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This was an awkward book to read And I didn t even finish it The whole plot was waaaaaay too sexual Here s some of what bugged me, noted, that I stopped at page 103 Killing detailed , Death detailed , Shooting detailed , Blood detailed and a dog is killed semi, which was way too detailed for a dog lover like me Also maggot three times , dumb once , sissy many , shut up once , buck up twice , and son of a cockroach s vomit once is all said Mentions of drugs and liberation And then all the sexual hints, mentions and awkwardness The Safe Lands need people who don t have the plague to donate their.uh..baby making parts, eggs are mentioned normally forcing them to so that they can get the girls pregnant forced pregnancies , a major one being them making a 14 year old girl have no choice, and her having to be pregnant and then there s surrogacy team , hormones , embryo transfer and telling those who are forced to donate not to pair up There s also notices of women s figures So, yeah, I won t be finishing this book. This one was tough for me to get into I made it to thirty percent before calling it quits Under age marriages and forced pregnancies were advocated heavily, and it became obvious that those things were what the plot was going to revolve around Those topics seemed too intimate for a young adult book, so I wouldn t recommend this book for teens it promotes teen pregnancy and teen marriage.There were other things that made this a tough read for me, such as tattoos, painting the skin, and made up curse words.I was not compensated for my honest review. I WANT a SimTag I ve never been a fan of tattoos and my skin is free of ink, but if I could I would seriously get a SimTag Right on the side of my neck.Of course, in the book it waslike Crazy, awesome dystopia going on in this book And to offset the insanity of this world, we also have sweet references to this Which I loved I will never doubt again swoon I loved Captives so much I blurbed it Williamson is fabulous with her world building in this one and her characters stick with you in a way that makes putting the story aside a near impossibility Add it to your TBR stack You ll thank me. Just as good on a re read Review when first read in April 2014 CLIFFHANGER On that note, I will start off by saying this series may turn out to be my favorite dystopian yet The book really surprised me Previously, I had not read anything else by this author, though I did hear some not so stellar reviews about Replication I was not sure how much I would enjoy this book.This book has switches between four people, three of them brothers I have not read too many books with male dominate POVs And of the ones I have read, they would beenjoyable by a male audience This is not the case with The Captives I greatly enjoyed this book, even with mostly male characters.Mason was my favorite character POV All of the POVs were necessary to tell the story, but Mason s was the most interesting The characters really came alive in this story, and you care about them Even when characters have opposing opinions, you can understand where they are coming from and why they would feel that way.Shaylinn was our only female voice She was great, though there were times I was wishing I could hear from Jemma or Chidda Chidda would be a fascinating character to hear from since she grow up inside the capital, er, I mean safe lands Of course, after reading the last chapter, I get the idea there is a reason we have not heard from Chidda And yes, the safe landers and all their fashion reminded me of the Capital in the Hunger games.The Safe Land world was very vivid and colorful Very well described And I did not notice any of the punctuation or grammar issues that ARC reviewers noted. Jill Williamson has a fantastic imagination Captives is full of interesting What if s and difficult choices Williamson doesn t spare her characters from facing trauma, evil intentions, and the consequences of poor choices and the result is poignant characterization Despite the fact that there are three male POVs in this story with the males being teenagers, at that , I found myself curious about their reactions and journeys I loved seeing things through Shaylinn s eyes, and I would have likedscenes from her perspective, but I was still drawn into the story as seen by all of the POV characters.Levi, Omar, and Mason are all such different boys, with such different approaches to problems and such different interests There s a hint of the movie Brother Bear in all of this these three brothers who each have a role in their family, but who are all searching for ways to be accepted It s a long, painful road to forgiveness and opened eyes, one that doesn t come to an end at the conclusion of this book Twobooks to come in The Safe Lands series promisecharacter development and powerful plot twists.As a dystopian story, I found some of the extremes combined with recognizable elements intriguing The things that Shaylinn and the other characters learn about themselves because of the setting are thought provoking I confess, though, that I m not quite sure I can reconcile the Safe Landers need desire for obtaining children, going as far as to raise children not of their own blood at all, with their self centered ways The people value beauty and youth, with their motto being Find pleasure in life They re focused on satisfying themselves and getting the most out of life for themselves while they can I don t quite get how that sort of lifestyle leads them to think that they need to save their population What on earth for Do they really care about future generations Do they really care if their people die out, as long as they find pleasure before their own liberation I could understand wanting to find a cure for themselves for the plague that has claimed them and needing to capture uninfected outsiders to help in that process, but I have a hard time wrapping my mind around such self centered people raising up children for the sake of the group as a whole Of course, they each have to work at a task that benefits the community as a whole, which is necessary for them to survive But would most of them be aware enough to think of a future beyond each one s own Perhaps I m being too black and white As becomes obvious as the story progresses, not all of the Safe Landers are as they seem They are humans just like the outsiders, with longings and concerns beyond the dictates of society, although many of them deaden their hearts through excessive self indulgence Perhaps their society s desire to claim children for their land is a hint at each person s desire for something bigger than themselves, something new and hopeful Perhaps some quotes from C.S Lewis works might fit here wink Captives is not a feel good read I don t think any dystopian book is supposed to be , and it explores addictions, poor coping mechanisms, greed, sin But it offers hope through its portrayals of forgiveness, faith, strength of character, and conviction And it ends at a great spot offering a dose of satisfaction while still leaving plenty of unresolved plot elements to make up the next books in the series With thanks to DJC Communications and Zondervan for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion. The