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Customer Reviews for Zondervan Captives

Zondervan Captives

In a dystopian future, most of the population is infected with a plague. The exceptions are those who live outside the Safe Land's city walls. When a mutation in the plague sends city enforcers looking for the uninfected, Levi's village is raided. While the attack leaves many dead, Levi's fiancie is being held captive. Levi launches a war against the city in an attempt to free her before it's too late.
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4.4
 out of 
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20 out of 2195%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Captives
Review 1 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

You will be held captive by this book

Date:March 27, 2014
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Like the title of this book you too will be held captive by this story.
I love how the book opens with Daniel 1:1, 3-5 where King Nebuchadnezzer takes all the strong young men from Jerusalem. This sets the stage for you are about to read.
Although this book is geared for teens I really enjoyed it. I would say if you have a teen in your life who likes the Hunger Games series they would enjoy this book but it’s even better because God is part this plot.
A word of caution. There is talk about forced pregnancy because the Safe Lands are trying to rid themselves of this disease that is going around so they are trying to have babies that are born without being infected. However, there’s nothing graphic or detail about how these girls are getting pregnant, I was not offended at all.
I always recommend reading a book before you allow your child or read it with them so you can have a conversation with him or her about the content and you can voice your thoughts in a healthy way.
The three brothers in the book were so different and Jill does a wonderful job of giving them each their own voice and personality.
I think you will enjoy this glimpse into a possible future that isn’t so good but we are always looking for the same thing….hope.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 2 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

My 8year old's Book Summary of Captives

Date:March 21, 2014
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Jennie
Location:Manila, Philippines
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
When I first started reading the book, I was quite confused about the story. There was a girl named Ciddah mentioned in the Prologue. Then as it shifted to the first chapter suddenly the story was about a boy named Mason. Then there was this talk about who’s going to marry who. Then Mason’s younger brother, Omar, was missing and probably went to the Safe Lands.
After a couple of weeks of not reading Captives, I went back to reading and actually started to appreciate the story. I like the part that Mason was hired as a Level 2 Medic of the Safe Lands. What made it exciting for me is anticipating the adventures of figuring out the cure of the virus which the oldest person in his tribe Papa Eli, calls the Great Pandemic. Majority of the people who live in the Safe Lands are infected by the Great Pandemic because of its virus which came through the water source of the Safe Lands.
The people of Glenrock, where Mason and his other friends live, usually when they are in trouble they pray to God. Sometimes in their minds, sometimes they whisper their prayers.
I love the mystery of the story of this book. If there will be an installment to this book, I will be looking forward to reading that too.
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Review 3 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Looking Forward to Reading More!

Date:January 30, 2014
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Lala
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Captives is the first dystopian I have read and it won't be the last!
In the beginning it took me a little while to get into the story and wrap my mind around what was going on! Once I met the enforcers though everything changes and it took me on an adventure that I wasn't prepared for! The storyline and imagery was one of the most interesting I have read! The descriptions of the Safe Lands enthralled me concerning the jobs, styles, and technology! I was amazed at how the nationals lived, but so heartbroken for the women who lived in the harem (well really all of the nationals)! They are such a broken people underneath the pretty paint!
Concerning the Glenrock clan, I couldn't put the book down because of them and had to keep reading more to find out what would happen to these precious characters! I really liked how the author wrote from a few different perspectives because she changed them up enough that it gives you a full view of the situation they're in! Plus they all had different personalities that really brought the book together in a unique way (I don't even have a favorite character because I liked all of them except maybe Omar and Mia)!
One thing I will mention is that there isn't a huge faith factor, but Jill really delivers a great message of real love between a man and woman in how they are to be "exclusive" as well as how God created children and the way they are suppose to come into this world! It was an underlying message that I thought was very powerful, especially when the Safe Land nationals thought both of those concepts were ridiculous!
If your looking for a novel that not only has a positive message, but brings to life a whole another world then definitely read Captives because it will do all that and more!
I give this novel a 4.5 out 5 stars!
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Review 4 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Futuristic dystopian world

