Captives (Safe Lands Series #1)

Captives (Safe Lands Series #1)

by Jill Williamson


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, July 23


One choice could destroy them all.

When 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 fiancée, 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 safe.

Omar 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 Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back.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 dreams.

Meanwhile, 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’ façade before it’s too late?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310724223
Publisher: Blink
Publication date: 04/02/2013
Series: Safe Lands Series , #1
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 1,193,464
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Jill Williamson is a novelist, dreamer, and believer. Growing up in Alaska led to love books, and in 2010 her first novel, By Darkness Hid, won the Christy Award. She loves working with teenagers and gives writing workshops at libraries, schools, camps, and churches. Jill lives in Oregon with her husband and two children. Visit Jill online at

Read an Excerpt


The Safe Lands

By Jill Williamson


Copyright © 2012Jill Williamson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-72423-0



June 2088

Father invaded Mason's bedroom like a hornet. He yanked the psychology textbook from Mason's hands and tossed it on the floor. "You hear me calling for Omar, boy? Stop wasting time, and go find your brother. And don't take all day doing it."

"Yes, sir." Avoiding eye contact, Mason jumped off his bed and darted into the dark hallway, heading for the front of the house. He had indeed heard his father bellowing Omar's name. But since it was Omar's name and not his own, Mason had made the logical assumption that the solicitation was not for him. But such logic had never been Father's companion.

Father's footsteps clomped behind him, and Mason walked faster, not wanting to become the focus of Father's anger. Three more steps to the door ...

"Now that Levi's getting married, it's your turn."

That announcement stopped Mason completely. He turned around in the living room, glanced at his mother, who stood at the kitchen table, drying jars for canning, then looked at his father. "Me marry? Now? I'm only seventeen."

"Why wait?"

"Because there's no one I feel particularly drawn to in Glenrock or Jack's Peak."

"No matter," Father said. "I've made arrangements with Mia's mother."

Mason felt as if his father had slammed him into a brick wall. He glanced at his mother, but she turned her head back to the jars before he could make eye contact. "Father, there's no sense in my marrying Mia. I'd be more compatible with any other girl, in fact. We should exhaust all options before making such a rash pairing."

"Everyone else is too young."

"I can wait."

"Mia needs a husband. Her mother needs a son." Father shrugged. "No reason to wait."

"But she and I would be terrible together. We're not even friends."

"Focus on her pretty face." Father slapped Mason on the back and stepped toward the front door. "Now stop arguing, and go find your brother. I may have managed to marry him off as well, but it's no good if I can't find him. And I don't want to keep Elsu waiting. Need to leave now if I want to get to Jack's Peak in time."

Mason stared at the open door, listening to Father's footsteps pound across the porch, down the steps, and crunch across the rocky path that led to the village square. His cheeks burned with fury over the nonsense of Mia becoming his wife. "I don't want to marry Mia. I won't."

"Mason," his mother said, "you're smart enough to find a way to make this work."

"But she despises me. And from what I gather from the books Levi brought me, and from my observations here in Glenrock, marriage is difficult enough when the pair have strong affections for one another. I don't want a future of misery for myself or for Mia."

"It's been two years since Mia's mother lost her husband. This marriage will mend the hole in their family. They'll have a man in their home again."

He stared at her. "But Mother, I will never love Mia." He couldn't even force himself to like her.

"Since when has love ever been important to your father? He values strength. Show your strength by making this work." Mother went back to drying the jars. "You'd best go find your brother before your father catches you dawdling."

Mason pushed out the front door into the afternoon heat and crossed the porch in three steps. He jumped off the side and kept moving, the wild grass and flowers tickling his bare feet. Grazer's claws scraped over the plank porch as the dog chased after him and was soon bounding alongside.

Mason leaned over to scratch behind Grazer's ears. "Where's Omar, huh, boy? Go fetch Omar."

The dog panted and squinted his eyes, in no apparent hurry to lend assistance. Mason swallowed the tightness in his throat.

Mia? Really?

