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(Safe Lands #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  711 ratings  ·  168 reviews
When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he'd find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many--including his fiancée, Jem--taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe. ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Zondervan
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  711 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Leah Good
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'll start this review by saying that, while I enjoyed this book, I do not recommend it to everyone. More specifically, I DON'T recommend it to kids and younger teenagers. I DO recommend it for older teens. Keep reading for an explanation.

The themes presented in this book are excellent. The main characters are kidnapped into a society that pretty much embodies all the worldly selfishness currently destroying our country. I loved the moral courage shown by Levi, Mason and Shaylinn in standing up
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
This was an awkward book to read. And I didn't even finish it! The whole plot was waaaaaay too sexual.
Here's some of what bugged me, noted, that I stopped at page 103.
Killing(detailed), Death(detailed), Shooting(detailed), Blood(detailed) and a dog is killed (semi, which was way too detailed for a dog-lover like me.). Also "maggot"(three times), dumb'(once), sissy'(many), "shut up"(once), "buck up"(twice), and "son of a cockroach's vomit" (once) is all said. Mentions of drugs and liberation.
R.S. Carter
I WANT a SimTag. I've never been a fan of tattoos and my skin is free of ink, but if I could - I would seriously get a SimTag. Right on the side of my neck.

Of course, in the book it was more like:

Crazy, awesome dystopia going on in this book. And to offset the insanity of this world, we also have sweet references to this:

Which I loved.

"I will never doubt again." {swoon}
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved Captives so much I blurbed it. Williamson is fabulous with her world building in this one and her characters stick with you in a way that makes putting the story aside a near impossibility. Add it to your TBR stack. You'll thank me.
Andrea Cox
Feb 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
This one was tough for me to get into. I made it to thirty percent before calling it quits. Under-age marriages and forced pregnancies were advocated heavily, and it became obvious that those things were what the plot was going to revolve around. Those topics seemed too intimate for a young adult book, so I wouldn't recommend this book for teens; it promotes teen pregnancy and teen marriage.

There were other things that made this a tough read for me, such as tattoos, painting the skin, and
Rebecca (whenallotherlightsgoout)
Just as good on a re-read!

Review when first read in April 2014:


On that note, I will start off by saying this series may turn out to be my favorite dystopian yet! The book really surprised me. Previously, I had not read anything else by this author, though I did hear some not so stellar reviews about Replication. I was not sure how much I would enjoy this book.

This book has switches between four people, three of them brothers. I have not read too many books with male dominate POVs.
Rebecca LuElla
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adults/readers who enjoy dystopian fantasy
The Story. A plague initially carried in the water supply wiped out most of the population of earth. However, a small community with access to clean water survived. They walled themselves in, named themselves the Safe Lands, and built a society utilizing some of the most advanced technology available. The goal of the citizens is to live happy, pleasurable lives. Their have a nice day has morphed into have pleasure in life.

A handful of small communities exist outside the walled city, also relying
Rachelle Cobb
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
What I Liked

Mason, the one who doesn't quite fit in. Omar, the one who thinks everyone hates him. Levi, the one with the secret that could cost him everything.

These three brothers tugged me into the story from the beginning. Even when the sciency stuff had my brain spinning (It's probably because of all the historical fiction I read that I was having that reaction!), I kept reading because these three guys have such a complicated relationship with one another -- and suddenly they're plopped in
John Otte
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A really excellent book. What happens when a group of outsiders are brought into a world where pleasure is the only good, even if it means a slow death? Jill Williamson creates an unforgettable world and some great characters in this book. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Tamara  Sinnamon
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thought Jill Williamson did a great job on this book. She gave good Christian views without preaching, and showed very clearly what our world is headed for if we don't start changing the way we live.
Adam Graham
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dystopia is a tough genre to write in. There's a tendency towards one dimensional characters and one dimensional worlds.

Jill Williamson side-steps both with a novel that creates rich characters and a very rich story world.

