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Found and Lost: A Novel (Haven Seekers Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Side note: this is not the type of book I usually read. But Stevens is making me a believer in this genre. I might just pick up some more literary fiction if there is more out there as good as these.
Violet captured my heart and might just be my favorite character so far. Which really says how wonderful this author is. So many writers struggle with doing varied POV's. I often feel like many books by the same author end up being the same POV writing with a different character's name slapped on it. Not Stevens. Violet and Clay think so differently than Marcus and Aubrey did. Yet, I believed the way they processed what was happening around them. Even in the midst of horrible choices I wanted to take Violet's hand and tell her I understood and was there for her. These characters feel so real. More so than any others I've read published in the Christian industry.
We're also blessed with the beautiful style of descriptions the author gives for locations and surroundings that we got in book one. The author has a way of weaving beauty into the mundane, and even into the deathly fearsome moments in life. It's really amazingly done.
It does leave you with more than a bit of a cliffhanger, but thankfully it looks like we don't have to wait long for the third book to release. I can't wait!
I love that this book explores what it means to be a Christian and what it means to love. It reminds me of Quo Vadis in that way—there are so many kinds of love in different relationships. But above all, what does it mean to love God and to be loved by Him and to serve Him as a Christian? I love that this isn’t just another Christian romance novel where boy meets girl, girl converts boy, they live happily ever after. This is so much more complex than that and offers so many glimpses into what love is and how we love—as friends, as family members, and (for some of the characters) as Christians.
Two minor problems I had with the book: Like in the first book, there were times that I lost track of who was speaking in conversations, so a few more speech tags would have helped.
SPOILER ALERT…………………………....................................................................................................................................................... The only thing that didn’t seem natural to me/to make sense to me (in terms of character motivation) was why Violet didn’t just join the others in running away after the raid. Why stay to be caught by the Con Cops, just so you could *tell* them you were the snitch? It’s key to the whole story really kicking off, so I just embraced it as necessary to the plot and as the actions of a moronic teenager (which, at the beginning, she really is, so that's not a stretch at all).
1. The Writing: This book is full of well thought out good quality writing. The author is able to write pretty prose without distracting from the intense plot or seeming out of place within the character points of view. The writer is able to vary her voice to fit the two drastically different characters you are getting the story from.
2. The Characters: First off, our beloved characters from book one are not gone! We get to see how they have grown over the past few months, and how their bonds to one another have strengthened. We also get to see how outsiders interpret the characters we know. It is fascinating to see how differently Violet and Clay view Marcus, and to realize that neither of them understands him the way we do.
The two characters that the author uses to tell her second story were really smart choices. They give you reasons to explore the ideas presented in the second book instead of stopping with the first one. Even though they live side-by-side, they are coming at the story from very different emotional and mental positions, and give us contrasting senses of the world we already know. Violet is a goldmine of a character, because it is important for Christians to understand why non-believers with little exposure to legit Christianity think the way they do. She really is quite lovable once you get to know her. Violet and Clay digest the information they see very differently than Marcus and Aubry did in the first book. These two do not grow in the same direction, but still manage to mirror each other. It is fascinating to see how they react differently when presented with similar stimuli. Like book one, the author forces you to understand the thoughts and actions of her characters whether you think you want to or not. It is very difficult to dislike someone when you are forced to admit, “ok, I see where you’re coming from there.”
3. Message: This book forces you to face a tough Biblical concept that is not usually addressed in Christian fiction: apostasy. In times of persecution, it becomes evident who truly knows the Lord and who never really did. It is an important topic for Christians to understand, and I love that the author does not sugarcoat it. Along the same vein, this book addresses turning God’s gifts into idols and choosing those idols over God himself. This book also forces you to face how expansive God’s forgiveness and redemption truly is. The book makes you emotionally connect with the concept of forgiving a persecutor whose actions previously devastated a Christian community. The command to forgive can be as tough a nut to swallow as apostasy.
4. Plot: Everyone else summarized the plot, but I will address this issue brought up in at least one other review: The ending can be confusing if you blow through it too fast. The information is not spoon-fed, but it is there. If you take your time and digest the dialogue along with Clay’s thoughts, the evidence is there to support the leaps from motivations to actions and from thoughts to conclusions.
I think it is pretty slick that there is a touch of a Young Adult flavor in Violet’s half of the narration. Violet has to deal with teen issues while she is in the middle of dealing with all this more important stuff. She is wise beyond her years, though, so I never thought, “shut up you myopic child” the way I usually do when I read YA.
**I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.**
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