* * *

Glenrock consisted of a dozen log homes scattered in a forest of pine around the village square's clearing. Their house faced the entrance road that ended at a roundabout in front of the square and meeting hall. On the distant road, Father was a mere puff of dust as he headed up the mountain trail to meet Elsu.

Mason strode toward the hall, his gaze sweeping over the village, searching for the Old Colorado State Patrol hat his little brother, Omar, always wore. The sun lit the square and illuminated billions of dust motes. This was the time of day when everyone tried to remain indoors to keep cool, and Mason saw no one else besides his older brother Levi and Levi's friend Jordan.

Both were sitting on their ATVs, which were parked in front of an elevated plank stage. Levi and Jemma's engagement celebration would happen tonight on this stage, and members of the village would sit on the long, split log benches that surrounded the area and cheer the future union. All hail perfect Levi and his perfect fiancée, the future elders of Glenrock.

Mason had no desire for perfection. But ... Mia?

He walked toward the stone fire pit at the center of the square and soon was close enough that he could hear Levi and Jordan mumbling. Mason wasn't surprised they didn't acknowledge him. Typical behavior for the heir to the patriarchy of Glenrock and his loyal adherent.

With a long breath, Mason entered the meeting hall, which was easily ten degrees cooler than outside. Jemma, Jordan's sister and Levi's intended, was decorating tables with wildflowers. Some of the younger boys were playing a scavenged Old video game on the television in the far corner. No sign of Omar.

"Hi, Mason." Jemma looked up from the flowers and smiled. "How are you today?"

"Fine. Looking for Omar." Unlike most when Jemma asked, "How are you?" she truly wanted to know. But if Mason had answered truthfully, Jemma would insist on more information. And Mason had no time for Jemma's compassion today. "Have you seen him?"

"Not since the harvest field this morning," she said. "I hope you find him. Levi says your father might have made him a match."

"Yes, well, my father and Levi's enthusiasm in this matter only enforces my skepticism."

"Mason." After staring at the centerpiece for a moment, Jemma pulled a mule's ear from her hand and threaded the flower into the arrangement. "You should be happy for Omar. Getting married would be wonderful for him."

"I'm not unhappy. I simply see no point in celebrating that which has not yet taken place."

Jemma practically sang her reply. " 'You can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.' "

Mason frowned, pondering her words. "That's not yours, is it?"

"Anne of Green Gables, one of my favorite Old books. And Anne is right. So go find Omar so you can celebrate."

Mason left without offering a reply and made his way back across the square to the stage. He suspected his brother would have many baffling encounters with his new bride. How women could find joy in the marriage of complete strangers, Mason would never understand.

The ATVs now sat empty. Levi and Jordan stood on opposite sides of the stage, throwing a little ball to one another so fast it passed through the air as a blur of red.

"Find Omar yet?" Levi asked, walking toward Mason and pitching the ball at Jordan.

Mason stopped in front of Levi. "I thought I'd check the square again, but the only ones out here are you two not helping me."

Jordan flung the ball, and it bounced off the side of Levi's head.

"Ow, you maggot!" Levi chased after the ball and tossed it back at Jordan, who was laughing so hard he barely managed to catch it before it hit the ground.

