Welcome to week two of my Safe Lands trilogy review series! If you’re not sure what all this is about, check out last week’s post where I...

Thoughtful Thursdays: Book Review: Outcasts by Jill Williamson

Welcome to week two of my Safe Lands trilogy review series! If you’re not sure what all this is about, check out last week’s post where I reviewed Captives. If you’re already in the know, great! Let’s get started.



Back Cover Summary: Uncovering the truth could cost them their lives.

Since entering the Safe Lands, Mason has focused on two things: finding a way to free his village from captivity and finding a cure for the disease that ravages many within the walls of the Safe Lands. After immune-suppresive drugs go missing in the clinic, Mason discovers his coworker, Ciddah, may know more about the Safe Lands than imagined... and may have an agenda of her own. At the same time, Mason’s brother Levi is focused on a way to free the remaining Glenrock captives, while Mason’s younger brother, Omar, decides to take the rebellion against the Safe Lands into his own hands as a vigilante.

Soon all three brothers were being watched closely and when Mason stumbles onto a shocking secret about the Safe Lands meds, his investigation just might get those closest to him liberated.

Review: Five billion stars out of five.

Okay. Deep breaths. I’ve waited quite some time to do this review and I still can barely even...

Okay.

First things first, the plot of this book is freaking awesome. The plotlines are brilliantly woven together, with twists and turns of stinkin’ genius that fly at you outta nowhere. They’re the sort of gamechangers youd never see coming, but in the end, they make perfect sense. The whole thing was all just so exciting and engrossing and flipping beautiful...

...And I’m fangirling. Already. Ahem. I’ll try to be professional from here on out, but I probably won’t succeed.

Anyways.

As I’ve said before, characters are a big deal for me, and the ones in this book didn’t disappoint. I really enjoyed reading about all four mains, and even the secondary/minor characters have all touched my heart in some way.

However, there are always some charries I love more than others, and for this series, their names are Zane, Shaylinn, and Omar.

Zane was pretty cool in the first book, but he’s hit an all-new level of awesomeness in this one. He’s smart, he’s funny, and some of the stuff he says is just totally profound. Like, wow, gonna-read-that-again-and-apply-it-to-my-own-life profound.

I’ll say it once and move on before I start fangirling again: I unashamedly adore that flaker.

I love Shaylinn so much. I said in my review of Captives that I really related to her struggles, and, while I relate less now (read the book to understand why ;) ) I still sympathize. She’s grown up a lot since the first one, and she’s so brave dealing with all the crazy complications that have come her way.

While it’s obvious Shaylinn is very mature for her age, the maturity isn’t overdone, her struggles are still very much there, and she deals with them in a real and relatable way. Rather than sitting in her room and boo-hooing all the time (which would actually be pretty justified), Shaylinn chooses to help others, focusing on them more often than herself. She’s a remarkably strong character, and it’s not because she’s taekwondo master or otherwise capable of kicking butt. It’s because of who she is at her heart: a lover and a follower of God.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Katniss, June, Tris, those kinds of girls. But a heroine like Shaylinn, especially in a dystopian novel, is rare and refreshing; she, more than anyone I think, deserves her happy ending.

Please?

Let’s just get this one out of the way: Omar can be dimmer than a dead wyndo sometimes. But he’s also amazing when he’s not being a bonehead, and like I said before, Omar has so much potential, if he’d just wake up and take control of his life (someone’s believing in him now, so it’s all up to that sweet but stupid little man-child). *sigh* I hope Omar pulls himself together. He could be beyond epic if he really concentrated on good and God, instead of seesawing back and forth all the time.

All right done with the charries. I think I’m safe from fangirling now. Probably. Possibly. Maybe not.

Anywho.

I also love the themes of this book. Mrs. Williamson did a brilliant job showing the corruption that comes in society when everyone focuses on themselves, on “finding pleasure,” rather than on God, His love, and His will for our lives.

The only thing I didn’t like (and I hate to sound nitpicky, but it really did bother me) was that some of the Owl’s speeches weren’t as powerful as I felt they could have and should have been. On the other hand, he was just getting started, so I guess I’ll cut him some slack.

Besides, you can’t have all the epic lines at once.

While I wouldn’t recommend this for younger teens (because of aspects like drug abuse and teen pregnancy), I outright command everyone over the age of fifteen to read the entire thing and then, directly following your finish, to thank me for commanding and Mrs. Williamson for writing.

You should probably read Captives first, though. Just saying.

To sum up this review, Outcasts is definitely up there on my Favorite Books Ever List (I’m not giving it a specific place because trying to organize that thing would be a beast). I don’t use the words “must-read” often, but this, this is definitely worthy of them.



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