Review: THE CHOOSING / THE CALLING / THE RETURNING, / by Rachelle Dekker

The Choosing / Rachelle Dekker (A Seer Novel, 1)
Tyndale     ISBN     9781496402240

The Calling / Rachelle Dekker (A Seer Novel, 2)
Tyndale     ISBN     9781496402271

The Returning / Rachelle Dekker (A Seer Novel, 3)
Tyndale     ISBN     9781496402295
Young Adult     Rating:     4

Rachelle Dekker makes her debut in this intriguing science fiction/dystopian series for young adults.

In The Choosing, seventeen year old Carrington Hale expects to be chosen as someone’s bride at the Choosing Ceremony. Things didn’t work out that way. Carrington is removed from her family by force, to live out her life as a Lint (a lower class worker). Her mother rebuffs her and Carrington feels worthless, not good enough to be loved by anyone. When Carrington is offered a second chance at being “chosen,” she wonders what is behind the proposal. Is her dream life an illusion? Will she find her self-worth in her chosen life?

In The Calling, former CityWatch guard Remko Brant leads the group of rebels – including Carrington — who escaped the Authority City. He builds a life as a family man and leader of the Seers (the rebels). But Remko’s daughter is taken captive and returned to the City. Will he ever see her again? Meanwhile, Authority President Damien Gold promises a peaceful future. In reality he is trying to destroy the rebels’ hope by creating dissension within their ranks. Can Remko conquer his fears and defeat Gold?

In The Returning, Elise Brant has been raised all her life in the Authority City. She knows no other life – she was taken captive twenty years ago. The Authority has worked to build compliance by injecting its residents with the Genesis Serum which suppresses emotion and rebellion. Elise is the only one the Serum hasn’t affected, although she has been injected with it repeatedly. Meanwhile, the Seers chose seven warriors to return to the city and rescue Elise, as well as free its residents. Everything builds up to a final battle between good and evil, and the ultimate truth.

Dekker’s readers are engaged from the very start, making them eager to find out Carrington’s fate. The elements of the story are classic: a mysterious stranger who teachers of God’s love, oppression of the lower classes, a forbidden love between two people who cannot marry due to society’s conventions, power-crazy authority figures, and more. Although a dystopian series, it borrows imagery from biblical stories and has a strong faith element through the books. Remko, Carrington, and others are persecuted for their belief in God. There is a cost to their discipleship.

Recommended for school and public libraries. The Choosing won the 2016 Christy Award Young Adult category and was a finalist in the Christy Award First Novel category.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.