Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Seek and Hide by Amanda Stevens - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Seek and Hide
David C. Cook (September 15, 2014)
Amanda Stevens


As a child, Amanda G. Stevens disparaged Mary Poppins and Stuart Little because they could never happen. Now, she writes speculative fiction. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in English and has taught literature and composition to home-school students. She lives in Michigan and loves books, film, music, and white cheddar popcorn. Amanda's first novel, Seek and Hide, will be available September 15, 2014 from David C Cook.


Six years ago, the government took control of the church. Only re-translated Bibles are legal, and a specialized agency called the Constabulary enforces this and other regulations. Marcus Brenner, a new Christian, will do anything to protect his church family from imprisonment--including risk his own freedom to gain the trust of a government agent. Aubrey Weston recanted her faith when the Constabulary threatened her baby. Now released, she just wants to provide for her son and avoid government notice. But she's targeted again, and this time, her baby is taken into custody. If only she'd never denied Him, maybe God would hear her pleas for help. When Aubrey and Marcus's lives collide, they are forced to confront the lies they believe about themselves. And God is about to grab hold of Marcus's life in a way he'd never expect, turning a loner into a leader.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Seek and Hide, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
God, is that what I’m doing? Paying for…everything?”  (p.398)

At the point Marcus Brenner whispers this prayer to God, he has been through some very fiery trials that have left him doubting and empty.  He has struggled against the government’s  “thought police” – the Constabulary – not realizing that his own efforts would never be enough.  The Bible has been banned – other than the government’s re-translated version -  and true believers are being arrested and taken to re-education camps.  Marcus has been called to rise against this movement to obliterate Christianity.

Except Marcus is sometimes too busy battling his own weakness to remain effective in the fight.  Until he asks himself this very probing question.  Sound familiar?  It is a struggle I’m all too familiar with.  Trying to look for ways to convince myself that I’m unworthy to fight in the war God has equipped me to fight in.  Thus making myself ineffective.  I think it’s a struggle for all believer’s at some point, and that’s what makes the characters and their trials so meaningful.  We can all relate to one or more of their struggles.

I think the point is to never give up.  Accept God’s grace and live to fight another day.  Don’t become our own worst enemy.  That was my take away from this very unique book.  It’s not such a far stretch to imagine something like a Constabulary.  It’s not hard to imagine the duplicity and discernment needed to fight such an insidious evil.  And it begs the question Marcus asks himself:  “God, is that what I’m doing?  Paying for….everything?”  Instead of accepting that Jesus’ death was sufficient and that God’s grace is sufficient.

This is a very unique and thought-provoking book.  The tension and intensity of the plot build gradually, and you are allowed time to know and care for the characters.  This is a book I’m pleased to recommend.

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