Rebels: Jill Williamson's Dystopian Trilogy Comes to a Close

Read my interview with author Jill Williamson here!


Mason Elias, Omar Strong, Levi Justin
(c.) 2014 Zondervan/Blink
Title: Rebels (The Safe Lands #3)  
Author: Jill Williamson
Publisher: Zondervan/Blink
Zondervan/Blink

The ending of a trilogy can be a tricky thing.  Sure, the first entry is important:  It has to set up the story, setting and introduce characters.  Then the sequel normally builds on that and usually ends on a cliffhanger or sets the scene for the climax: the final third of the story.  This important entry is responsible for wrapping up the plot and giving readers the payoff, the finale, the conclusion.  Ideally, the ending meets expectations to a satisfying finish, leaving readers on a high note.  Done incorrectly, it can end up being a letdown to what was otherwise a great series.  For the most part, Rebels, the finale to Jill Williamson’s Christian YA Dystopian trilogy is the former.  

Some of the things I always enjoy about Jill Williamson’s books are her world building and characters.  Similar to Veronica Roth’s Factions or Suzanne Collins’ Panem, Williamson’s dystopian civilization has eerie connections to our contemporary world.  It is easy to picture our society going too far in certain directions to lead us to something similar to the Safe Lands.  The technology and fashions are a mix of futuristic and old industrial depending on whether outside the Safe Lands or within.  Little idioms and jargon such as “raven” for “handsome,” “femme” for “female,” or “SimTap” (a Bluetooth-like system) makes you feel immersed in a familiar, yet unfamiliar world.  

Jill Williamson’s characters are three-dimensional.  They’re not perfect and they make mistakes, but they learn from it and become stronger people.  Omar, Mason, Levi, Ciddah, even Jemma –they all reminded me that just as God forgives us, we need to show forgiveness to others.  Shaylinn’s struggle to show God’s love to Tova, a disgruntled woman whose husband has been giving the Glenrock remnant shelter, was such an example to me.  Each of the characters challenged me to be more Christ-like in the way I handle relationships, in my attitude toward others who need forgiveness (like Omar, Ciddah, or Tova) and a reminder to consider how I am loving or caring for others.

The main action in this book moves like a spy or espionage plot.  It culminates with a twist I didn’t foresee and brings a satisfying end to the Safe Lands rebellion.  The final three chapters wrap up the stories of the main characters.  I would call these semi-satisfying because of course I would have loved more closure or a more finite “happily ever after” to certain relationships.  However, if Williamson had done this, I think it could have come off as too contrived, so even though I wish it otherwise, the ending is much more realistic and stronger as is.  I look forward to see what Jill Williamson dreams up next.

About the Book:
The remnant of Glenrock has been scattered. But they are not beaten.
The Safe Lands have long kept the true meaning of Liberation secret from their people. But after being sentenced to Liberation themselves, Mason and Omar soon discover the truth.
Levi watched his brothers’ public sentencing and tries to hold out hope they are still alive, He is forced to focus his attention elsewhere, however, when his new wife, Jemma, is captured and made the Safe Lands’ newest Queen. His only choice to save Jemma may be to take up Omar’s old role of undercover vigilante, leading the rebels in their quest to overthrow the government. But will Levi’s new role be enough?
Meanwhile, Jemma’s sister, Shaylinn, is ready to give birth to the “Safe Lands’” children … but not even Ciddah is sure they can be delivered safely in the midst of a rebellion. And Mason must face the fact Omar’s illness could be fatal.
If they can all unite their efforts, together they may be able to expose the Safe Lands’ lies to the people. But if they fail, they will all surely die.
- See more at: http://www.jillwilliamson.com/influencer-page-for-rebels-the-safe-lands-book-3/#sthash.wkhgy11C.dpuf

"The remnant of Glenrock has been scattered. But they are not beaten.
The Safe Lands have long kept the true meaning of Liberation secret from their people. But after being sentenced to Liberation themselves, Mason and Omar soon discover the truth.

Levi watched his brothers’ public sentencing and tries to hold out hope they are still alive, He is forced to focus his attention elsewhere, however, when his new wife, Jemma, is captured and made the Safe Lands’ newest Queen. His only choice to save Jemma may be to take up Omar’s old role of undercover vigilante, leading the rebels in their quest to overthrow the government. But will Levi’s new role be enough?

Meanwhile, Jemma’s sister, Shaylinn, is ready to give birth to the “Safe Lands’” children … but not even Ciddah is sure they can be delivered safely in the midst of a rebellion. And Mason must face the fact Omar’s illness could be fatal.

If they can all unite their efforts, together they may be able to expose the Safe Lands’ lies to the people. But if they fail, they will all surely die."

About the Author: 
Jill Williamson is an author of all things weird. She grew up in Alaska with no electricity, an outhouse, and a lot of mosquitoes. Her Blood of Kings trilogy won two Christy Awards, and she recently finished the Rebels, book three in a dystopian teen trilogy from Zondervan/Blink Books. She loves teaching and encouraging writers and blogs weekly at www.GoTeenWriters.com. Jill lives in Oregon with her husband and two children and a whole lot of deer. Find her online at www.JillWilliamson.com, where adventure comes to life.


The remnant of Glenrock has been scattered. But they are not beaten.
The Safe Lands have long kept the true meaning of Liberation secret from their people. But after being sentenced to Liberation themselves, Mason and Omar soon discover the truth.
Levi watched his brothers’ public sentencing and tries to hold out hope they are still alive, He is forced to focus his attention elsewhere, however, when his new wife, Jemma, is captured and made the Safe Lands’ newest Queen. His only choice to save Jemma may be to take up Omar’s old role of undercover vigilante, leading the rebels in their quest to overthrow the government. But will Levi’s new role be enough?
Meanwhile, Jemma’s sister, Shaylinn, is ready to give birth to the “Safe Lands’” children … but not even Ciddah is sure they can be delivered safely in the midst of a rebellion. And Mason must face the fact Omar’s illness could be fatal.
If they can all unite their efforts, together they may be able to expose the Safe Lands’ lies to the people. But if they fail, they will all surely die.
- See more at: http://www.jillwilliamson.com/influencer-page-for-rebels-the-safe-lands-book-3/#sthash.wkhgy11C.dpuf
Also, check out her Rebels Launch Party this Friday on Facebook!

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have done.*

[Edited for formatting, added author interview link]
Rebels: Jill Williamson's Dystopian Trilogy Comes to a Close Rebels: Jill Williamson's Dystopian Trilogy Comes to a Close Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 9/08/2014 08:34:00 PM Rating: 5

2 comments:

  1. You said you wanted to discuss the book. What's up?

    I love her jargon. That above all makes her setting seem like a real place. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment!

      I was wondering what people thought about the ending ... I feel like it was a bit open-ended (perhaps for a future novella or short story follow up)? I kind of was left with questions about what would happen next ... such as the future of the Safe Lands and the medical people [note: don't want to spoil too much for others] searching for it ...
      Basically, it left me wanting more! Though of course, ending a series with the reader wanting more isn't necessarily a bad thing ...
      What did you think?

      Delete

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