The book focuses on what happens in a post-apocalyptic world when the younger citizens of the Christian-dominated albeit primitive villge of Glenrock are kidnapped and taken to the Safelands, a wealthy and pleasure-loving city that's afflicted with a plague that makes carrying
Sandra "Jeanz"
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant Book looking forward to Bk #2 already . . . full review to follow!
I received this one from Jill Williamson as the copy sent to me by Netgalley was on epub at that time. I received the book free in exchange for my honest review.
The cover represents the books really well. I would say the male on the cover is Levi, though the man could be one of the other young Glenrock males I suppose. I think of it being Levi when he gains access to the safelands, staring up at their large
Jalynn Patterson
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
About the Book:

One choice could destroy them all. When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he'd find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed by enforcers, and many---including his fiancee, Jem--taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Land, a walled city that seems anything but safe. Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away to
I recently finished reading "The Safe Lands Captives " by Jill Williamson. This is an upcoming release(on sale April 2, 2013) and it's publisher is Zondervan.
This is a futuristic/adventure teen novel. This book reminded me of The Lord of the Rings (without the Orks), The Hunger Games (instead of districts, there are villages and it is futuristic) and the movie "Gattica" (creating life with "perfect" surrogates/donors).
There is a perfect, utopia-like place called the Safe Lands where life is
Carol R.
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this young adult dystopian novel, award-winning author Jill Williamson tells the story of how one brother's choice dramatically affects the lives of those around him.

In Captives (Safe Lands, The), three brothers live in a rural village outside the walls of the Safe Lands. The youngest, Omar, struggles to fit in, making him susceptible to the lies of a better life behind the walls. Mason dreams of becoming a doctor and helping others, while the eldest , Levi, eventually will follow in his
Carol R.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adults and young adults
In this young adult dystopian novel, award-winning author Jill Williamson tells the story of how one brother's choice dramatically affects the lives of those around him.

In Captives (Safe Lands, The), three brothers live in a rural village outside the walls of the Safe Lands. The youngest, Omar, struggles to fit in, making him susceptible to the lies of a better life behind the walls. Mason dreams of becoming a doctor and helping others, while the eldest , Levi, eventually will follow in his
Charity U
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
: I enjoyed it even more than Id hoped to! Previously I read Replication that was while I was gone for the summer last year, so my blog never got a review, though GoodReads got a brief one. I didnt love it, but was fascinated by it. But this one? Really good! Ive read a couple of dystopian series, but this one promises to be my favorite after all, its futuristic, but God is still in it! Indeed, it was very futuristic (2088) but also quite believable yup, a little scary Ive gotta admit. I ...more
Becky B
Let me start off by saying I really respect Williamson and what she has been contributing to the Christian YA literature available. In many respects, shes helped raise the bar for modern Christian teen fiction, which was drastically needed. Her writing is good. I just couldnt get into this story. And I wouldnt recommend this to just anyone. There are some rather mature themes in this book. I started reading it after a teen complained to me that it had too much sexual content and made him ...more
Deborah O'Carroll
From the moment I started reading CAPTIVES, I was glued to the page. I read it in a single day, staying up till midnight to finish because I just couldn't put it down. My favorite part of the book? Levi, without a doubt. He was such a wonderful character and he totally made the book for me. I want to go back and reread all the parts he's in.

