The Safe Lands have long kept secret from their people what it means to be liberated. Mason and Omar are about to discover the truth.
Levi doesn’t want to give up on his brothers, but when Jemma is captured and becomes the Safe Lands new queen, Levi’s best option is to take up the role of The Owl that Omar began, leading the rebels in their quest to overthrow the government.
But will The Owl be enough to safe Jemma? Will Ciddah be able to deliver Shaylinn’s babies safely underground without the help of a surgeon? And will Mason be able to keep Omar from dying as they search for a way back?
If only they could unite their efforts, together they could expose the Safe Lands lies to the people. But if they fail, they will surely die.
Rebels by Jill Williamson is the third and final book in The Safe Lands series. You really have to read the whole series to get the full effect — Rebels is not a standalone novel. That being said, I didn’t read book 2, Outcasts, although I did read book 1, Captives. (You can read my review of Captives HERE and my friend Stephanie’s review of Outcasts HERE.) Because of this, I am not sure I can give a full and accurate review of Rebels. But I will give you my thoughts on the novel.
**Please be aware there are Spoilers ahead!**
Rebels continues the story first told in Captives and continued in Outcasts. The three brothers, Mason, Levi and Omar are all affected by their time spent in the Safe Lands. The glitz of the nation is soon stripped away and the secret behind Liberation is revealed. I found the upside-down nature of the Safe Lands’ economy a statement on our own. Youth and leisure are touted — until your time is up at age 40. Liberation really means a life filled with brutality and degradation and forced labor until you die. In our own society, people are encouraged to live it up while young. Restraint and hard work are becoming things of the past. And while older members of our society are not being forced into labor, it is the wealth of older adults that is being eyed more and more to finance our government and the programs people are becoming dependent upon. While I was reading Rebels I was reminded of the future described in James Dobson’s book, Fatherless (review HERE). Are we becoming a society in which pleasure and selfishness trumps people? The lack of relationships among those of the Safelanders is also a growing trend described again by James Dobson. Rebels and Fatherless are very different books, but have striking similarities.
One of the rebel groups lives underground. The Kindred seeks to keep out the contamination of the Safe Lands, protecting itself from immorality and the plague that is rampant in the nation. But they are also dogmatic in their beliefs, not allowing for compassion and mercy. But some of the characters, namely Mason, Shaylinn and even Omar, live a life of light in a dark world. Instead of becoming insulated, they seek to show hope and love to those who need it. This is a good lesson for Christians today who want to be in the world but not of it.
Complex plot lines, complex characters and complex themes mark The Safe Land series. Though a little rushed at the end, I think Williamson did a good job in portraying a future world that has big lessons for us today.
Audience: older teens and adults.
(Thanks to the CSFF Blog Tour and Blink for my review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)
Be sure to check out the other tour participants.
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Rebecca LuElla Miller