Saturday, June 1, 2013


Title: Captives Author: Jill Williamson Publisher: Zonderkidz Copyright Date: 2013
I was first exposed to Jill Williamson on the Go Teen Writers website. Captives is the first novel of hers I’ve read, and I’m not too sure what this review will turn out to be, given that I’m not too sure of my opinion of the book itself. 

Captives is loosely based on the Babylonians’ capture of Daniel and his friends (Daniel chapter 1). But it’s not set way back in time—rather, far ahead. It’s May 2088 when the novel begins. Instead of making everything all “high-tech” as we might suppose it would be in seventy-five years, Mrs. Williamson took the villages of the Colorado areas and made them quite primitive in comparison to today. While they know much of the technological genius of the “Old” age—so strange to hear our 2013 labeled as “old”—they don’t know how to put it into practice. At least in Glenrock, Jack’s Peak, and the surrounding areas. But in the Safe Lands—that horrible place infected with the Thin Plague—they know all that technology and more. And when a young man who feels unloved betrays his village into the hands of the cruel Safe Lands, the rest of his surviving family and friends must work to both find a way out and protect themselves from the temptations of this new world. 

I still don’t quite know what to think of Mrs. Williamson’s character development. Of the four main voices in the book—Levi, Mason, Omar, and Shaylinn—Shaylinn’s was the one I enjoyed the most. Of course, she is a girl and thus more easily related to. And she’s not that perfectly thin and pretty heroine, either. She struggles with her weight and her self-image just like most other girls in the world do. For that, I applaud Mrs. Williamson, even if Levi and Mason’s voices were a little too alike for my enjoyment.

The plot is quite original in spite of its being based on Daniel 1, but it’s weird, too. The Safe Lands’ Thin Plague prevents pregnancies from coming to term, so the city has to import uninfected “outsiders” and reproduce through embryonic transfer, whether the new citizens are willing or not. Yes, it’s a little creepy. And Levi and Mason won’t stand to let the women of their village go through that, so they have to find a way to escape in spite of the security of the city.

This is Christian young adult fiction, and even though it’s much better at portraying Christianity than some other books I’ve read, it’s by no means the best. Merlin’s Blade by Robert Treskillard was wonderful in that way (whatever it lacked elsewhere), and Captives doesn’t quite compare. Still, it’s mostly a morally high book, though Omar seeks all the sinful pleasures the Safe Lands can afford. (He is a half-villain throughout the book though.) 

Captives took a while to become engaging, and once it did was still not quite “connecting” to me. If you like dystopian novels, this one might work for you. If not, I’d advise you to borrow before buying.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Sounds interesting... I do REALLY enjoy dystopian though:) Hehe, I guess I'm not like most girls;) I'm a huge tomboy.


    1. Good! You'll probably like this one then. I know, I was a tomboy at that age too :)


Go 'head, leave a comment! I gladly respond to every one :)