CAPTIVES, book 1 of The Safe Lands, is the story of the rural villagers of Glenrock in a conflict with the Safe Lands--a high-tech city that uses the guise
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While I love reimagined Bible stories, Captives takes the concept a step further. Rather than a retelling the book of Daniel, Jill Williamson has created a dystopian world based on a futuristic version the Biblical Babylon. She's also populated it with fascinating characters and cool technology.
What I love about this world is the way Ms. Williamson makes the Safe Lands enticing. You can see why people would be drawn into the lifestyle. And why it would be a temptation to those from Glenrock.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dystopian
Have you ever read a book, and then struggled to decide if you liked it? After all, people died horribly and unimaginable suffering was visited upon the protagonists. You can't really walk away with a, "well that was fun!" And yet, you are glad you read the book...more than that, you are grateful. It reached down inside of you and forced you to deal with ideas and emotions you hope will never see the light of day outside the pages of a book. You come away stronger, more aware of yourself, your ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Compelling, but mature

Make no mistake, Captives is an extremely engaging book. In fact, so much so that I read it in two days flat, despite it being very long, around 800 pages.

It is a fast paced story too, there's never a dull moment, and never a shortage of conflict for the characters. They themselves are well-drawn and definitely likeable, even relatable. Each one is flawed in their own way, which somehow makes them even more loveable. My only problem was that I felt four main characters were
Paul Lunger
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
The initial novel in Jill Williamson's "The Safe Lands" series, "Captives" introduces us to an alternate western US where a certain area called Safe Lands is infected by a plague that causes them to be sterile & unable to have children. The people from this land raid outlying areas for suitable women, men & children to grow this society. The main players in this book are Omar Strong who betrays his entire village for a chance at a legitimate wife & causes the village itself to suffer ...more
R. G. Nairam
Between a 3 and 4 on this one.

Started out a bit slow for me, but it had interesting concepts and characters that pulled me through it. A bit confused on what I guess is some of the worldbuilding? Mainly, why in a society where creating healthy babies is so important, the healthy people where let to live on such a long leash that would allowed them to become infected. It just seemed a bit odd to me. Similarly, why any number of Xs would actually get a healthy person killed.

The Christian element
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Personal Opinion - The world was colorful and original and new, with new technology which was interesting and believable that one day we could get to that. The language was cool in how it changed from how we speak today. The characters were diverse and realistic, with real dreams and pains and struggles. There were a couple of times the character reactions didn't seem believable such as how they started enjoying the Safe Lands after being kidnapped, seen family killed and taken away, and told ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
Having enjoyed two of Jill Williamson's previous books and being a huge fan of the dystopian books I've read, I was pretty sure I'd like Captives before I even started it... and my hunch was right!

The whole story matter was very interesting (the virus, how The Safe Lands' people need donors and surrogates to continue populating, etc.). I really liked the characters in Captives. My favorite was Mason, but I pretty much liked everyone except Mia and the "bad guys".

Captives has a wonderful
R.M. Lutz
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book! It's a fresh take on the Christian dystopian sub-genre. It poses thought-provoking and relevant questions without being preachy. That being said, much of the plot does revolve around differing views on intimate relationships in society. While it was handled quite tastefully, I would say that issue alone makes this a book suitable only for mature teens and up. (Like Christian speculative fiction? Check out full-length reviews and more at ...more
Read it in 2 sittings, it was that intriguing. On to book 2!!
C.J. Darlington
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-dystopian
A solid dystopian from a Christian worldview. Nothing preachy, but the characters occasionally remember different verses and their lives are sometimes guided by them. At first I wasn't sure which character was the main one as we're introduced to several up front, but as the book progressed it becomes clear that all of them are important to the plot. Definitely the first book in a series as many aspects are left unresolved by book's end. Still satisfying though.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Good story. For some reason, I like dystopians that deal with medical stuff. I don't have it completely straight who's related to who, but I was still able to enjoy it without being too confused. And I loved the Princess Bride references. :D And Omar. I want to slug that guy. Not for younger readers, due to subject matter, though.
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Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms and an award-winning fantasy and science fiction author of over twenty books including By Darkness Hid, which won several awards and was named a Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror novel of 2009 by VOYA magazine.

She has also written several books on the craft of writing fiction and teaches writing in person and online

Other books in the series

Safe Lands (3 books)
  • Outcasts (Safe Lands, #2)
  • Rebels (Safe Lands, #3)

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