much like the heroes from the movie serials. Ms. Williamson gives us such great characters that we are always rooting for them to succeed and get together with each other. Ms. Williamson has given us an admirable sequel and I look forward with much anticipation to the next and concluding book in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
The year is 2088. America as we know it is gone. Many people are dying from a plague that traveled through the land. Such are the people in the enclosed territory of Safe Lands. The plague prevents women from giving live birth so the Safe Lands enforcers go out to villages and bring in clean people. The clean women are forced to be impregnated and give birth, assuring the future of the community.
That is what happened to Levi and his villagers, those who were not killed that is. Levi wants to free his fellow captive villagers and works on a plan, joining up with other underground people. Levi's brother Mason works as a medic and is trying to find a cure for the disease. Brother Omar decides to take matters in his own hands, becoming the Owl.
The action in this series continues to be intense, from the beginning of this novel to its end. The brothers face the possibility of betrayal as they plan for rescue and escape. Their actions are clever as they work to avoid the monitoring devices of the government. Mason's life is endangered as he discovers that the meds the Safe Lands dispense are not what they are supposed to be. And Omar, well Omar just manages to get into trouble by himself.
The subject matter dealt with in this novel is intense too. Teens, as young as fourteen, are being impregnated (medical procedure) to assure a future for the community. There are also references to Safe Lands couples frequently pairing up.
Omar has taken up the practice of using a drug device. He is the most troubled of the brothers and has his moments of not being the young man he could be. Brothers Mason and Levi try to be responsible men and while reading the book I have to remind myself they are still teens.
The relationships between the captives deepen in this novel. It was interesting to see more character development of some of the young women. Again, I have to remind my self that these are teens thrust into a world of intense pressure. It is also a godless world and the captives struggle to maintain their Christian belief.
This is a very good continuation of the series. Because of the subject matter, however, I would not recommend this series for young teens. For older teens, there is much to think about and discuss in this novel. Topics would include self image, prejudice, peer pressure, and much more. There are discussion questions added at the end of the novel so this would make a good choice for a teen reading group.
I received a complimentary galley of this book through the CSFF Blog Tour for the purpose of this review.
“Since entering the Safe Lands, Mason has focused on two things: finding a way to free his village from captivity and finding a cure for the disease that ravages many within the walls of the Safe Lands. After immune-suppressive drugs go missing in the clinic, Mason discovers his coworker, Ciddah, may know more about the Safe Lands than imagined… and may have an agenda of her own. At the same time, Mason’s brother Levi is focused on a way to free the remaining Glenrock captives, while Mason’s younger brother, Omar, decides to take the rebellion against the Safe Lands into his own hands as a vigilante. Soon all three brothers are being watched closely–and when Mason stumbles onto a shocking secret about the Safe Lands meds, his investigation just might get those closest to him liberated.”
I loved this book (even though it leaves you hanging at the end, but that is what book 3 is for right?)! The characters were full of their own surprises and some of those who you could trust at the beginning soon turned to enemy, and the other way around.
The story is excellent and full of thrills and I guarantee any teen who likes Science Fiction will want to read this series! Do to some of the references, I would keep the audience older than at least 13 years of age.
I can’t wait for book 3 to come out I can nearly promise you that I will be reading it!
“I received this book from Thomas Nelson/ Book Sneeze for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.”
Outcasts is the second installment to the Safe Lands Series written by Jill Williamson. Her love for working with teens is clearly evident in her writing. She writes Christian fiction for teens that deal with some prevalent issues all the while keeping it fun and way out of this world.
Continuing straight from book one, we catch up with the Glencrock people as they struggle to remain true to their faith in the midst of the governments control and worldliness. Remaining to Jill's eccentric writing style we are thrust into a world of fast paced mysterious plot--yet with a totally new twist. Unlike most YA books Jill added deeper messages that touch the hearts of todays youth. She dealt with topics of guilt, resisting temptation, the snares instant gratification create, living for a higher purpose, and the need of hope. She addressed these topics through Biblical perspectives keeping it very spiritual and easy to apply.
The Characters were more developed in this book than in the previous allowing one to connect closer. They each had very different yet realistic characteristics that added a deeper dimension to the story. Because there are four different points of view you are able to see the full perspective to the events happening in the story.
Outcasts does include mature subjects such as drug and sexual addiction and forced surrogacy, so I would recommend this book to mature teens and up.
Needless to say Outcasts was a great continuation, if not an even better one, to the series. I can not wait to get my hands on the next book and continue my journey in the Safe Lands.
I received a complimentary copy, from BookSneeze in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.
Outcasts is the second installment of Jill Williamson's dystopian series, The Safe Lands. I eagerly awaited Outcasts release since Captives (BK 1) hooked me onto this series' fascinating characters and premise. I'm pleased to report that the sequel did not disappoint!
