One of the most fun things I’ve done in the internet world for the last few years is following authors, really enjoy reading their blogs, and then getting to read their books. I don’t think there’s anything quite as special as finding your newest favorite authors that way! Most recently, I saw a signup form for a book tour for a book called Kiera coming from a blog I read on a pretty regular basis. I figured I’d probably like it, so I signed up—without reading the synopsis, or anything (rather dangerous, yes!).
I also had another couple review books going at the time, so wondered how it would all work out—having four reading deadlines within a month isn’t always a great idea for me. BUT! I wanted to read this, so I signed up.
And I am so glad I did.
Legal jargon: I received a complimentary copy of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
My previous three stories leading up to this one involved ancient history, a modern-day Christmas story, and Biblical historical fiction—each excellent. So when I started Kiera and hit a “radiation storm”, my brain went reeling—until I found myself fully immersed in a futuristic America with some terrible problems!
After the first chapter, though, the action ramped up and I had quite the struggle focusing on work. I knew I wouldn’t have any time the following day to read, so that made it extra-tempting to keep going once I had started, aside from the fact that disentangling myself from the story for any length of time was well-nigh impossible (I’m sorry, family).
It was so bad—this trying to forget the book while I focused on writing and editing other reviews—that I sent a letter or so to the author complaining. I tell ya, it doesn’t happen often for this girl, so I was really enjoying it, despite not getting anything else done!
Anyway, this book. First of all, being set in a futuristic America was super neat. It took a little time for my brain to rearrange to fit that after the books I had been reading leading up to it—something like what happens when we play the card game Dutch Blitz the normal way, and then change to one of our crazier variations! But, once I had made the switch, I fell in love with the setting. And instantly began worrying for Kiera.
I don’t think I ever prayed for the characters throughout the day it took to finish this book—not quite. But oh, the temptation was there! (Is that wrong? I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll be asking, either.)
The characters in this story? Each one was special in their own right, and every single one came across very realistically. The plot? Deeper than I expected, and with a few perfect “I didn’t see that one coming!” twists that made me love it even more.
The thing I loved the most was the love shown in this book. I know that probably sounds convoluted, but that was one of the best parts to it, in my opinion. The characters showed genuine Christ-like love to each other, and that was beautiful. It wasn’t always easy—sometimes, it was really hard—but they made choices that would be better for everyone in the long-run. The results of their choices were beautiful.
I did struggle with a few things—like trying to figure out what was going on with the politics in the book, or what kind of technology they were actually using, or who the main character’s family was. I think I got most of it near the end of the book, but it wasn’t very clear—people were mentioned, but the connections weren’t necessarily explained. All of these things, while they aren’t huge problems, did make it a little harder to connect with the overall setting, because mentions were vague—but the plot and writing style carried the story so well that it didn’t matter as much to me as it could in other books.
One of the biggest things I enjoyed in this book was the depth of the main conflict—both physical, and spiritual. Several different major themes in this book were ones that could be applicable in many different situations, and it was good to see how they played out here. Whether it was choosing to do the right thing over having personal comfort, or loving expecting nothing in return, or being a good manager of what you’ve been given, there was a surprising amount of depth in this story. I loved the different applications of those themes—it was very encouraging!
In all, despite perhaps a few world-building issues, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I’m looking forward to re-reading it in the future, and hopefully getting my own print copy one day. It was that good! (And please, oh please, let there be a sequel soon, because I can’t wait!)
(Please note that this story isn’t for younger readers. There are a few things mentioned like abortion and death that, while handled very tactfully, could be disturbing to those younger than early-mid teens.)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kate Willis has been homeschooled her whole life in a loving family that values the Gospel of Jesus Christ, creativity, and thoughtful conversations. She is inspired by red shoes, a good story, little children, and chai tea. It is her desire to serve God in the home having a family of her own in the future. She is the author of The Treasure Hunt, The Twin Arrows, Kiera, and two short stories Enjoy the Poodle Skirt and Red Boots.
Unfortunately, this book isn’t up for sale yet (otherwise, I’d be linking to it…because you really should check it out!). It will be releasing next Friday, Lord willing! BUT, there is a giveaway going! Enter here.
Other tour stops and extra-special things from author Kate Willis can be found on her blog here!
Let’s discuss: What was the last futuristic book you’ve read lately? Or, if it’s been a while, which one is your favorite?