Date:January 10, 2014
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MaryAnn
Location:OR
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Safe Lands series transports readers to 2088, where much destruction has devastated the earth and many people suffer from a plague. Citizens ensconced within the area known as the Safe Lands cannot bear unaffected offspring. In fact, their reproduction and child-rearing methods are not what we’d call “family friendly.” The people there pursue pleasure before being “liberated.”
Their only hope is to bring in outsiders who are uninfected. Brothers Levi, Mason, and Omar each play a major role in the story but are often antagonistic to each other. Schemes, betrayal, kidnapping, murder, and advanced technology add drama. Can those imprisoned be rescued or do they even want to return to their simple, old-fashioned lifestyle?
Good thing the sequel to Captives just released since author Jill Williamson leaves us majorly hanging at the end of the first book. Look for Outcasts too.
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Review 5 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Another Winner From Jill Williamson!

Date:January 4, 2014
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Christian BookReview Blog
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I have recently become a fan of Jill Williamson’s young adult books and although Captives is not my favorite of her work, it is definitely an interesting read. The story-world was described vividly and while realistic, it was somewhat unbelievable which is completely expected when reading a futuristic, dysotopian story set in 2088.
Jill once again does a tremendous job in fleshing out a teenage male protagonist-- this book had three. The storyline jumped between the points of view of Levi, Mason, Omar and some of the captive women. When I finished the book, I felt something was lacking from it and I diagnosed the feeling to the fact that, because of the many points of view, the characters were not allowed to fully develop. Therefore, my relationship with them felt a little stilted. I especially would have liked to learn more about Mason-- and Ciddah. I am confident, however, that I will learn more about the characters in future books of The Safe Lands series.
The storyline itself had plenty of shocking downhill curves. It began with suspense... and ended in suspense. Jill handles some mature topics such as drug use, fornication, forced surrogacy-- so I would definitely recommend Captives for older and mature teens (as the youngest possible readers) even though the author handles these topics delicately.
I enjoyed the underlying similarities to Daniel and his friends in pagan Babylon yet with a twist of a highly technological society. The Safe Lands definitely had similarities with today’s society as well. I found the “futuristic” slang terms interesting and helpful in integrating me into Captives’ story-world.
Jill has crafted another creative, interesting and suspenseful book. I rate it 4 stars. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment to The Safe Lands series!
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Review 6 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Captivating Storyline!

Date:December 27, 2013
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Ragdogs
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Synopsis:
“When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenging 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 have 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’ facade before it’s too late?
My Review:
Due to some mailing problems earlier, my review is pretty late, so I haven’t completely finished this book yet, however, I have read enough to write a quick review on my thoughts about this book.
Captives is very, very realistic and very easy to understand. All of the characters have believable reasons for their actions, and consequences for the wrong ones. Captives is a Christian teen fiction book, and is book 1 of the Safe Lands series. I have enjoyed the storyline thus far and will definitely be reading the next book, Outcasts, as soon as I finish this one.
As I said before, this is teen fiction, I would not recommend this book to anyone under 13 due to some of the references. The main characters are 16-19 years of age jfyi :-). There is no cussing, however, as far as I have read.
“I received this book from Book Sneeze/Thomas Nelson for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.”
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Review 7 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 17, 2013
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debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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 fiancee, 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' facade before it's too late?
My Review:
This was quite the disturbing book. I like writers that think outside the box, and challenge me mentally, but Williamson took the cake with this one! This is a book that will definitely appeal to teen readers, and older readers as well. The characters are interesting, the setting is is wonderful, and the plot is possible and impossible all at once. I was impressed by how many times I had to remind myself that it was just a story, and then scoff and think that the story line was completely improbable. While that seems like a negative thing to say, I enjoy a novel that draws me in, yet has elements that aren't altogether plausible. I enjoyed this book because it was creative, interesting, and ingenious. A very stimulating read for readers of any age and genre.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 8 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Captives by Jill Williamson

Date:December 10, 2013
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LeAnne
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The year is 2088, and the world is much different. A plague had swept over the earth and decimated it generations ago, and now most of the population is infected.
But Glenrock and other small villages outside of the Safe Lands, a huge walled city, are not infected. Which is what the Safe Lands need, and with the help of Omar the enforcers come to his village of Glenrock.
Omar thought it would be better if all of them moved to the Safe Lands, and so tried to help the enforcers. But little did he know the cost it would take.
When Levi returns home and finds many dead and the rest, including his fiancée, taken to the Safe Lands he must come up with a way to save them.
This book had my interest from the beginning! It was very exciting and it was hard to put the book down! I really enjoyed it, and I liked how the people of Glenrock lived a better life and not wild like the people in the Safe Lands. Although I do wish the one girl had been a few years older because of what the book was about, but it was not really bad. It was still a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.
I received this book free from the publisher, Zondervan, through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. The opinions are my own.
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Review 9 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Captives will captivate you!