"Forget Omar. Let's take Mason i

Excerpted from Captives by Jill Williamson. Copyright © 2012 by Jill Williamson. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Captives 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“Captives” by Jill Williamson is one of those hard to find books that I couldn’t put down. From the prologue I was drawn in, and the tug to keep reading never stopped. (I finished the book in a day, which for a girl who likes the draw out the enjoyment of reading for a week, rather than gobble it all up, is pretty fast) The book is incredibly fast paced, jumping between the POV of four various characters. While it certainly kept things interesting, I didn’t become as attached to the characters as I have in previous books with fewer characters. Mind you this isn’t because of lack of character development, Jill is fantastic with developing faulted, lovable, unique characters. We simply don’t have to opportunity to spend as much time with the characters. On the flip side we get to skip over boring parts and see what’s going on with a variety of characters. This is simply an observation, as there’s really no way to resolve the issue, and wouldn’t want Jill to have written it any other way. Jill does touch on some more mature topics now and then, however nothing is explicit and all instances only further the plot and are tastefully handled. I would not recommend the book to younger readers though. I’m fairly conservative in my reading choices, however even at 13-14 I would have found the vaporizing (aka smoking) club life and various lifestyles squirm worthy. As I said, everything is to further the plot and/or development of various characters and excluding them would have made the “gilded cage” much less cage-like and shocking. One of my only gripes is the book does end on a cliffhanger. (As far as cliffhangers go I’d rate it a medium) Which for a series is almost a requirement, but I prefer an ending that’s a little more wrapped up with a few loose ends and minor cliffhangers. This is more personal preference, and not a big deal, just be forewarned you’ll be searching Jill’s website for the release date of “Captives” sequel. :) If you enjoy Sci-Fi, Dystopian, or anything in between you’ll certainly enjoy “Captives”. Jill has weaved a unique and drawing story that lucky for us, spans more than one book. Now get out there and dive headlong into the story world and character's in Captives. Enjoy!
Christian_Miles More than 1 year ago
Captives is the story of a dystopian world where all anyone is concerned about is finding pleasure in life. The Safe Lands is a city where the population has walled themselves off from the outside world, but they are slowly dying off because of the Thin Plague. If they want to continue having a thriving population, they must bring in uninfected outsiders. And that's where we get our story. I love Jill Williamson's books, and this one was no exception. It was intriguing and slightly unsettling, and had me hooked from the first page. Captives is a phenomenal addition to the world of dystopian literature. I loved the futuristic lingo of the Safe Landers, and the deep characterization of Levi, Omar, and all the rest. Readers of Jill's books will find in this one everything they've come to love about her other stories. I can't wait to read book two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
theskett More than 1 year ago
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!
BookishJ More than 1 year ago
A riveting read! Highly recommend this to YA readers. I received this for free and have written my honest opinion about it.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
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.
esosweet More than 1 year ago
Captives is set in the dystopian future where the water became contaminated with the "thin plague". The only known safe water supply is in the western American mountains (probably the Rockies, but that was never specified). A city was built around this water supply known as the Safe Lands. The residents of the Safe Lands were safe from the plague, that is until they began leading lives of debauchery. The plague had become bloodborn by that time and it began to spread among the cities residents.  When the Safe Lands residents refused to change their way of living, several different groups of residents decided to leave the city and build villages of their own. One of these villages is Glenrock, found by Elias. Elias had three sons and the oldest, Justin, had three sons - Levi, Mason and Omar. Neither Mason nor Omar fit well into the village that focuses on hunting. Mason is more interested in medicine (a woman's task) and Omar is more interested in his art. This discontent leads to major trouble for everyone.  The book is a wonderful read. It is fast paced and exciting. The characters are believable. They have true strengths and true weaknesses that make different parts of their lives easier and harder. There development as individuals is handled well as they all adapt and change throughout the story. However, there were a lot of different characters, each with their own story line that tied into the bigger plot. The perspective of the story was constantly changing, but you never had the feeling that something was happening that you didn't know about.  While the Safe Lands is a world all its own (think the Capital in The Hunger Games) it is explained well and I never had questions about what was going on or why citizens were taking weird actions. There was lots of interesting ideas about what a future world might look like that were easily based in current times. This included some of the jargon of the city, though there were a few times I was left scratching my head until something was given a definition.  I received a copy of the book Captives by Jill Williamson from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is truly how I felt about this book. I really think that you will enjoy it too!
