Anna Kittrell is a wonderful author of young adult fiction that even adults will love. The Commandment is a perfect example of her excellent storytelling.
In the science-fiction fantasy world Kittrell creates, everyone is mandated to get vaccinated with SAP (Serum to Advance Progressivism). It is a formula designed to erase God from the mind. When Briar was 7 her body rejected the vaccine and she’s been on house arrest ever since.
She’s about to become a legal adult and her body continues to reject the SAP injections. She is now ordered by the Commandment, to be institutionalized at ARC – a facility where tortures are rumored to occur. A last minute opportunity to become the object of an experimental subject of a new God-dissolving serum. She decides to take the risk but fears what losing God would mean to her. But anything would be better than spending the rest of her life imprisoned at ARC.
The relationship that develops between the young man in charge of the potentially life-changing serum along with his brother, nephew and assistant, (and a dog! Yay!) make the process even more complicated. Will God finally be erased or will the Commandment rule them all?
Filled with suspense and great relational tension, this book is a fun read with a surprising ending. I highly recommend it. My mom doesn’t normally read this type of book but really enjoyed it which meant more snuggles for me. I give this book 5 bones, as I’m a dog and I don’t have thumbs.
Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.
Field of the Fatherless is a new young adult novel out by Elaine Cooper. I thought it was a disturbing but honest portrayal of what life was like at the beginning of America’s war for Independence.
Betsy Russell is a young woman struggling to cope with the reality of what life is bringing to her small village. The fear, the devastation and the heartbreaking losses create a well of resentment within her. Called on by a neighbor to help care for a dying man she agrees before she learns that the man is British. Can she care for a man who is part of an army that so ruthlessly killed people she loved?
Confronted by this man’s grave injuries she provides care, because God calls us to love our enemies. She begins to understand that the choices he had to made were not always in his control either and that war is brutal on both sides. Both the British and the American’s were capable of gross atrocities.
This book looks at the reality of life in 1775. Told from Betsy’s perspective we see the harsh realities of not only that time period but the sacrifices made for independence. The cost of duty and devotion are not minimized. This story has a strong faith line as Betsy struggles with her fear and to forgive as well as to move past the images and sounds that occur to live in the world that her father and many others died to preserve. While written for young adults, the story would be one that any adult would be impacted by. Thank you for taking us there, Elaine!
Driven is a debut novel by Shellie Neumeier. Writing to teens, she captures the drama and angst of the age group as well as the durability of friendships and faith. Robyn becomes a leader of her prayer group simply due to courage shown under fire. Courage that eventually gets tested as well as her faith when two boys vying for her affections, a vicious reporter and difficult life circumstances would threaten to throw her off course. This book however does not only deal with the human side of life, but does an incredible job of highlighting the spiritual battle that goes on behind the scenes when someone steps up to obey God, and pray. With hints of C.S.Lewis’ Screwtape Letters and Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, Ms. Neumeier captures the intensity of spiritual battle that even the most mature of Christians often overlook.
I found the book dynamic and suspenseful and the characters realistic. I would long for more Robyn’s in the world to stand in the gap and this character, while human, is a good role model in her honesty and struggle. Even as an adult, I find this teen and her story a good reminder of my own need to be praying and aware of the spiritual battle around me.
DRIVEN releases its Kindle version in time for the Holiday Season. Beginning December 1, you can join the fun by downloading it to your ereader, kindle, ipod, computer or phone.
Or you can pre-order it on paperback through Barnes and Noble (paperbacks are scheduled to print March 1, 2011).