Date:December 4, 2013
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Blooming with Books
Location:Bloomer, WI
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Captives
The Safe Lands 1
By Jill Williamson
Levi is the favored son of Justin of Elias. He is to marry for love. He is a hunter. He can go on scavenging trips to Denver City. And he has earned the respect of his father, something that his younger brothers cannot do no matter how hard they try.
Mason has decided that trying to earn his father's respect and trust is an impossible tasks though he tries his best to please him. But Omar is determined to win it no matter what the cost, but does he know how much he is going to pay?
The Safe Lands were designed to protect the people from a plague, but what was to be a safety has turned into an even greater danger. The city is the plague and there is no way to stop it or to save the city without drastic measures. And Omar and the people of Glenrock may be the Safe Lands last hope.
Omar in an act of betrayal destroys Glenrock and rips Jemma and Levi apart just days before their marriage. Can Levi find a way to get within the city and free those who have been taken against their will?
The ease of life in the Safe Lands is a powerful draw, but is the loss of their freedom and the chance of becoming infected a reasonable trade? But the Safe Lands is home to people whose wild ways may have lead to the plague's spread through what was suppose to be a fortress of safety from the plague.
Mason has been put in a position within the Safe Lands where he is able to study the problem of the plague up close. Can he use the skills he developed in Glenrock and stop the plague? Can he bring hope where there is none or will it merely be false hope?
As Mason struggles to cure the plague and to save the people of Glenrock from forced surrogacy, Levi is working on a plan of escape. Meanwhile Omar is falling into all that the Safe Lands has to offer in an attempt to hide from his guilt over what went wrong with his grand plan.
If you liked the Hunger Games or The Sky Chasers series but wanted books that offered something more you will love Captives. Captives has a belief in something more than self and learning to accept the person God made you to be. Captives will tug at your heart as you experience the unhappiness that fills the Safe Lands. The only problem I have is now I have to wait until book 2 is published!
This is definitely for the older YA reader (16+).
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review and as a part of this May TNT Blog Tour.
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Review 10 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

relatively good novel for older teens

Date:August 11, 2013
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bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This novel for teens takes place near the end of the twenty-first century. Society in this part of the U. S. is divided between a rural area lacking modern technology and a walled and high tech city called Safe Lands.
The novel centers around three brothers from Glenrock, a rural village. Omar has always felt like he didn't measure up to his father's expectations. He meets some “enforcers” from Safe Lands and is convinced he can be someone important there. All he has to do is provide some people from his village to go with him. When the opportunity arises, Omar sends his older brother, Levi, on a wild goose chase. While Levi is gone, the Safe Lands enforcers come to the village to take whom they need. To Omar's horror, the older villagers are killed and the young men and women are taken captive. Levi returns to find his village destroyed. It is up to him to rescue those he loves, including his fiancée. Middle brother Mason, who was also taken into Safe Lands and is being trained in medicine, helps his older brother in the rescue attempts.
The themes in this novel are mature and of the nature that I would recommend this novel for older teens. The reason Safe Lands needs young women from the outside is for surrogate motherhood. Because of a plague, Safe Lands people cannot reproduce viable offspring. The city is a place of high tech pleasure. Its culture centers on entertainment and gratification. “The Safe Lands is all about pleasure and comfort...” (145) There is frequent pairing for sexual pleasure and frequent drug use for pleasure (through an inhaler). A positive point is that the narrative is not overly descriptive of these behaviors.
Another theme in this book is teens' perceptions of themselves. “We all believe lies about ourselves,” Mason tells one of the female captives. (280) This theme could generate some great discussion among teens. There is also the overall theme of self-indulgence. Some of the rural captives succumb to the temptations in Safe Lands while others remain more faithful to their rural standards. There is a great price the Safe Lands people must pay for their self-indulgence and teens may want to discuss this lesson in living. There is a discussion guide at the end of the book.
I did not find the writing compelling. I had some difficulty picturing some of the scenes. Teen readers are probably much more interested in the action than in the setting, however. And there is plenty of action. There is also lots of high tech equipment while some of the tasks, like painting over graffiti and cleaning the sewers, seem to be done the old fashioned way. Also, changing the point of view so frequently means the readers must routinely leave other characters out of mind. For someone like me who spreads out my reading (I am always reading several books, based on assigned blogging dates), the narrative ended up being disjointed.
I also had difficulty believing some of the action, such as Levi's ease in getting into the walled city, with a rifle, no less. There was also the use of the hand held radios that did not seem to be consistent with the control exercised by high tech authority. There were times when “big brother” was watching everything and others times when Levi and friends seemed to act without observation. I felt that was a bit inconsistent. Also, I can't see how impregnating a few plague free women will save Safe Lands. And, we don't know how Safe Lands sustains itself economically, although that may not be an issue with teens.
The Christianity in rural Glenrock is primitive. Levi and others know some Christian principles and even a few Bible verses but, in general, their actions are based on morality, not on Christian belief.
The end of the novel definitely leaves us waiting for the sequel. There is much about Safe Lands that could yet be revealed, in addition to furthering the plot.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour.
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Review 11 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great futuristic novel

