Marissa Schrock makes her debut with this dystopian novel about a sixteen-year-old who has second thoughts as she faces the government-ordered mandatory termination of her unplanned pregnancy.
In The First Principle, Vivica Wilkins is the governor’s daughter who speaks in defense of a pregnant student’s treatment by the Population Management Office, unaware that she will soon find herself in a similar situation. When Vivica’s pregnancy is discovered, it complicates her mother’s presidential nomination, which is already surrounded by a conspiracy and intrigue.
Then the baby’s father – Ben – tries to convince her not to terminate the pregnancy. Vivica doesn’t know that Ben is a Christian and part of an underground movement to restore former freedoms.
Ben tells her based on his beliefs, it would be wrong to terminate the pregnancy. As she reads Ben’s old Bible, Vivica struggles against what she has heard all her life about Christianity. Will she join the rebellion and save the life growing inside her? Can she turn away from her mother for this new faith? How will the conspiracy affect her?
The characters and plot are generally believable. Ben wants Vivica to continue the pregnancy but doesn’t really offer her alternatives. The cover is visually unappealing, but the premise of the book is interesting by presenting the situation: what if abortions were mandatory? Both viewpoints are presented as well as some plot twists.
Set in a futuristic North America where the government has ruled that Christianity is illegal and considered domestic terrorism, The First Principle will appeal to readers of The Hunger Games, Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Divergent series. The First Principle is filled with fast-action, espionage, religious warfare, and political intrigue. This book is a finalist in the Debut Novel category for the 2016 Carol Award (ACFW).
Recommended for young adults and adults.
Carol R. Gehringer