The Believer
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The Believer (The Believer )

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  225 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Softcover
Published January 2005 by Covenant Communications Inc.
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Liz
Aug 19, 2011 Liz rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery, lds
Okay, this book held promise. Dystopian, future society story which I love. LDS twist to it was kind of fun. A lot of mystery. However, the main character was sometimes hard to understand. Was he brave or not? Convicted to his feelings or not? I didn't always relate to him. Then they bring in the girl character who I didn't really like. You're supposed to forgive her by the end, but they didn't tell me enough about her feelings to help me want to forgive her. She seemed mostly motivated by guilt...more
Orlando
I didn't really care for this book... I REALLY had to work to keep reading to the end... I read Stephanie's 3 books backwards.. Meaning the 3rd, 2nd, then this one... If I had read this one first I would not have read anymore of her books because it dragged tooo much for the first 3/4 of the book... I think she needed to explain the background, that it is "mimicking" the story in 3 Nephi... Too much focus on the anarchist itself and not on the story line... Then you finally start to get into the...more
Dlora
With this novel, Stephanie Black has entered the dystopian subgenre of science fiction novels. She's created a world where a group of citizens have seceded from the United States to form New America, a country that blames religion as the catalyst for terrorism and hatred that plagues the U.S. Believing in God is grounds for treason and Mormonism in particular is considered especially pernicious. Living in a virtual police state, Ian Roschek, an historian specializing in the early years of their...more
Melissa
Really enjoyed this dystopian novel. The story is set in New America (a portion of the U.S. that has been sectioned off to prevent civil war). In New America, religion has been banned and anyone caught with religious materials is subject to police interrogation and potentially death. When Ian Roshek, a young history professor begins to study the history of the United States and gets ahold of a Book of Mormon, he begins to question the validity of New America and the propaganda he is forced to te...more
Anna
I've read all of Stephanie's books, and even though this was her first it was just as good as the others. When did she learn and hone her craft? It seems Stephanie just exploded onto the LDS literary scene fully developed and with as much talent as many writers who have spent years improving book-by-book.

The Believer is set in a dystopian society, "New America", set up three generations ago by revered men of high ideals and great ambition. Those who have to live in the society they created striv...more
Mormonhermitmom
I've been missing the Cold War. It was such a great era for exciting movies, books, etc. Don't get me wrong; I don't care for the thought of Mutually Assured Destruction brought on by tense diplomatic relations. However, the stories of the oppression coming from behind the Iron Curtain made for great reading, a la 1984.

This book doesn't showcase an exact Orwellian society, but it does depict a world carved out of America in which religion is not only marginalized but criminalized. How does a gov...more
Mindy
Words can not describe what a crazy-good author Stephanie Black is. Her books take you to another place, a place that you are reluctant to return from. Well, in the case of The Believer, that world was a pretty tough place to be, but you know what I mean. When we first meet Ian Roshek, he is coming to the aid of a student being wrongly accused of having contraband. He is taken into custody and tortured (don't worry, it's not graphic) by police interrogator Alisa Kent. After the agonizing time sp...more
Lucinda
I'm going to brag about having a signed first edition of this book, that's how much I love it.

I purchased the paperback when it came out in 2005. I usually read romance, but something in the blurb caught my attention, and I had to get it.
I remember how impressed I was with it when I finished reading, and I even read it a few more times after that. Last year, I gave it to my 15 y.o. son to read, since he's an avid reader of sci-fi and dystopians, and he loved it too.

It's been a few years since I...more
Darla
(Genre:LDS science fiction) Set in the future, this novel explores a splinter group/country breaking away from the USA. This society is very government-centric. Religion is banned to avoid the problem of religious extremists and people are used to being watched and having their words and actions carefully monitored and controlled. A professor of history (Ian) has stumbled upon a contra-ban Book of Mormon and after careful study of the book, he becomes a believer. But when he comes under the scru...more
Cindy
Took me awhile to get into it, but then I really enjoyed it. LDS fiction that takes place in a future America, where the country has split in two and "New America" is a dark place where the state decides right and wrong and no religion or any kind of independent thought is allowed. I'll definitely read the sequel to see how it ends up.
Kathy
Oct 05, 2008 Kathy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: LDS readers who don't mind "edgy"
Recommended to Kathy by: The author
Intense. Interesting. A fast and involving read. Brings up some interesting questions. Tight and intricate plot. Believable and likeable characters. For its genre, it's fabulous. Probably my all time favorite LDS fiction book. My older kids loved it too. The religious part was central, not just added to appeal to a LDS audience, and not in any way sappy. The main character was, technically, not even LDS. Loved the family relationship between the main character and his sister. It was sweet, but g...more
Marlow
This books takes place in the near future in a place where people are controlled more tightly than they realize. Contraband literature (IE scriptures) are smuggled into the country and people meet in secret to discuss it. Those that are caught with it are tortured until death or until they denounce what they have learned and declare who gave it to them.