Date:June 28, 2013
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Michelle Sutton
Location:Arizona
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was an intriguing read, and at times, a bit scary in regards to relevance. The author renamed some things giving the story a definite futuristic feel to it. She also had some advanced ideas that made sense. But human nature is the same and hasn't changed since the beginning of time. I loved how the author showed that. I also appreciated how she showed the emptiness that comes with chronic self-indulgence. And how betrayal begets more betrayal.
The truly frightening thing about this story was the way they dealt with pregnancy, childbirth and families. How traumatic for women! I can see where that could happen if a society got desperate enough to do whatever it took to preserve their people. I liked the point that Mason made. It may look good, but it's still a gilded cage. And compliance that is not a choice is NOT freedom.
The way the story ended was satisfying to me. There is clearly a sequel in the works, but I won't be distressed while waiting for it to release. At the same time, I MUST read it to find out what happens next.
There were a lot of "edgy" types of situations which I appreciated for the realism, but they were tastefully done so they wouldn't be offensive to younger readers. At the same time, anyone who has lived in the world long enough would "get" what the author was alluding to, including teenagers. All they'd have to do is turn on the television to catch most of it. Anyway, enjoyable story.
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Review 12 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A very creative dystopian story!

Date:June 13, 2013
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Stephanie Morrill
Location:Overland Park, KS
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
If your'e looking for a book that will take you to another time and place, Captives is a great choice. I loved not just the creative technology in the Safe Lands, but also how they had a whole different way of speaking and different philosophies about life.
My favorite part of the reading experience was getting to know the three brothers, Mason, Levi, and Omar. I loved their unique voices and struggles, particularly Mason's. I'm so eager for the second book in this series!
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Review 13 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Inspirational Teen Fiction at it's Best

Date:May 28, 2013
Customer Avatar
AddLibrarian
Age:25-34
Gender:female
So…I’m not really sure what to say about Captives by Jill Williamson. I could say that Inspirational fiction finally has contender on the dystopoian fiction scene, but it’s probably not dismal enough for you if you’re a die-hard dystopian fan. (Unlike myself-sick of it already.) Or I could say that Captives is Teen Inspy fiction at it’s best. Williamson mimics the most popular themes in current teen dystopian fiction, skillfully incorporates biblical and social themes into her own unique story, and simultaneously raises the bar for everyone else. Of course, if you’ve read any of Jill’s other books, you probably expected no less. Personally, I think Captives is my favorite Jill Williamson book yet! It was awesome. But then, I kind of expected it to be awesome.
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Review 14 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

What Is The Purpose Of Freedom?

