Review: CAPTIVES / by Jill Williamson

Captives (The Safe Lands, 1) / Jill Williamson

Zondervan (April 2, 2013), ISBN 978-0310724223

HS Grades 8-12 Rating: 4

Captives The Safe Lands

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, 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: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

Carol R. Gehringer

WANT TO SEE MORE REVIEWS ON THIS TITLE? Check out the blog tour on May 27th!


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What dystopian novel or series have you read? Why did you like it?


11 responses to “Review: CAPTIVES / by Jill Williamson

  1. I enjoyed reading The Captives. Who was your favorite character? I think mine was Mason. 🙂


  2. I agree…great storytelling and plot development!


  3. You are really good at writing reviews! Seriously, this looks more like a newspaper article review than a blog review. (Also, I loved Captives. Can’t wait for the next book!)


  4. Thanks for the compliment, Emily. My reviews usually get published in Christian Library Journal, so I follow their format for reviews. You can check them out at for other reviews.

    Thanks again for visiting!


  5. Thanks for the review! I’m addicted to creating storyworlds. Walls!
    lol 🙂


  6. You’re welcome, Jill! Can’t wait to read the next installment in this series . . .


  7. Thanks for the comment, Heather. I think my favorite character is Jem. I tried putting myself in her place and wasn’t sure how I would do being captive in a strange land.

    Thanks again for stopping by!


  8. I really enjoyed this one too!


  9. “Williamson is a master storyteller, setting the stage with fascinating storyline, excellent character and plot development, and a believable future world.”
    Echo. 🙂


  10. James

    Have read a few. I liked the Maze runner series. Was interesting. Can’t wait to read this one.


  11. Lady DragonKeeper

    I haven’t really read any dystopian novels yet … The Hunger Games is on my list just because I want to read it before I even consider watching the movie. 😉 My younger brother read some though. He likes the futuristic aspect, I think –he’s a scifi fan.


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