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Captives (Safe Lands Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    Compelling, but mature Make no mistake, Captives is an extremel

    Compelling, but mature

    Make no mistake, Captives is an extremely engaging book. In fact, so much so that I read it in two days flat, despite it being very long, around 800 pages.

    It is a fast paced story too, there's never a dull moment, and never a shortage of conflict for the characters. They themselves are well-drawn and definitely likeable, even relatable. Each one is flawed in their own way, which somehow makes them even more loveable. My only problem was that I felt four main characters were too many, since I didn't get enough page-time with each.

    The storyworld was also well-planned, if nothing particularily original. It took me a long time to oreintate myself in in it, however, because it was so complex and so different from the one we live in. When I did get to know it though, I could picture it clearly.

    Now for my note of warning.

    The content matter of the book is very mature. This is a society where almost everyone is on drugs and living a wild life, while forcing some others to bear all the nation's children. Though the author skips over the more 'sticky' scenes we still know these exist and that alone was enought to make me, as a teen, uncomfortable. For this reason, I would only recommend this book to those over 14, and even then with a word of caution. If you are alright with all this, do go on and read the book, if not, maybe it is not for you.

    On all counts, this is an incredibly powerful book. It made me laugh, it kept me involved and it has left me thinking. Definitely worth trying.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2013

    In the village of Glenrock, during the year 2088, life is fairl

    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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2014

    Jill Williamson captures my interest on the very first page and

    Jill Williamson captures my interest on the very first page and I just have to keep reading.
    I enjoy the basis in science in this book as well as Replication. I enjoyed her comparison of
    "old" and "new," before and after, Safe Lands and Glenrock. The action is nonstop. Medical
    crises, real threats and danger, ultra-modern technology, and imperfect characters who grow
    and change and come to learn what they really value, work together to create a real page-
    turner. Caution to the reader: Captives is book 1 of a trilogy - be prepared to read all three!

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  • Posted March 27, 2014

    Like the title of this book you too will be held captive by this

    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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  • Posted January 30, 2014

    Captives is the first dystopian I have read and it won't be the

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Captives had a lot of action going on from the very begining and

    Captives had a lot of action going on from the very begining and the more I read this book, the better it got. I loved Mason, he was hands down the smartest of the Glenrock group. I didn’t like Omar. I mean, I got his need for love and acceptance, but it made him act a bit stupid. Levi and Jemma…. They felt almost too perfect to me.  I liked Naomi if only because she was the only of the women smart enough to go “hey, this is twisted.” I also really didn’t like swallow Mia.
    The stupidity of the people in the Safe Lands made me want to gag. What with the way they were sleeping with multipule people NO WONDER YOU’VE ALL GOT STDS. And the mothers all are dumb enough to drink while preganant. Those people were SO DUMB. You think they’d realize a lifestyle change could save them, but noooooo.

    So overall, not the best book I’ve read, but definately worth picking up. 4/5. You can buy it on amazon.

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  • Posted May 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great dystopian. After they all entered the Safe Lands

    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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  • Posted May 6, 2013

    What I Liked Mason, the one who doesn't quite fit in. Omar,

    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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  • Posted April 19, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    From the moment I started reading CAPTIVES, I was glued to the p

    From the moment I started reading CAPTIVES, I was glued to the page. I read it in a single day, staying up till midnight to finish because I just couldn't put it down. My favorite part of the book? Levi, without a doubt. He was such a wonderful character and he totally made the book for me. I want to go back and reread all the parts he's in.

    CAPTIVES, book 1 of The Safe Lands, is the story of the rural villagers of Glenrock in a conflict with the Safe Lands--a high-tech city that uses the guise of paradise to thinly veil its twisted evils. Levi and his younger brother Mason (also a favorite of mine) must work against overwhelming odds to save the remnant of their people from the captivating walls that hold them prisoner.

    Award-winning author Jill Williamson once more tells a gripping tale full of well-drawn characters in a fascinating setting, with heart-stopping action and suspense, as well as faith, romance, and humor. I am very eagerly awaiting all of her future books--they're definitely going to go on my shelf along with the quickly growing collection I already have. The more she writes, the happier I'll be.

    Despite dystopian books not being my favorite (too scary for me) and having read only a few, I still liked CAPTIVES, and believe that fans of the dystopian genre will love it. I recommend this book to readers 16 and up who enjoy a suspenseful and well-told story that keeps the pages turning.

    (I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.)

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  • Posted April 10, 2013

    In this young adult dystopian novel, award-winning author Jill W

    In this young adult dystopian novel, award-winning author Jill Williamson tells the story of how one brother's choice dramatically affects the lives of those around him.

    In Captives (Safe Lands, The), three brothers live in a rural village outside the walls of the Safe Lands. The youngest, Omar, struggles to fit in, making him susceptible to the lies of a better life behind the walls. Mason dreams of becoming a doctor and helping others, while the eldest , Levi, eventually will follow in his father's footsteps as the elder.

    Omar sends Levi on a wild goose chase while he helps the Safe Land enforcers take over the village. Promised wealth and power, Omar doesn't realize his choice will result in deaths and captivity. When Levi returns, he finds his fiancée, Mason, and others taken captives. Those who resisted, like their father, are dead. Levi vows to enter the Safe Lands and rescue them. Will he be able to rescue his beloved before it is too late?

    The walled cities are built to protect people, but not necessarily families. With its citizens infected by a deadly disease, the government tries to increase the population by capturing uninfected males as donors and females as surrogates. When the villagers are captured, can they maintain their faith in the midst of their captivity? What will happen as they live among the pleasures and perceived freedoms of the Safe Lands?

    Williamson is a master storyteller, setting the stage with fascinating storyline, excellent character and plot development, and a believable future world. Captives is based on Daniel 1, the Babylonian captivity, but set years in the future, after the world's population was decimated by a pandemic.

    Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I am allowed to keep the ARC but not required to post a positive review. I liked it so much that I ordered a final copy to give to a friend!

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