When Violet DuBay’s friend Khloe confides that her dad is a Christian, it’s the one secret Violet can’t keep. Turning in Khloe’s dad to the Constabulary is her duty. Her decision becomes an opportunity to infiltrate the Christian resistance; but as she gets to know Marcus, Lee, and the others, she’s compelled to question the things her society has taught her about God and His followers.
Clay Hansen persuades his family to join him at an underground church meeting and brings Violet, his teen daughter Khloe’s best friend. That night, the church is raided. He and his wife escape, but in the chaos, he loses Violet and Khloe. How can he find them with the Constabulary monitoring his every move? If the God who once spared Khloe won’t intervene, Clay will have to save her himself.
Amanda G. Stevens is the author of the Haven Seekers series and the No Less Days series. A voluntarily transplanted Yankee who lives in the South, she loves acoustic music, Pre-Code/Golden Era films, and super-sweet iced lattes.
SUMMARY: When Violet DuBay's friend Khloe confides that her dad is a Christian, it's the one secret Violet can't keep. Turning in Khloe's dad to the Constabulary is her duty. Her decision becomes an opportunity to infiltrate the Christian resistance; but as she gets to know Marcus, Lee, and the others, she's compelled to question the things her society has taught her about God and His followers.
Clay Hansen persuades his family to join him at an underground church meeting and brings Violet, his teen daughter Khloe's best friend. That night, the church is raided. He and his wife escape, but in the chaos, he loses Violet and Khloe. How can he find them with the Constabulary monitoring his every move? If the God who once spared Khloe won't intervene, Clay will have to save her himself.
REVIEW: Book 2 of the Haven Seekers series continues the story of the takeover of the Christian faith by the government and the basic eroding of the true Christian faith. Stevens tempo continues at a thrilling pace throughout the book and definitely kept me reading to see what was going to happen next. This is not a genre I usually read but Book 2 is even better than Book 1. This series reminds me a lot of many aspects in the Left Behind series which I absolutely loved.
Full of strong characters, both good and evil, as well as those who are trying to determine whether the "old" Bible really spoke the truth. Violet and Clay both are wavering in what they believe and whether or not faith is something they can depend on. Natalia and Khloe are certain they can only stay safe and away from re-ed if they stick with the government beliefs. Marcus' and his main group of friends are staunch defenders of the true faith and will stand no matter what. The surprise character to me was Austin who staunchly pro-government begins to question what is going on. Stevens' ending is definitely a cliffhanger that will pull you into Book 3 (which I have already begun).
I think this is a series that young adults (preteen and up) as well as adults will thoroughly enjoy.
I loved the continuing of the Haven Seekers series.
Found and Lost, book 2, was filled with questions of faith. Characters making decisions based on what they believe, then questioning their faith when things worked out differently than what they planned/thought. I was left not liking Clay at all, where I liked him in the beginning of book 2, but was also kept wondering what I would have done in the same situation.
The ending left you hanging, and made me open book 3.
This book made me highly irresponsible for a week :) In the best sense possible. I had such a hard time putting it down to concentrate on work. Loved all the twists and turns....It was a roller coaster for sure. Great new character development. I love the new POV's especially Violet's. I'm already in mourning that I don't have the next one yet! As a philosophy and literature person, I love the continued exploration of what philosophical ideas can do in 'the real world' and all the references to classical works of art and other philosophical works.
I can see why some 5-star reviewers for the first book, Seek and Hide would choose to rate this book rather than review it. Found and Lost has such a different feel. Much sadder with betrayals, horrible decisions, good people getting what they think they deserve, but don't, bad people getting what they want, but destroying lives in the process, and heartbreak.
One young, seeking soul was given an opportunity to see this Jesus in a new light and to see His people for the loving people they are. This was the highlight.
All I can say is I hope the third book brings something a bit lighter. My heart couldn’t take another sad story, well written though it was.
Found and Lost (Book 2 in the Haven Seekers series) is just as amazing as Seek and Hide (Book 1) was, and together they’ve left me eager to read more from this series. Thankfully, Take and Give (Book 3) has recently released, with a fourth book (Far and Near) on the way!
So what’s to love? For starters, the series has a fascinating (and chilling) premise. The books take place in a near-future society in which there’s a government sanctioned church and a revised Bible, but Christianity as we know it is illegal, as are traditional Bibles. Citizens are led to believe that Christians are extremists in need of re-education. And that’s exactly what they get, if they’re caught. It’s the kind of premise that grips you and really makes you think.
Then there are the characters. While Book 1 focused on Marcus, Aubrey, and Lee, Book 2 focuses more on Clay, Violet, and Khloe who bring along a whole new set of personalities and challenges. Clay’s desperation to restore his family and Violet’s journey of discovery both feel so real, it’s easy to get caught up in their stories. I found myself marveling at the unique perspectives each character brings to the series and how their viewpoints complement each other, giving a clearer picture of their society as a whole.
