Rachelle Dekker's Dystopian Debut: The Choosing - Blog Tour Review

(c.) 2015 by Tyndale House Publishers
Title: The Choosing (The Seer Trilogy #1)
Author: Rachelle Dekker
Published: 2015 by Tyndale House Publishers

About the Book:

"Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for—her Choosing ceremony—to end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority. As Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. Though the whispers contradict everything she’s been told, they resonate deep within. Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of. It's an opportunity to be chosen at last, but she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. Does the authority truly know what's best for society? And how can it let a killer run free while Lints are dying? Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her."

The Artist Librarian Review:  When Rachelle Dekker's author bio begins, "The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker ..." you may think it will be a struggle for Rachelle to step out of her famous father's shadow --especially when writing in the same genre: speculative fiction.  However, Rachelle's debut dystopian holds its own with a intriguing world, relatable characters, a powerful message, and a feeling of suspense that easily rivals more seasoned authors.

Dystopians are all the rage.  It can be seen not just in the general market, but in Christian Speculative Fiction as well: novels from Bonnie Calhoun's Stone Braide Chonicles, Lisa T. Bergren's Remnants Series, and Jill Williamson's Safe Lands Trilogy (see my review for book 3 here) were released last year.

I myself have a mixed experience with dystopians --I loved Susan Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy, but have to force myself to finish Veronica Roth's Divergent Trilogy.  Along with the intriguing premise, The Choosing's gorgeous book cover, with the dichotomy of the mirrored or reflected imagery convinced me to give it a shot --and as I like to say, there can never be enough Christian Speculative Fiction.  This is definitely one of the best of the genre to be released this year!

"What if your identity is a lie?"

Carrington Hale is faced with a difficult question and her journey throughout the novel is believable.  As someone who will mentally berate myself when I make mistakes or do something dumb, the messages of The Choosing was such a reminder of God's love and who I am in Christ.  Many of my favorite parts of the novel revolve around Aaron: "I know this world has led you to believe that your worth is measurable. Life had always told that lie --that you have to work for love or change to be accepted.  But the truth is different" (381).  I've come to realize my self-deprication for what it is and that I need to remember: I am chosen. I am loved. I am free. =) Besides the themes of identity and self-worth, the dystopian world that Rachelle has created also touches on the dangers of legalism and what can happen when a society perverts the Scriptures.  The discussion questions included in the back of the novel can help readers unpack and think about such topics.

Part dystopian, part mystery, part romance: I can't wait for what's next!

As a part of The Choosing blog tour, read on for a behind-the-scenes Q&A with Rachelle!

Rachelle Dekker
How did you come up with the story for The Choosing?
This is a hard question because it has many answers. I wanted to write a theme-based novel about identity. I wanted to write a dystopian novel. I wanted to write in a world that was familiar, but in a setting where I could change the way the world worked. It actually is several ideas I’d been toying with pulled into one story. Once I landed on Carrington’s core revelation and story arc, I simply fell in love with her as a character and drew the rest of the story around her. That’s usually how it works for me. I come up with a character, good or bad, and create the story from there.

Throughout the book, Carrington struggles with understanding her identity and worth and what is true. Why did you decide to write about the theme of identity?
Someone once asked me, If you could leave one message for your younger sisters, what would it be? The answer was always the same: I would pray they knew what they were worth. Identity is everything. There isn’t a theme that doesn’t start with identity, or circle back to identity. Knowing who you truly are is the greatest journey we face. Am I enough; am I worth it? I believe everyone faces these questions, and I sought out to explore them through this story.

Do you think women tend to struggle with identity more than men?
I don’t think women struggle with identity more then men. Not at all. I just think we struggle differently. As a woman I understand the identity struggle from a female perspective more, but I think most men wonder if they’re enough just as much as women do. We are all the same at our core, really. We are on this earth for a short time, trying to figure out our purpose and worth. Searching for recognition, usually in all the wrong places. The truth I am discovering is that there is no need for searching. The truth already resides inside of us. The Father has already marked us as chosen, worth it; He has already given us a purpose. It’s only a matter of looking inward to the soul and to the Creator of that soul to find our worth.

What do you hope readers will take away from the story? 
I hope readers are filled with joy and power as they either realize for the first time who their Father is and what they are really worth, or as they simply remember this truth.

Thank you, Rachelle!  I'm eagerly awaiting book two of The Seer Trilogy!

Have you read dystopian novels?  What are some you've enjoyed?  Why do you think the genre is so popular at the moment?


[Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.]
Rachelle Dekker's Dystopian Debut: The Choosing - Blog Tour Review Rachelle Dekker's Dystopian Debut: The Choosing - Blog Tour Review Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 5/24/2015 09:46:00 AM Rating: 5

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like you enjoyed this one. I'm definitely curious about it. I have a kind of love/hate relationship with the dystopian genre, but if it's done well, I typically love the creativity author's weave into the worlds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the themes of identity and love resonated with me. I definitely agree about dystopians --the world building is sometimes enough to finish a series, even if I don't connect to the characters. :)

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