A professor reads a copy and begins to believe. Once he believes he gets others to believe as well.

The book has a very interesting premise in a w...more
Bobbi
This book leaves you wondering: Could this really happen? Yes, it could happen. It's not that far fetched for a government to control it's people like this. We take our freedom for granted and are in a contented ignorance most of the time. This is dangerous. Power hungry leaders that don't feel that they have to answer to a higher power (God) don't have a conscience to restrain them and will stop at nothing.

I enjoyed this book for it's entertainment value. The middle was a bit slow, but it held...more
Ellise Weaver
I've read this book before but forgot because it's been awhile. But I remembered as soon as I got into it because it was that memorable. I couldn't remember the plot or twists, which was great because it was great to figure it out all over again. This is a remarkable story!

I would recommend this book to anyone. It's full of adventure and suspense right up to the end. Stephanie Black does a great job keeping you on the edge of your seat.

Great job, Stephanie!

~Ellise
Debbie
This is a great book. Ian finds a contraband Book of Mormon. He reads it and believes its message. He tries to tell his sister and some friends what he has learned, but they won't hear what he has to say. Religious books and pamphlets are banned where Ian and his friends live, which is called New America. Ian and his sister, Jill, and a police officer named Alisa Kent, become fugitives from the law. They are trying to get into The United States. This is book number one.
Tennys
Feb 20, 2008 Tennys rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I loved it! I couldn't put it down. It's about a man who lives in a country where religion is not allowed, punishable by death. He somehow gets a Book of Mormon, reads it and knows it is true. Therefore he feels compelled to live by the principles he has learned and knows to be true, even at the expense of his life. This has action, adventure, mystery and a bit of clean romance.I will definetly read this story again!
Annabeth
It took me till 1/3 of the way through this book before I really "got" into the story. It wasn't easy to understand what was going on. The middle was good, but the last 3 chapters took such a weird turn that I again found myself confused. The characters are well-formed, and the story line is clean, but again, a little confusing. I did enjoy the descriptions of compelled freedom, a moral vacuum, etc.
Tracy
Very interesting entry in the LDS fantasy genre. I found her "New America" dismal and hard to swallow, but the characters were so intriguing that I couldn't give up the book even when I found it depressing. Also, the way the author used scripture from the Book of Mormon to give the main character hope and sustain him was really inspiring. I look forward to reading more of her books.
Susan
An interesting story set in New America, a break-off of the USA where religion is treason. Ian, a history professor studies a contraband copy of the Book of Mormon and believes it is true. now his conscience is telling him one thing while society says another. He struggles to find his way and keep alive. Made me think.
Calli
I almost put this back on the shelf when read the blurb. Thought it would be sappy, trite and predictable. It is anything but that, and I find myself thoroughly caught up in it. Very suspenseful and interesting premise and background.

It had me at hello, and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.
Kristyn
This was good. Reminded me a lot of Gerald Lund's 'The Alliance'. At first I didn't think it was my kind of book until I got into the story. It was interesting and makes you think, although it's terrible to imagine the United States breaking apart. Reminds me of how Germany used to be.
Kirsten
I can't decide if I should give this 2 or 3 stars. 2 wins at least for today. I thought this book was imaginative, but I felt like the ending was too abrupt. It was also easy for me to put down. So I guess I'm kind of a fence sitter on this one. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either.
Donnell
WOW.. I really liked this book because it made you think! It was published in 2005, but considering our currently political situation and the stuff congress is trying to push through.. WOW. Secret combinations, "euthanizing" anyone ill, ... sound like the new Health Care Bill..
Amy
May 25, 2010 Amy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Amy by: My mom
Interesting idea, good characters...I liked it. My mom sent this home with me to read. It's LDS fiction. The author went to my high school (I didn't know her) and is married to a distant cousin. If there are any others of hers, I think I'll try them.
Tristan
Love love love this book! I love how believable it was and how it made me wonder if this is our nation's future. The concept of a New America founded on a religious ban is fascinating. It's a great twist to most LDS fiction.
Diane
This book was pretty good - interesting. I wished for a lot more background information in the story. Without the blurb on the back cover, I would not have had a clue what was going on most of the time.
Holly
Too hard for me to get into. Not sure if it the characters or the writing style (style, not ability--she is very good!). It was a storyline I thought I would enjoy, but I couldn't get into it at all.
Lori
This book was really hard to get into for me. It did make you grateful for what you have and the freedom to practice your religion anytime & anywhere. I was also very disappointed on how it ended.
Amy
I really like Stephanie Black's writing and found this futuristic book very interesting. I immediately bought the second book to find out what happened.
Josi
I'm not usually a fan of science fiction, but I loved this story. It was the first Stephanie Black novel I ever read and I couldn't wait for the next one.
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