Date:May 28, 2013
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CTF Devourer
Location:CTF Devourer
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
"I understand why you ask me to donate. But not why I should help. You killed my father, all the elders of my village. You claim to value life, yet you willingly destroyed it. And to clean up the mess you've made of your city, you ask me to reproduce with my friends and family. It's completely unacceptable."
Book: Captives (The Safe Lands) by Jill Williamson, Zondervan Publishers, 2013
Genre: Futuristic/Science Fiction
Target Audience: Girls and Boys 18+
Subject: Euthanasia, Sex, Jealousy, Selective Genetics, Freedom, Forgiveness
Summary: Jealousy between brothers caused the first murder in the Garden of Eden and now it has caused the murder of many in the village of Glenrock. The people of the Safe Lands have a genetic fatal disease - every single person in the entire land has it. So for the people to survive, they need people without the disease. A jealous brother betrays his entire village in hopes of gaining power and popularity. So the elders are killed and the young are taken from their home to the Safe Lands. The men are asked to donate sperm to artificial insemination. In the meantime they can live the easy life, getting anything they want. The women are to become pregnant and live as queens, baby making machines that will never get to see and raise their children, but queens nonetheless. So should these prisoners accept their lot and join the Safe Lands community or should they seek the impossible and attempt an escape?
Notes: This is the first in the Safe Lands series, a futuristic series on the issue of freedom - whether or not a person should deny themselves any desire and whether or not anyone has the right to force someone to help them. There is spiritual content in it, the characters do have a recognition of God, but it is a theistic view - they acknowledge God's existence and have religious ceremonies and such but don't look to Him for how to make decisions or for help in day to day struggles. Their engagement ceremony towards the beginning of the book and the wedding at the end both model a more involved God, just not the day to day life. Warning: This book is not appropriate for teenagers who have been sheltered at all. It deals with some very adult issues. Also, due to the issues dealt with in this book, it is not written as an enjoyable, entertaining reading, but rather than an intense, graphic look at a serious issue. If you would like more on this topic, check out The Center For Bioethics And Human Dignity, a Christian organization that helps people figure out how to respond to these sorts of subjects.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 2/5
Overall Quality Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi
Galatians 5:13 - You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Captives was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review as a part of the Team Novel Teen blog tour. Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction.
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Review 15 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 27, 2013
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Rosie
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This Christian Dystopian novel is one you won't want to miss!
Captives introduces us to a whole new world in 2088. The Safe Lands practically pop out of the page and take you in. Jill did such a wonderful job making it believable and realistic with amazing detail. Speaking of The Safe Lands, as "safe" as it sounds, it really isn't. The place is actually rather quite terrifying the more you learn about it. I don't blame the Elders who said no to The Safe Lands.
The primary characters we focus on in the novel are Mason, Omar, Levi, and Shaylinn. Truthfully, I hadn't anticipated the many points of view, but it worked really well! It opened the door for me to look at what was going on through different pairs of eyes, who all had unique ways of looking at their circumstances.
Confession time. I am very partial to Levi's and Shaylinn's points of view. I found Levi likable primarily for his loyalty to his family and friends. His determination to put his own life on the line to get them back. His quoting Westley from The Princess Bride... *cough* Anyway, overall he earned his spot as one of my favorite characters. ;-)
As a result of The Safe Lands ungodly lifestyle there is many instances revolving around a character, whose name I shall not disclose. No instances are explicit, in fact, Jill handles all of it really well in a way with few details. Nonetheless, be advised.
My personal conclusion? This book is fantastic! And the ending has left me eager for the sequel!
I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thank you!
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Review 16 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Vivid New World!

Date:May 27, 2013
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Faye
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Multiple main characters paint a vivid tale.
Ms. Williamson has brought to live an entirely new world, with entire orders and codes of its own. I was whisked away to Glenrock and then Safe Lands, I loved the way that she showed in various ways the many contrasts between the two civilizations, in not only landscape, but in way of life, and moral codes.
The story was told from various viewpoints, and usually that isn't my thing, but this time I think that it truly enhanced the story showing the strange new world that they had stepped into from each person's perspective.
I think that my favorite character was Mason, because he was quick-witted, careful, and always thinking not just going along with what was going on and wisely hiding his thoughts.
I really loved the brilliance of this plot, and how it focuses on finding absolute truth in a clouded world.
Overall, this book was an adventure that swept me to a different time and place, and all from the safety of my own home! I'll be honest and tell you right now that I don't want to visit Safe Lands anytime soon! But this book was a well written adventure, and I look forward to seeing how the epic unfolds in future books. You won't want to miss it!
I received this book from the author and the publisher in return for an honest review! Thank you!
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Review 17 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Fresh, New Dystopian