YAWriter More than 1 year ago
Captives was a captivating read, no pun intended. It's written from multiple point of views, which isn't easy to do, and do with skill. Both of which Jill does in this novel. The story line is excellent, and has a very nice ending. Each character is unique, with their own skills, dreams, and lives. The conflicts are spread out perfectly and Jill uses incredible detail, without using too much. All in all, Captives is something worth reading.
Laura_Pol More than 1 year ago
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!
PattiShene More than 1 year ago
This book hooked me from the beginning and delivered an action-packed adventure throughout. Jill Williamson has crafted a story that would appeal to older teens with its dystopian setting and dynamic characters. Main character Omar falls prey to the promise of power offered by the Safe Lands enforcers out of the jealousy he feels toward his brothers. After all, it’s not really betrayal since he believes his people will live a better life inside the Safe Lands, where society is far advanced from his own village of Glenrock. Levi, Omar’s brother, who returns to Glenrock after a trip arranged by Omar, discover many of his relatives and friends dead and everyone else kidnapped. Shocked that his brother would betray the village, he must gain access to the Safe Lands to rescue the captives, including his fiancé, from a society that is only deceptively idyllic. A third brother, Mason, is enlisted to help the Safe Landers overcome a plague that threatens to annihilate their citizens. Women are to serve as healthy surrogates to create offspring not affected by the plague. Some of the captives are deceived by the pursuit of pleasure and worship of beauty propagated by futuristic technology. Others battle against the permissiveness to maintain moral and spiritual values. The story is never preachy, but carries the strong message that the pursuit of pleasure is not the best path to happiness and fulfillment in life. Consequences for poor choices are demonstrated throughout the story. Miss Williamson hurls her characters into a futuristic world that becomes believable through her vivid imagery. The plot navigates them through a maze of moral decisions with potentially dangerous consequences. I thought the book ended rather abruptly, but then learned there are two sequels in the works. I can’t wait to see where Miss Williamson takes her characters in those next two novels. The book contains no graphic scenes, but does deal with mature subject matter, such as drug addiction, sexual freedom, seductive behavior, and artificial insemination. I would recommend it for mature teens of upper level high school age. A copy of this book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The premise was interesting. However, the execution was overly-preachy. You can drive a point home subtly, or with a sledge-hammer, and this book uses the sledge-hammer to preach.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Captives The Safe Lands 1 By Jill Williamson Levi is the favored son of Justin of Elias. He is to marry for love. He is a hunter. He can go on scavenging trips to Denver City. And he has earned the respect of his father, something that his younger brothers cannot do no matter how hard they try. Mason has decided that trying to earn his father's respect and trust is an impossible tasks though he tries his best to please him. But Omar is determined to win it no matter what the cost, but does he know how much he is going to pay? The Safe Lands were designed to protect the people from a plague, but what was to be a safety has turned into an even greater danger. The city is the plague and there is no way to stop it or to save the city without drastic measures. And Omar and the people of Glenrock may be the Safe Lands last hope. Omar in an act of betrayal destroys Glenrock and rips Jemma and Levi apart just days before their marriage. Can Levi find a way to get within the city and free those who have been taken against their will? The ease of life in the Safe Lands is a powerful draw, but is the loss of their freedom and the chance of becoming infected a reasonable trade? But the Safe Lands is home to people whose wild ways may have lead to the plague's spread through what was suppose to be a fortress of safety from the plague. Mason has been put in a position within the Safe Lands where he is able to study the problem of the plague up close. Can he use the skills he developed in Glenrock and stop the plague? Can he bring hope where there is none or will it merely be false hope? As Mason struggles to cure the plague and to save the people of Glenrock from forced surrogacy, Levi is working on a plan of escape. Meanwhile Omar is falling into all that the Safe Lands has to offer in an attempt to hide from his guilt over what went wrong with his grand plan. If you liked the Hunger Games or The Sky Chasers series but wanted books that offered something more you will love Captives. Captives has a belief in something more than self and learning to accept the person God made you to be. Captives will tug at your heart as you experience the unhappiness that fills the Safe Lands. The only problem I have is now I have to wait until book 2 is published! This is definitely for the older YA reader (16+). I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review and as a part of this May TNT Blog Tour.