I think my favorite part of this book is the scene where a character reads a black market Bible and discovers that “This Jesus was different.” (Chapter 36) That scene in particular is so well done. The details, the emotion, the truth. It’s powerful.
I highly recommend this book. You’ll want to start with the first in the series though, since they build on each other. Oh, and fair warning, loose ends are not all tied up by the end of this one, and you will be left wanting more. Which is a good thing, considering there’s more to come!
Thank you to publisher David C Cook for providing an electronic copy of this book for review purposes.
Amanda G. Stevens does it again. Book two of the Haven Seekers doesn't disappoint! The characters I loved from Seek and Hide (book one) are still around, but Found and Lost focuses on Clay and Violet. And they take you on an emotional rollercoaster.
The tone of the story felt different, and yet the same. Which I believe was the author’s goal. The government is still after Christians. Danger seeps through the pages. However, this time we spend moments looking through the eyes of a nonbeliever. One who thought she was doing what’s right.
Many times I wanted to shake Violet and ask her: “What are you thinking?” I wanted so badly to dislike her. But she felt real—acted real. It was like the author wouldn't let me give up on her. And in the end, she might just be my favorite character…so far.
I flew through this story. And the ending will leave you yearning for book three.
From the title, to the book cover, to the subplots, to the characters…I really liked it all. Stars: 4.78
(I received an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.)
enjoy reading stories that ask an ultimate question. What if? Dystopian genre does exactly that. What if we lived in a world where books were not allowed? What if we lived in a world where Christians were hunted and re-educated? What if the Bible is a banned book that could send you to prison if you read it? Amanda G. Stevens, in her second book of the Haven Seekers series, ask those exact questions. True to the dystopian genre, Stevens has created a story for the readers to ponder and a plot that will haunt them long after they put the book down.
One of my favorite aspects of the story is the characters of Clay and Violet. Neither one of them is the actual hero or heroine; they are just the characters the readers follow during the story. I loved how Stevens allows Clay and Violet to be realistically flawed. First, Violet has been truly brainwashed and consumed by the culture that hates Bibles and Christians. After the church raid, she is taken to a Christian home and mingles with them. Violet’s story is a typical story of a conversation from the worldly view to the Christian view. Stevens does a good job at getting into the mindset of the way a non-believer thinks. Clay, however, is a great example of someone who is an active Christian, but after a while, he questions his belief. I enjoyed watching the journey and transformation Clay and Violet took.
Stevens is a master storyteller. The story is written well with an even amount of descriptions to anchor the readers and dialogue that flows naturally from the characters. I never once felt like I was taken out of the setting and the action occurring on the page. The story moves at a realistic pace and the ending makes me anxious for the next book in the series that comes out in August. The only problem I had, and I had this same problem when I read the first book, Seek and Hide, is Stevens never informed her readers how the scare of Bibles and Christians got so bad. Usually in most dystopian novels, the characters have an elder who explains the old times, but Stevens does not do this. It did not ruin the story, but I would have liked to have known this. Also, the setting is realistic enough and can happen in any town in any state. Stevens does a good job at keeping the descriptions strong when they need to be, but vague in a general sense.
The tension of the story happens internally and externally. Violet, externally, fights the Christian Resistance and, internally, fights her feelings of wanting to be loved. On the other hand, Clay, externally, fights the Constabulary, the police, and, internally, fights his feelings of losing his family. The paths Stevens set before Clay and Violet were well-developed and creates conflicts every person has at one time or another. Both characters definitely change by the end. One for the better. One for the worst. There really is no romantic tension; the story focuses on the external and internal dilemmas.
Stevens incorporates the spiritual concerns of the novel by allowing the characters to either fight for or fight against the Christian resistance. I do not think Stevens is too heavy handed with the way she does it; I believe the elements of the Bible are important to telling the story. Similarly, there is no questionable content, so the story would appeal to conservative readers of any age. Also, I think this would be a great series to pass on to unbelievers who still question whether they should follow Jesus or not. It would be a great witnessing tool told in a story form. This story is completely original and unpredictable. I enjoy how Stevens uses the familiar title backwards. I believe she highlights how one character will be lost and one found, but the characters change, so the title is flip-flopped to highlight that element.
Overall, Amanda G. Stevens in her latest book, Found and Lost, transports her readers to a world with no Bibles or Christians, relatable characters, and explains the gospel story in a new and unique way. I really enjoyed the story and will be recommending it.
This review first appeared on The Christian Manifesto.