Plot: The story is fast-paced and intriguing with an element of mystery regarding the Thin Plague that infects Safe Land residents. We get to see more of Williamson's incredibly detailed and well-crafted story world, The Safe Lands, which is divided into three parts-- Highlands, Midlands, and Lowlands. While Captives mainly focused on the glamorous Highlands city, Outcasts takes us into the Midland's colorful suburbs. I enjoyed exploring more of the story world and hope to see the Lowlands in book three.
Characters: Outcasts characters are realistic and well developed. I think every reader can relate to at least one of the four POV characters. (Mason is my personal favorite!)
Theme: I think the deeper messages of this book are relatable to today's youth. They range from-- dealing with guilt, struggling to resist temptation, the need to have a higher purpose, the importance of hope, and the pitfalls of living for instant gratification. All of these are bravely addressed through Williamson's talent for weaving Biblical truth into her fiction without being preachy or overbearing.
Recommended For: Because of Outcasts mature content-- characters battling drug and sexual addiction, government forced fertility treatments, kidnappings, violence, etc. (None graphic but all realistic)-- I'd recommend this series/book for older teens and adults.
Bottom Line: Outcasts is an exciting, can't-put-down read that will have you gasping at the final chapter's conclusion and wanting more!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The second book in The Safe Lands series has the three brothers working inside the Safe Lands, which is anything but safe. Mason is trying to discover a cure to the illness that affects almost everyone around him, leaving the community sterile and unable to produce the next generation. Levi is focused on figuring out a way to get the rest of the survivors from Glenrock out of enemy hands. While Omar is taking it upon himself to be a vigilante against the very system that first sucked him in.
This book was every bit as good as the first one! I like dystopian fiction, so I am thrilled that Christian authors are writing in the genre. This series is a must if you like futuristic stories!
If you've read Captives the first book in The Safe Lands trilogy, you've probably been waiting for Outcasts. Well, your wait ends on January 7, 2014, and believe it is well worth the wait!
The Captives from Glenrock have taken refuge within the Safe Lands with a group of rebels, but these rebels have goals that are at odds with those that Levi has prioritized for the survivors of Glenrock. After all who cares about the people who call the Safe Lands home?
To Levi's annoyance his brothers Mason and Omar both have cares about the Safe Landers - and Mason may have developed an attraction to the doctor under whom he works. Mason is determined to find a cure for the disease that afflicts the Safe Landers and Omar. Meanwhile Omar is determined to make the Safe Landers aware of the true state of their world.
When the rebels demands threaten the safety of those closest to him Levi moves everyone to a new location with the assistance of Zane. This move gives everyone a glimpse of Papa Eli that had not yet known and adds more to the history of Glenrock. (Hoping for a prequel - all these little tidbits are just so tempting!!! Kind of like having a box of your favorite chocolates and knowing you can't have them yet.)
Subterfuge and deception reign supreme in the Safe Lands and a master illusionist is firmly in control. Questions for which there seem to be no answers may be of utmost importance. What is liberation? Is it truly the end of life or is it something more sinister. Can this disease be cured and why is noone allowed access to the data about it?
Mason, Omar, and Shaylinn are determined to make a difference in the Safe Lands, but it may cost them more than they were expecting. But sometimes doing the right thing is worth the cost even if it means liberation. And someone is about to pay the ultimate price for freedom....
When you finish reading Outcasts you will be eagerly awaiting Rebels due Summer 2014 - mark your calendars and start the countdown! If Outcasts is any example this series should end in a fantabulous manner and book 3 should be the best of the series! Another winner from Jill Williamson!
In exchange for my honest and timely review I was provided an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book by Jill Williamson and Blink, an imprint of Zondervan.
Since entering the Safe Lands, Mason has focused on two things: finding a way to free his village from captivity, and finding a cure for the disease that ravages many within the walls of the Safe Lands. After immune-suppressive drugs go missing in the clinic, Mason discovers his coworker, Ciddah, may know more about the Safe Lands than imagined ... and may have an agenda of her own. At the same time, Mason’s brother Levi is focused on a way to free the remaining Glenrock captives, while Mason’s younger brother Omar decides to take the rebellion against the Safe Lands into his own hands as a vigilante.
Soon all three brothers are being watched closely - and when Mason stumbles onto a shocking secret about the Safe Lands meds, his investigation just might get those closest to him liberated.
I really like this series. I started reading book 1 and was kind of lost in the beginning, but when it got to the middle of the book, I was sucked into the plot. Then when the 1st book was done, I wanted to find out what really happened to Mason. The 2nd book was a lot more enjoyable because I already had some background knowledge.
This book isn't available to the public until Jan. 7th, 2014.