Stephanie_Morrill More than 1 year ago
If your'e looking for a book that will take you to another time and place, Captives is a great choice. I loved not just the creative technology in the Safe Lands, but also how they had a whole different way of speaking and different philosophies about life. My favorite part of the reading experience was getting to know the three brothers, Mason, Levi, and Omar. I loved their unique voices and struggles, particularly Mason's. I'm so eager for the second book in this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
TheAddLibrarian More than 1 year ago
So…I’m not really sure what to say about Captives by Jill Williamson. I could say that Inspirational fiction finally has contender on the dystopoian fiction scene, but it’s probably not dismal enough for you if you’re a die-hard dystopian fan. (Unlike myself-sick of it already.) Or I could say that Captives is Teen Inspy fiction at it’s best. Williamson mimics the most popular themes in current teen dystopian fiction, skillfully incorporates biblical and social themes into her own unique story, and simultaneously raises the bar for everyone else. Of course, if you’ve read any of Jill’s other books, you probably expected no less. Personally, I think Captives is my favorite Jill Williamson book yet! It was awesome. But then, I kind of expected it to be awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book rocks. Seriously, I loved it.  I'm not sure what else to say!  The future lifestyle, the beliefs of Safe Lands nationals and of outsiders, the technology, the customs... it was all so believable, so realistic, so awesome.  I'm inclined to agree with other reviewers who said it's a little scary.  If a plague like the Great Pandemic were to hit in real life, this is a future I could see forming in my lifetime!  (Granted, I'd be as old as the grandfather Papa Eli by the time it reached the point where this book opens.)  I honestly couldn't put Captives down. The characters were great.  I understood and connect with Omar, even though he's the one who betrayed his village.  I had trouble clicking with Levi and Mason, but once I did I came to respect Levi.  Mason is my absolute favorite character.  I love him, his thought process, his personality - man, he was great.  As for the supporting characters, I couldn't stand Father, but you're not really supposed to like him.  Papa Eli was a wonderful grandfather and leader.  Shaylinn, a young teenage girl from Mason's village, was sooo sweet and my favorite girl from the village.  Ciddah, a Safe Lands national, was amazing.  I can't wait to see more of her.  The rebels that Levi connected with were not cliche at all - everyone in the book was their own person.  Red and Belbeline (red-headed women who like men and clubs and have... unique style) were a little too similar in my opinion, but most of the time they're still pretty easy to distinguish. A good dystopian has to have some new technology and culture.  ColorCasts, ChatterBoxes, SimArt, PVs - I loved it.  Totally believable and really, really cool.  As for the culture, I love how the Safe Lands has its own words - femme for girl, glossy as 'cool' or 'in' sort of thing, mimic for fan (as in I'm a fan of Jill Williamson), etc.  The television shows, medical information, clubs, and architecture all added to the creative and plausible future world. This book does have some mature themes, so it's not for kids.  However, for Jill's target audience of older teens, it's perfect.  Just perfect.  I can't find anything wrong with this book and recommend it to everyone 15 and older.  Five stars! I received this book for free from the author in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Writingsof_Rosie More than 1 year ago
This Christian Dystopian novel is one you won't want to miss! Captives introduces us to a whole new world in 2088. The Safe Lands practically pop out of the page and take you in. Jill did such a wonderful job making it believable and realistic with amazing detail. Speaking of The Safe Lands, as "safe" as it sounds, it really isn't. The place is actually rather quite terrifying the more you learn about it. I don't blame the Elders who said no to The Safe Lands. The primary characters we focus on in the novel are Mason, Omar, Levi, and Shaylinn. Truthfully, I hadn't anticipated the many points of view, but it worked really well! It opened the door for me to look at what was going on through different pairs of eyes, who all had unique ways of looking at their circumstances. Confession time. I am very partial to Levi's and Shaylinn's points of view. I found Levi likable primarily for his loyalty to his family and friends. His determination to put his own life on the line to get them back. His quoting Westley from The Princess Bride... *cough* Anyway, overall he earned his spot as one of my favorite characters. ;-) As a result of The Safe Lands ungodly lifestyle there is many instances revolving around a character, whose name I shall not disclose. No instances are explicit, in fact, Jill handles all of it really well in a way with few details. Nonetheless, be advised. My personal conclusion? This book is fantastic! And the ending has left me eager for the sequel! I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thank you!