Story A plague initially carried in the water supply wiped out most of the population of earth However, a small community with access to clean water survived They walled themselves in, named themselves the Safe Lands, and built a society utilizing some of the most advanced technology available The goal of the citizens is to live happy, pleasurable lives Their have a nice day has morphed into have pleasure in life A handful of small communities exist outside the walled city, also relying on the same water source, but these people do not have the resources or the technology of those in the Safe Lands They rely on scavenging and hunting to survive To them, family and community relationships are of utmost importance, and they adhere to the traditions that have been passed down from their elders.Another major difference exists between the two cultures the people in the Safe Lands are all infected with a virus passed through bodily fluids Along with other symptoms, their women can no longer bear children.The outsiders, however, are healthy, monogamous, and have strong familial ties.The Guild governing the Safe Lands decide they need to bring in outsiders to repopulate their land Hence, with the help of one young disgruntled outsider, they forcibly take the entire village of Glenrock captive those they don t kill and move them into the Safe Lands One young man, engaged to be married, was away during the attack, and he determines to get his people back.Strengths What isn t a strength in this story I ll be honest I love Jill Williamson s writing Her stories engage me from the beginning, and I race through them You might say I find them to be page turners But in my experience, page turners, books I gulp down, tend to be ones I quickly forget That s not the case with Captives.First, the characters are memorable, distinct, engaging even the sell out who enabled the Safe Landers to capture the people of Glenrock From time to time I complain about multiple points of view stories, largely because I feel disconnected from all the characters Captives is a story about Levi, Omar, Mason three brothers , and Shaylinn There s even a prologue in the point of view of one of the Safe Landers, and yet I feel equally invested in each one of the characters, though I admit I was initially partial to Mason.Jill has done a remarkable job making me care for each person as they adjust to life as honored prisoners I understand their motives and the decisions each makes I cheer for them to be wise and careful and strong I want them to resist the temptations that the have pleasure in life way of living throws at them I even want them to escape the consequences of the situation in which they ve been thrust It s heart rending at times.The plot obviously is filled with conflict The overarching story question is, will the captives escape or will they choose to become a part of the Safe Lands That question, in one form or another, drives the plot.Stated in that way, it doesn t seem so different from run of the mill kidnap stories, but another significant factor in Captives is the setting Jill has created such an incredible world with advanced technology but with enough connection to our culture today, that it feels so real She s created future slang, future attitudes toward reproduction, future monetary system, future approach to employment, future entertainment, future penal system, future outlook on growing old and on death, and .Each of these, standing in stark contrast to the outsiders and their traditions, creates a spotlight on our own culture, which of course, lays the groundwork for the themes of Captive In short, this novel has all the elements of a good story, in the proper doses.Weaknesses I have one issue that s really too picky to mention and another one I m willing to ignore So that s it.OK, for those of you too curious to accept such a brush off, the too picky issue has to do with time The story takes place in 2088, but that seems too close to now for the traditions in both cultures to have built up I like the fact that it isn t in the distant future because that makes the similarities with our culture believable But I think a better time might have been another generation later maybe 2120 or somewhere around there.The other point which I willingly ignored and only thought about because I was planning this review, is something that happened too easily It would be a huge spoiler to go into detail, but there was a character made a dramatic change I thought it was believable and well motivated, but other characters seemed to accept this change with little angst or serious working through of issues that should be worked through.Recommendation Great book Really entertaining, full of material that provokes thought and, potentially, discussion Love this story For young adults a must read However, I think any reader can enjoy it, so I also highly recommend Captives for anyone who enjoys a story with a gripping conflict and engaging characters. &FREE PDF ☟ Captives ↬ One Choice Could Destroy Them AllWhen 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 Fianc E, 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 SafeOmar 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 DreamsMeanwhile, 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 Fa Ade Before It S Too Late What I LikedMason, 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 MuchWhat 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 BookBecause 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 They re going to execute him Death is life, peer Jill Williamson s world building is extraordinary in Captives, the first book in the Safe Lands Trilogy It s set on Earth in the United States even but it s not the world as we know it In the book, we have four main characters Mason, Levi, Omar, and Shaylinn Each face their own personal struggles after their village, Glenrock, is attacked and many are brought as captives to the Safe Lands As it turns out, the Safe Lands aren t really safe at all Most of the inhabitants are plagued by a deadly disease a disease Mason is determined to find a cure for Levi s main concern is setting his people free, while Shaylinn is kept on a tighter reign for the purpose the Safe Lands think she might serve them And Omar well, Omar is thinking that this new home might not be such a bad place after all.But conflict arises against all of them and they must decide which path to take Will they settle in and choose the comforts this new place has to offer Or will they choose rebellion and possibly become liberated a process that remains a mystery to both the inhabitants of Glenrock and the Safe Lands Full of creative inventions vivid descriptions and complex, likeable and not so likeable characters, this book is definitely a page turner I want to recommend it to everyone, but I think it s safe to say that this book was meant for older teens And even adults, despite its young adult classification There are some mature themes that some younger children may not understand Still, it s a wonderful read I highly recommend it Originally posted at The Scribbling SpriteJust a side note This was my first ever review, and I m glad I chose this book It remains one of my favorites and I still gush about it to people today D