Date:May 27, 2013
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Jessica Laurie
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
In the village of Glenrock, during the year 2088, life is fairly simple, almost old-fashioned. But the lives of three brothers and their family and friends are about to change. The eldest, Levi, is handsome and a natural leader who is about to be married to his one, true love, Jemma. The middle child, Mason, is practical, smart, and dreams of being a doctor, much to his father's chagrin. And the youngest, Omar, is an artistic, rebellious soul who is restless under his father's constant disapproval, which leads him to make a heart-breaking choice. When those in Glenrock are taken captive and brought to the Safe Lands--a modern, futuristic society enclosed by formidable walls and security--the brothers are torn apart, but their individual journeys just might make it possible to bring those who survived back together again.
With so many dystopian stories flooding the fiction scene, Captives by Jill Williamson stands out with its fresh take on the ancient tale of the Israelites taken captive by the Babylonians. The first part of the book rolled along steadily with character and world building taking the forefront. And what a world! It was colorful, compelling, and jumped straight off the page. The second half though is when I felt the story really pick up speed as the action grew more intense. I was flipping pages to see what would happen next until I suddenly realized I was at the end.
Captives explores delicate subject matter through the characters facing tough situations and makes one contemplate seriously about the future of our society. Even though the topics are serious, there are still moments in the book that make me smile, especially the Princess Bride quotes interspersed throughout. Which leads me to end this review with a quote--just for fun--from the Princess Bride that I feel will compliment Captives very nicely (though the giant and monsters bit depends on your point of view ;) ).
"The Grandson: A book?...Has it got any sports in it?
Grandpa: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...
The Grandson: Doesn't sound too bad. I'll try to stay awake.
Grandpa: Oh, well, thank you very much, very nice of you.
Your vote of confidence is overwhelming."
Genre: Dystopian/YA
Ages: 15 and up
Pages: 400
Publication Date: 2013
*I would like to thank the author and publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 18 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Engaging YA Book!

Date:May 21, 2013
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aschae92
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Story:
It’s the year 2088, and America has destroyed itself. Small villages remain, where many of the villagers cling to an “outdated” religion (Christianity). Then there’s the Safe Lands – a place where everyone is encouraged to “find pleasure in life!” Wild parties, elaborate clothes, and exciting scientific advances are Hallmarks of this seemingly utopic city. Except…everyone is slowly dying. A plague has infected the city, and not even the most colorful tattoos can hide the fact that the Safe Lands isn’t so safe. The people bring in outsiders from the villages who aren’t infected by the plague for purposes of creating healthy citizens to populate the city.
However, not all who enter the Safe Lands are enamored by its flamboyant lifestyle.
My Favorite Parts:
Captives is a page-turner; there’s always something to keep you reading. I was blown away by the elaborate story world Jill Williamson created. It’s obviously fiction, but there’s just enough “real” woven throughout that it’s not impossible to imagine some of the events actually happening. And that’s frightening.
One of the things I love most about the book is that Jill isn’t afraid to push her characters to their limits. I would read one part of the story and say, “Surely he wouldn’t go so far…” and then the character would go so far…and beyond. There are no easy outs for the characters. It’s gripping.
Captives is based off the first chapter of Daniel in the Bible. The messages presented in this book are really solid, but not preachy. Often, I’ll read a book and it’ll come so close to having one of those “WOW” moments, only to fall a little short. Captives doesn’t do that. It’ll spark some good discussion about God’s way vs. the world’s way. It clearly shows how, although earthly pleasures may be fun for a while, our sin can ultimately destroy us.
My Least Favorite Parts:
It’s book #1 in a trilogy, which means there’s much more to come. There I was, happily reading along, assuming I had at least one more chapter to enjoy, when all of a sudden…BOOM. It ended. It was frustrating because it was just. so. intriguing. My sister had the privilege of hearing me bemoan the ending of the book for a while. Needless to say, I can’t wait for Book 2.
The Safe Lands is full of immorality, meaning some parts of the story are a little hard to swallow. However, although some of the activities are described in detail (for example: “vaping” – their form of smoking/drug use, and surrogacy procedures involving the unaffected outsiders as a means of prolonging the race), they’re handled really well.
Recommendation:
Believe it or not, I do read YA books that aren’t targeted specifically at teen girls. This is one such example. Not only is the majority of the story told from guys’ perspectives (with a really great, authentic voice), it’s a story guys will definitely enjoy. I highly recommend this book for your summer reading list. Even though the people in the Safe Lands don’t have a moral code, there’s no profanity in the book. I do recommend this book for older teens, though, due to some of the things I previously mentioned.
Overall, it’s an engaging story that brings home some strong themes while keeping you reading late into the night (or early morning hours). This is one book you don’t want to miss!
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Review 19 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Great Dystopian