Faye_luvs_books More than 1 year ago
Multiple main characters paint a vivid tale. Ms. Williamson has brought to live an entirely new world, with entire orders and codes of its own. I was whisked away to Glenrock and then Safe Lands, I loved the way that she showed in various ways the many contrasts between the two civilizations, in not only landscape, but in way of life, and moral codes. The story was told from various viewpoints, and usually that isn't my thing, but this time I think that it truly enhanced the story showing the strange new world that they had stepped into from each person's perspective. I think that my favorite character was Mason, because he was quick-witted, careful, and always thinking not just going along with what was going on and wisely hiding his thoughts. I really loved the brilliance of this plot, and how it focuses on finding absolute truth in a clouded world. Overall, this book was an adventure that swept me to a different time and place, and all from the safety of my own home! I'll be honest and tell you right now that I don't want to visit Safe Lands anytime soon! But this book was a well written adventure, and I look forward to seeing how the epic unfolds in future books. You won't want to miss it! I received this book from the author and the publisher in return for an honest review! Thank you!
JessicaLaurie More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Captives is an amazing start to the Safe Lands trilogy and an intriguing dystopian novel! Jill Williamson, the talented author of this novel, has crafted another compelling and creative story. Captives follows the story of villagers from Glenrock who are taken captive inside an enclosed city known as the Safe Lands. Many of them want to leave and return to their village, but the people in the Safe Lands depends on these outsiders for survival. I especially loved the distinct voices and personalities of each character. And I loved the constant suspense as the plot moved on. I couldn't put the book down! However, I highly recommend this book to OLDER teens because of some of the content, which other reviewers have also mentioned. Older young adult readers, especially those who enjoy reading about dystopian, futuristic societies, will thoroughly enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Captives by Jill Williamson Book Review by Sarah Faulkner If I were going to compare this novel to another one, I guess I would choose Wither by Lauran DeStefano.   And I haven’t read Bumped, but from what I’ve heard it has similar premises too.  Aside from those two books, the idea behind this novel was basically unexplored. Then Safe Lands are not so safe anymore.  The Thin Plague has thrived on the wild lifestyles of the Safe Land’s inhabitants.  Pregnancy for their disease ridden citizen’s is no longer possible.   The bodies of the infected just aren’t capable of bearing children.  They need fresh meat.  They need Outlanders. Enter three brothers, Levi, Omar, and Mason.  Levi has everything; the girl, the sharp-shooting abilities, the popularity, and, most importantly, the love of their father. And although Mason could be better on the hunt, at least he has a fiancé and position as the tribe doctor.  Omar, on the other hand, has nothing, and as far as their father is concerned, is worth nothing.  Perhaps that is why the comfortable, pleasure filled life of the Safe Landers is so appealing to him; appealing enough for him to sell his tribe as healthy surrogates in exchange for a high position among the Safe Landers. I loved how much thought was put into this book.  It felt like the author had spent a lot of time dwelling on the story world and it really showed through.  Every single setting was bright and alive.  There was never a time when I thought an aspect of society wasn’t well thought out, explored, and presented.  This is an important aspect with any book, but especially a dystopian because its chief purpose is to illustrate a society that is different than ours but also has the potential to be very similar if we’re not careful.  This is where I seen many midlist dystopian falling short.  Their worlds and societies are not fully developed.  I’m really glad that wasn’t the case here. However, with a well developed backdrop comes a trap that I see much historical, fantasy, and science fiction writers fall into.  The trap is to go a little too far into society; show a little too much of what you, as the author, know to the reader.  Yes, the details should be there, but it should be the stage and backdrop the story is played out on, not an important part of the story itself. And that brings us to the story.  As a whole, I liked the story Jill Williamson had to tell.  I really did.  But the way she told it left—in my opinion—something to be desired.  Captives switches between four point of view characters, the three brothers plus one of the tribe’s young girls selected to be a surrogate mother for the Safe Lands.  Maybe this would have been alright if the characters had taken turns narrating in some kind of order, Levi, Mason, Omar, Shaylinn, then back to Levi, but that wasn’t the case.  With each new chapter, you were never sure who would take center stage.  