Six years ago, the government took control of the church. Only re-translated Bibles are legal, and a specialized agency called the Constabulary enforces this and other regulations. Marcus Brenner, a new Christian, will do anything to protect his church family from imprisonment—including risk his own freedom to gain the trust of a government agent.
Aubrey Weston recanted her faith when the Constabulary threatened her baby. Now released, she just wants to provide for her son and avoid government notice. But she’s targeted again, and this time, her baby is taken into custody. If only she’d never denied Him, maybe God would hear her pleas for help.
When Aubrey and Marcus’s lives collide, they are forced to confront the lies they believe about themselves. And God is about to grab hold of Marcus’s life in a way he’d never expect, turning a loner into a leader.
In a not so distant future, saying you’re a Christian and owning an “archaic Bible” can get you sent to a re-education camp. Few get to leave these prisons, and those that do often feel the shame of what they did to obtain their freedom. The government only sanctions reading of the Progressive United Version of the Bible and attendance at particular worship services. There is no god to save you. Only you can save yourself.
How did this come to be? Debut author Amanda Stevens has created this dystopian vision in Seek and Hide, the first in a series called Haven Seekers. Her version of America reminded me of the Nazi regime, and the approved churches reminded me of the approved churches in China. Her characters are ordinary people, complete with flaws and imperfections, trying to get through life. They’re like us, except they can’t reveal anything of the faith they keep hidden. Friends and family are obliged to turn in loved ones or risk being arrested for “aiding and abetting” which provides an interesting moral conundrum. Sadly, I had problems connecting to some of the characters, including Marcus’s friend, Lee, who I found to be flat and almost superfluous to the story.
The events of Seek and Hide take place over one week. There are moments where it drags and I couldn’t see where it was going, and other moments where I felt the nightmare would never end. There’s a stunning turn of events near the end which I didn’t see coming. I found it a little underwritten, but the shock stayed with me. The ending, however, is anti-climactic. This book doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger, but I do wonder where this series is going. Found and Lost, the second Haven Seekers novel, will be released in February 2015.
Thank you to DC Cook for my complimentary electronic review copy of To Everything a Season, which downloaded from NetGalley. No review was required.
Have you read Seek and Hide? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: David C Cook
Publication Date: 15 September 2014
Page Count: 418