Date:May 11, 2013
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firequeen
Location:MI
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This is a great dystopian. After they all entered the Safe Lands, I was having a hard time putting the book down. I felt what was happening, imagining my own family in this situation. Shaylinn was truly brave in the face of what happened to her. This book also deals with a lot a real situations, dealing with drugs and relationships (Some might not be understood or appropriate for younger children though mature teens should be able to handle it as most are inferred and not show. I actually think that teens should read something like this to get a sense of how choices affect lives, without getting too graphic).
At first, I did not like a lot of the characters. They treated each other poorly and could be self centered. However, I liked the changes that came over them as they learned to appreciate each other. Jill did an amazing job of showing characters personalities from different perspectives (To Levi, Elder Justin was a loving if harsh father while to Omar he was a cruel father). I think it gave a great view of real life and sibling revelries.
And the Cliff Hanger!! I need to know what happens. The cliff hanger left me wanting more without disappointing me.
I would have given five stars if somethings had been explained. Like how the world had advanced and fallen apart so much by 2088. It does not seem like enough time for every value to be flipped on its head.
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Review 20 for Captives
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Fascinating

Date:May 6, 2013
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RachelleRea
Location:Little Town, South
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
What I Liked
Mason, the one who doesn't quite fit in. Omar, the one who thinks everyone hates him. Levi, the one with the secret that could cost him everything.
These three brothers tugged me into the story from the beginning. Even when the sciency stuff had my brain spinning (It's probably because of all the historical fiction I read that I was having that reaction!), I kept reading because these three guys have such a complicated relationship with one another -- and suddenly they're plopped in the middle of the biggest danger they have ever faced.
I've said it before, but Jill WIlliamson really does a slam-dunk job with voice. These guys really sound like guys (I say this with a straight face). It's fascinating watching them adjust to life in this place that is so different from the one in which they grew up. I was just as drawn in and nauseated at the Safe Lands reality as they were (except, of course, for Omar, who throws himself into everything to escape what he's done).
One of the sweetest things about the story for me was Levi's courage. Left alone in his village after everyone is abducted? The chances of him sneaking into the Safe Lands slim to none and only slightly higher than his desire to spirit everyone out of the Safe Lands again? It doesn't matter that the situation looks completely hopeless. He tries anyway. (Whether he succeeds or not I'll leave to you to find out.)
And may I congratulate Jill for making nothing easy? I was expecting a quick fix for at least one of the super-dangerous circumstances, but not once did she settle for giving her characters an easy way out. This kept me reading.
What I Didn't Like As Much
What almost made me stop reading was the horror of it all. The Safe Lands is not all it's cracked up to be, as Levi, Omar, and the others soon discover. This society glitters, but it truly is a "gilded cage," as Mason says. The Safe Lands seems to offer everything one could ever want--and often that translates into drugs and immoral living.
Jill does a great job of tactfully portraying the lifestyle, but I still wanted to wince at a few sections. I could have done without some of the descriptions of vaping (high-tech smoking), but maybe that's the point? To show how horribly wrong what seems so outwardly wonderful really is?
Why I Recommend This Book
Because of the lifestyle choices made by certain characters and the (delicately written) procedure some of the women are expected to undergo, I would not recommend this book for readers younger than 16. Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent, however, will want to put Captives on their to-read list. Not only is it Dystopian (complete with almost Doctor-Who-ish science), but it's a story chock-full of characters who have their own goals and voices.
And the ending? I won't give it away, but it just awesome. I look forward to Book Two!
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