And with that many people vying for your attention, it was hard to get deeply attached to any one of them. Another thing that demanded a lot of attention was all the issues dealt with in Captives.  I think the main one was “don’t find your fulfillment with the temporary pleasures you might be offered,” but coming in as a close second was ideas of betrayal and forgiveness.  Also, the ideas of being content with yourself as you are, life after death, and the ideas of fate and karma were bandied about a little bit, though not very deeply. On the whole, I felt there were both pros and cons in this book.  It had an over-all good story.  The characters were fresh and well developed, the world was well realized, the message was good and clean.  However, there was, for me, just a little too much going on in this novel.  If Jill Williamson could have narrowed the scope of the novel a little bit, elevated one of her characters to more of a center stage position, and focused more completely on one underlying issue this book could have gone from and over-all good story to a great one.  I’ll be reading her next book in the Safe Lands series, Outcasts, which comes out in November.  I hope to see a few of the problems I’ve mentioned here rectified so this series can make the jump from good to great, as I know the author is capable of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Story: It’s the year 2088, and America has destroyed itself. Small villages remain, where many of the villagers cling to an “outdated” religion (Christianity). Then there’s the Safe Lands – a place where everyone is encouraged to “find pleasure in life!” Wild parties, elaborate clothes, and exciting scientific advances are Hallmarks of this seemingly utopic city. Except…everyone is slowly dying. A plague has infected the city, and not even the most colorful tattoos can hide the fact that the Safe Lands isn’t so safe. The people bring in outsiders from the villages who aren’t infected by the plague for purposes of creating healthy citizens to populate the city. However, not all who enter the Safe Lands are enamored by its flamboyant lifestyle. My Favorite Parts: Captives is a page-turner; there’s always something to keep you reading. I was blown away by the elaborate story world Jill Williamson created. It’s obviously fiction, but there’s just enough “real”  woven throughout that it’s not impossible to imagine some of the events actually happening. And that’s frightening. One of the things I love most about the book is that Jill isn’t afraid to push her characters to their limits. I would read one part of the story and say, “Surely he wouldn’t go so far…” and then the character would go so far…and beyond. There are no easy outs for the characters. It’s gripping. Captives is based off the first chapter of Daniel in the Bible. The messages presented in this book are really solid, but not preachy. Often, I’ll read a book and it’ll come so close to having one of those “WOW” moments, only to fall a little short. Captives doesn’t do that. It’ll spark some good discussion about God’s way vs. the world’s way. It clearly shows how, although earthly pleasures may be fun for a while, our sin can ultimately destroy us. My Least Favorite Parts: It’s book #1 in a trilogy, which means there’s much more to come. There I was, happily reading along, assuming I hadat least one more chapter to enjoy, when all of a sudden…BOOM. It ended. It was frustrating because it was just. so. intriguing. My sister had the privilege of hearing me bemoan the ending of the book for a while. Needless to say, I can’t wait for Book 2. The Safe Lands is full of immorality, meaning some parts of the story are a little hard to swallow. However, although some of the activities are described in detail (for example: “vaping” – their form of smoking/drug use, and surrogacy procedures involving the unaffected outsiders as a means of prolonging the race), they’re handled really well. Recommendation: Believe it or not, I do read YA books that aren’t targeted specifically at teen girls. This is one such example. Not only is the majority of the story told from guys’ perspectives (with a really great, authentic voice), it’s a story guys will definitely enjoy. I highly recommend this book for your summer reading list. Even though the people in the Safe Lands don’t have a moral code, there’s no profanity in the book. I do recommend this book for older teens, though, due to some of the things I previously mentioned. Overall, it’s an engaging story that brings home some strong themes while keeping you reading late into the night (or early morning hours). This is one book you don’t want to miss!
Bookishqueen More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jill Williamson is masterful at creating new worlds, and this book was no different. It was almost scary how possible the dystopian world was. This might have been its greatest downfall. I loved the variety of characters in the story. They were very real. There were characters that conformed to the wrong doings of the city. There were also characters that stood for the right things. I felt like there was an overall good balance of right vs. wrong. I especially loved the distinctive dialogue. Each character owned their dialogue and I appreciated that very much. In the beginning, I had a hard time keeping track of characters, but after a few chapters that was no longer a problem. Now, the only problem I have is that I have to wait until the next book in this series comes out to find out what happens to Mason (my favorite : )