As I said in my review of the first book in this series, Seek and Hide, I ask three questions when determining whether a piece of fiction can be labeled “great.” First, does it entertain me? Second, does it make me think? Third, does it make me feel?
As with the first, this sequel deserves a resounding YES to all three questions and I freely label it “great.”
First, it’s entertaining. The suspense starts on page one. Literally. You’re thrown into a situation with high stakes and you have no idea what’s going on, but you can already tell this is going to be big. And with every scene, there’s more to keep you turning the pages. There’s conflict and loyalty and backsliding and progress and tension. As an entertaining tale, it delivers on every level.
Second, again, this made me think. Set in a world where true faith is criminalized and political correctness has become all-powerful, we see Christians of all levels. The devout, willing to withstand any pressure in response to serving God. The questioning and doubting, who feel betrayed by God and bargain with Him in an attempt to make sense of what they’re going through. And those with no real understanding of God at all, who have bought into the lies this world’s government and society has taught them about “tolerance” and love and true faith.
Their experiences bring up many of the same questions as the first book – where are the lines in law and society? Where does God draw the lines? What does God ask of them – of us – when those lines clash with each other?
These questions are not easy ones and the author does not treat them as such. The characters wrestle with them – true wrestling with no certainty for the reader, watching them struggle, of which outcome they will choose. And the reader, too, wrestles long after the last page is read and the cover closed.
And finally, the feelings. Just like last time, I laughed and I cried. I wanted to punch people. I wanted to hug people. I...okay, I admit it, I may have actually yelled out loud at characters. Once. Or twice. Maybe.
But seriously, these characters are real people. Our focus has shifted to Violet and Clay, introduced in this book, but we also see a lot of familiar faces from the last one, too. Primary, secondary, familiar faces or fresh, all the characters feel alive and fully human. They are selfish and petty. They are loyal and devoted. They are all stumbling along in this messed up world so different from and so similar to our own, trying to do right, often failing. They are struggling with questions of faith, of who God is, what He asks, and how they will respond.
And I felt it all with them, every step of the way. Even when I wanted to throttle them for the choices they made, I still understood them. I understood where they were coming from, how easily that could be me, and I felt for them. I felt with them.
Seek and Hide set a high bar; Found and Lost clears it handily. Once again, Amanda Stevens has delivered truly great fiction.
Two things can make me run from most books: paranoia and teenage characters. And had I not read and enjoyed Stevens' first book in this series, I don't know that a description would have drawn me in -- it's an America where Christianity has been outlawed and one of the heroes is a teenage girl.
But Stevens proves again she's a pro at world-building and character development, and I found myself up late racing to finish this book. She puts the leads of her previous story to the side and gives us new characters to follow, allowing us to see the saga's heroes from another angle altogether. The result is a richer, more diverse story filled with complex characters. I love that Stevens doesn't pull punches or follow formula -- characters make decisions that will infuriate you and break your heart, but they never are out of step with who they are. Not only did I like seeing Marcus and Lee from another angle, but I found Violet to be a complex character whose own journey surprised me, and Belinda is one of those completely likable characters who I will be very angry if anything happens to down the road.
And while I often hear Christians worry that the government is going to take away their rights and chalk it up to right-wing paranoia, Stevens' book never feels alarmist or divisive (a tad political, possibly, but that's allowed). It's simply the world her characters are thrust into and it feels realistic because she keeps the focus small. This isn't a story about a civil war or a plot to overthrow the government -- much of the story involves two teenage girls being guarded at a house. It works because the characters are so strongly developed that the stakes feel high. It may not always be life and death, but the there are matters of trust and questions of the soul that still hit hard. And Stevens slightly expands the scope from the first story, giving us a glimpse at the bureaucracy that carries it out; she doesn't turn this into an epic, but she does hint at a larger world here.
If I had one criticism it's that some of the "villains" in the Constabulary sometimes come across as a little too villainous and the dialogue in their interrogations is a bit mustache-twirly. But it's a small part of the story and given that they're supposed to be intimidating, it's not really a major complaint.
As a rule, I don't read "Christian" fiction. I find most of it is poorly written and formulaic. This is the exception to the rule. This is beautifully written and expertly imagined fiction that goes to unexpected places and doesn't pull punches. I can't wait to see what's next, but I'm a bit apprehensive as well because Stevens has a knack for breaking readers' hearts.
Could the government really take over the Christian life in the US?
Book 2 of the Haven Seekers continues with Marcus getting Christians to a safe place. Bibles were confiscated and a new Bible was written by the government. If your daughter had been arrested (supposedly) would one deny Christ to get her free? Some characters in this second volume see the light and some it seems chose darkness. This book as well as the first book in this series ends like a cliffhanger. Most novels come to some sort of conclusion or at least a few questions are answered...not in this book.
