Review: Captives by Jill Williamson

Captives (Safe Lands #1)
Jill Williamson
Published February 19, 2013

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Omar, an unappreciated artist in a village of hunters, has a plan to make everyone realize his worth. Surely once they see the wonders of the Safe Lands, they’ll crowd in to thank Omar for bringing them. But when the envoy from Safe Lands arrives and shots are fired, Omar’s brilliant dream twists into a deadly nightmare. Eighteen people are dead, and everyone blames him.

Levi returns from an errand to find his village emptied and many dead. Filled with grief and fury, he vows to enter the Safe Lands to rescue the captives taken from his home. Nothing prepares him for the reality of life in the Safe Lands.

In a city bent on pleasure and fun, Safe Lands citizens mask the effects of a deadly plague with makeup, drugs and free love. Horrified, Levi and many others from the small village of Glenrock cling to the Christian morals and values of their homeland. Their convictions come with heavy prices. As Levi turns his mind to plans of rescue, his brother Mason pursues study of the terrible plague that infects the people of the Safe Lands. Finding a cure is the only way to save those he loves, but time is running out.

The first in a dystopian series, Captives explores the consequences of drug abuse and sexually transmitted disease and contrasts this against a Christian morality and way of life. The few scenes including drug use are brief and the message that experimentation can quickly give rise to addiction is crystal clear in Williamson’s text. Though the values of promiscuity and casual relationships are explained, no graphic sexual content appears in the story. The plot contains rapid-fire twists and unexpected turns, making it a quick read. References to lines from The Princess Bride will make it unforgettable to movie fans.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Sexual Content
The women from Glenrock village will be forced to become pregnant through an embryo implant. The men are forced to donate sperm regularly. No details are given about how this occurs. Omar spends the night with a beautiful woman in the Safe Lands. Though no details are given, it’s understood that he has had sex with her. Characters visit various clubs and sometimes participate in dancing or watching sultry performers.

Spiritual Content
The villagers from Glenrock find their Christian values challenged by the pleasure-seeking ways of Safe Lands. Safe Lands Nationals believe that they are given nine lives on earth before a tenth of eternal bliss.

Enforcers from Safe Lands attack a village, killing several of its people. Few details are given. Omar beats his brother but later feels guilty. A woman is kissed against her will.

Drug Content
Nothing is illegal in the Safe Lands. Various medicines, alcohols and drugs are vaporized and inhaled for ease or pleasure. Omar’s experimentation with these substances quickly rockets out of control and earns him some nasty consequences.



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Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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