Monday, December 16, 2013

Book Review: Captives by Jill Williamson

Summary: Captives is a post-apocalypic/dystopian novel about the Safe Lands a walled community of people who, though infected, live in relative luxury compared to the rest of the surrounding villages. When infertility and conception problems began to threaten the Safe Lands’ survival, they coerce the village of Glenrock into helping them. Each member of the village must decide what path to take, and the decisions of three brothers – Levi, Mason, and Omar – take center stage in this life and death conflict.

I enjoyed the diversity of characters and the unique challenges they each faced. Most of the characters, both from the Safe Lands and the outside were reasonably well developed – some better than others, but as this is the first book in the trilogy, I allow for the possibility that some will just take a little longer. I liked that, for the most part, the plot didn’t develop in so linear a way that I always knew what was coming. Characters and situations were introduced that kept me interested and intrigued to see how things developed. I especially think the friendship between Mason and Ciddah was well-developed, complex, and served to illustrate important differences and similarities between the Safe Landers and the outsiders. I also appreciated how the various spirituality (or lack thereof) played into the characters in reasonably believable ways.

The beginning of the book was a little difficult to wrap my mind around. I know the author was trying to let the situation develop in a way that kept the reader reading, but at times I would have appreciated a more straightforward explanation of what was going on so that the story could move on to developing more important aspects. This pretty much cleared up through after the first third or so.

There were some parts of the story that were not quite plot holes, but required some suspension of disbelief. Some very difficult situations were resolved in remarkably simple ways, and there were a couple points of character development that I didn’t feel made sense or weren’t explained well enough.

In conclusion, Captives is good book and, while not without a handful of flaws, is compelling enough to overlook any shortcomings. The plot and characters are good and will bring me back for book two in the series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program in exchange for my honest review.


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