This was a fitting and heart-racing sequel to Seek and Find. I was disappointed in several semi-steamy love scenes, which probably won't bother most people who are used to American films and television. These could have been handled with more discretion or left out altogether.
Again, I was fascinated by "people of peace" in the story who are not Christians, but who felt Christians deserved protection. And Stevens does a good job of developing Violet's conflicting thoughts about government-sanctioned Christianity and the real thing.
Hallelujah for a book with no cookie-cutter Christians and no pat answers to life's questions.
Found and Lost has the great writing, complex characters, and engaging plot I’ve come to expect from Amanda G. Stevens. In this book the story focuses on Clay and Violet, and while their choices were believable and necessary to the series, those choices also made it hard for me to like them or want to spend time in their point of views. Violet managed to win me over in the end though, and I really like the dynamic between her and Lee. They’re good for each other, and I’m looking forward to seeing how their connection plays out in the series. I have hope for Austin as well. (And I really need more of Marcus in book three. Just saying.)
Found and Lost introduces two new point-of-view (POV) characters, which could've been a problem if Stevens weren't so skilled at POV. However, Clay and Violet never feel like each other OR Marcus and Aubrey. They -- in fact, all of the characters -- are complex and real, which makes them fascinating, if not always sympathetic. (I'm looking at you, Clay).
And I'm definitely committed to finding out what happens to Violet, Lee, Chuck, Belinda, and Marcus next. (And am maybe still hugging sweet Violet's neck.)
I am enjoying this series. I love the story and I think this book is even better than the first book. It is well written and an easy read. These books really make a person think. We as Christians are allowing our beliefs and freedoms to be chipped away little by little. Before it's realised we could find ourselves in the same situation as the characters in this book. Definitely ready for book 3.
We pick back up with the believers and learn a little bit more about their group. Clay is now doing some errands for the. However, things all change when Violet thinks she is in love and jeopardizes it all. Story flowed well, there were a few surprises. Looking for book 3 now.
Given that I've read all four books, I understand why Book 2 and 3 were necessary. I just struggle with series' to the extent that they move from the person I'm initially captured by. In this case - Marcus and Lee. I truly would have been happier had the series continued from their perspectives.
Another action packed thought provoking book by Amanda G. Stevens, When given the chance to review this second book of the series (Seek and Hide was the first) I couldn't wait to start reading! I wasn't disappointed, it was also a page turner,
The author again makes me think about how I would handle the injustices brought about by the law and stand up for God in the midst of my trials. Her writing takes you through the feelings of first bravery then fear of doing the right thing. Joy and peace I know can be there too when you know that God is with you through it all.
I love the inclusion of non-Christians in the books. Their willingness to fight to make the law right again is so courageous. Throughout the book you begin to see what good people they are and hope they will become believers also.
I'm excited to read the next book in the series. That being said, I was a bit disappointed at the conclusion of this book, that I felt left me with a few too many loose ends.
I was given a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Last year I ran across this little book called "Seek and Hide" set in a world where Christians had to worship in secret and the US Government provided their own version of the Bible to its citizens. I had no idea there had been a second book until I was given an opportunity to review book number three in the Haven Seekers series.
Now, I really couldn't read book #3 without reading book #2 since I'm a read a series in full type of gal. Although our two main characters in this book are different than in book one (and in book three as well now that I'm a little ways into it), some friends from the first book have strong supporting roles in this one.
Here's what spoke most to me about the book: When two people are faced with the same choice of whether or not to confess belief, the results are far-reaching. Violet's struggle to find the truth spoke to me in this book while Clay's journey broke my heart.
This book makes me thankful I can worship in the light of day without persecution or threat of imprisonment. Now, on to book three as the saga continues.
Found and Lost is a masterful novel woven together with great detail. You can picture the places where the characters are with no effort: the author did it all for you. I mean . . . I wanted pancakes after reading through a scene where Belinda makes them. Overall, this book is so totally different from what I’ve come to expect in Christian fiction. It’s the second installment in a series, with the first every bit as good as this one. Great characters, a fast-paced plot that keeps you turning pages, and all interwoven with deep theology. Since the ending of this book is a cliffhanger, I look forward to the next book . . . actually, I’m concerned for the characters. I need to know what happens next!
2nd in series--engrossing look at a world where Christianity and the Bible are outlawed. The mood of this book is sinister, and the author does an excellent job at conveying the feelings of Christians and also those who aren't Christians but support the cause of freedom. I really appreciated the author's portrayal of Violet--someone who had basically grown up in this new world, and had very rigid beliefs about what is right and wrong, according to what she had been taught.
The only character I don't truly connect with is Marcus. He seems so broody and bristly, it would be nice to see bits of humanity from him.