Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Book Review: Uncharted Redemption

Uncharted Redemption
book 2 of the Uncharted series
Keely Brooke Keith
Edenbrooke Press

Feb 24, 2015
Kindle $3.99
Religious fiction, near future

Buy on Amazon

From the Publisher:
Levi Colburn, resentful of his father, haunted by his mother’s tragic death, and pained by his love for the unattainable Mandy Foster, breaks from the Land’s tradition and begins to build a life of his own. When rebels tear through the village of Good Springs, Levi vows to deliver justice and restore the woman he loves. As tradition stands in the way of redemption and threats from the outside world begin to appear, Levi must learn his greatest battles cannot be fought with his fists. Romantic, suspenseful, and filled with adventure, Uncharted Redemption weaves dramatic new layers into life in the Land.

My review:
Keith’s dedication helps the reader understand the theme of book two in the Uncharted series- “For every girl who ever felt ruined.” Societal dictates aside, the people of the Land, descendants of a mysterious island settled by those desiring a peaceful civilization during the American Civil War, have created a near-Paradise generations later. Untroubled by the outside world, they work the land, practice the arts, have some pre-industrial manufacturing, and live a life of mostly tranquility. Naturally there must come evil in the form of a family who felt cheated and passed down this resentment from father to son on the Land, culminating in this episode.
While this book stands alone, readers new to the series may at first have some difficulty keeping the characters identified. A family tree would perhaps be beneficial. The novel focuses on one of several communities on this large island, Good Springs, where the settlers first came ashore. The village overseer, Samuel Colburn, also serves as the preacher and justice of the peace, in modern terms. His son, Levi, is expected to take his place, but chooses not to follow tradition and become a carpenter. Spurned years earlier by the neighbor girl he loves, Mandy, as well as long-held resentment from the death of his mother, Levi carries an enormous chip on his shoulder. When his sister Bethany, and Mandy, are attacked, and Mandy kidnapped, Levi must choose to grow past his resentment and take his place in society as a man. He finds Mandy, who has managed to slip away from her captors, and stays by her side during her recovery. But Mandy has kept a secret for many years that also defies Land traditions and keeps her locked in a cage of self-denial and bondage.
The story of their journey to personal freedom and united commitment makes for a joyous read.
The “meanwhile” part of the story flashes to a parallel event taking place in the outside world, one which will eventually challenge everything held dear.
Some readers may find the acts of violence in this book disturbing, though they show the depth of necessary action in this community that has virtually no experience with criminal disobedience.  
Readers of near future and paranormal fiction will enjoy this series. Occasionally sloggy sections are easily dismissed, in my opinion. This author, I’m sure, will continue to grow her obvious story-telling skill.

About the Author:

Keely Brooke Keith, author of the Uncharted series, is a bass guitarist and frequently performs and tours with her husband, singer/songwriter John Martin Keith. When she isn't writing stories or playing bass, Keely enjoys dancing, having coffee with friends, and sifting through vintage books at antique stores. Keely resides on a hilltop south of Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and their daughter, Rachel.

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