Book 3 in the Subversives trilogy
By Raena Rood
One Foundation Publishing, 2021
Genre: Christian Fiction/Apocalyptic Thriller
Via: Author Request
“… (we) must tell them what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been here.”
– Betsie ten Boom
Kimber here, ready to rock and roll with Salvation, the third and final installment in the fast-paced, high-octane Subversives trilogy by Raena Rood. But first, a disclaimer:
Her Crankiness – Hi, Mom – isn’t necessarily a big fan of book series or trilogies. The reason is simple. Way too often, the first book starts off as a real barn burner. Subsequent titles soon run out of gas. They sputter and putter and limp into The End with way too many stops in Dullsville and Snooze Gulch along the way.
So we were a little hesitant to take on the Subversives trilogy. Which just shows you what we know.
A Pleasant Surprise
The trilogy turned out to be one of the most well-written, thoroughly engaging and highly readable books/series of the year. (Not to brag or anything – Hi again, Mom – but one of us read over 350 books last year. Well, it was mostly me. But Mom helped. A little.)
“Whatever happens to us in the future, we must never lose faith in the end of the story.”
Anyway, here are our reviews of the first two books in the Subversives trilogy: 1) Subversive, and 2) Sanctuary: What Do ‘Sanctuary’ and Secretariat Have in Common?
The trilogy is set in Pennsylvania in the “not-too-distant future.” Christianity has been outlawed in the United States. Believers are forced to renounce their faith or be sent to detention centers where they are held indefinitely until they are “rehabilitated.” Many Christians go into hiding to avoid prison. They’re called “subversives” and are relentlessly hunted by swarms of marauding soldiers of the government’s Federal Task Force.”
“Fight the good fight.”
As with the first two books, Salvation centers on Taylor Nolan and Gemma Alcott. A Task Force solider and an agnostic on a good day, Taylor is also Gemma’s main squeeze. Gemma is pretty much Taylor’s polar opposite. She’s been hiding and dodging marauding Task Force patrols ever since her parents were arrested and imprisoned.
Where Book 3 Picks Up
Book 3, Salvation, picks up after Taylor, now an ex-Task Force solider, and Gemma are separated following a violent raid on a “subversive” campground/sanctuary at Winter’s Dam.
Taylor was captured and chucked into a government “detention center.” Think Gulag Archipelago. Gemma and a small, rag-tag band of sanctuary survivors have been hiding in Winter’s Dam, post-raid. They fear the worst when they’re suddenly kidnapped in the dead of night.
“That’s the beautiful miracle of it all. Jesus has already set you free.”
The abductors are led by a shadowy dude named “Clarke.” Gemma later finds out that Clarke & Co. have hatched a bold plan to liberate the detention centers, free as many detainees as possible, and reunite them with their relatives.
But Federal Bureau of Compliance Director Lydia “Dragon Woman” Grimes will arrest anyone who helps subversives and charge them with treason, a capital crime. Cuz Christians who cannot be rehabilitated are treated as domestic terrorists who must be annihilated. That includes Gemma’s parents.
“For them, tomorrow wasn’t a promise, but a wish.”
As Public Enemy #1, Gemma must now choose between The Impossible and The Unthinkable.
Oh, wait. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next.
Buckle Up! Sharp Turn Ahead!
Meanwhile, you might want to buckle up. Cuz we’re turning a corner here. Fast. It all ties in at the end. Ready? Good. Here goes:
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
– Corrie ten Boom
Do you know Corrie ten Boom? Corrie and her family were devout Christians when WWII broke out and the Nazis invaded the Netherlands. The ten Booms became members of the Dutch resistance and are credited with saving hundreds of lives. Until they were betrayed. Corrie and her sister, Betsie, were sent to Ravensbruck, the infamous women’s camp deep in Germany.
Corrie lost most of her family. Her beloved sister Betsie died in Ravensbruck. Two weeks after Betsie’s death, Corrie was released as the result of a “clerical error.” Shortly thereafter, all women her age were executed.
Corrie later traveled the world. The concentration camp survivor and author talked about forgiveness wherever doors opened, including Germany and in many prisons. She continued sharing the Old, Old Story of Jesus and His love until her death in 1983.
One Way Door
Corrie’s true story is told in The Hiding Place, A Prisoner and Yet, and Tramp for the Lord. You can find out more about Corrie and her story here. She also made a film for prisoners, One Way Door. And it’s not just for those incarcerated behind steel bars:
Why am I mentioning Corrie ten Boom here? Because she’s one of my all-time favorite authors. And parts of the Subversives trilogy reminds me of her story. So even tho I’m not necessarily a big fan of book series, the Subversives trilogy resonated with me.
It will also resonate with anyone who enjoys a lightning-quick, solid story that’s challenging, inspiring, and well told. Bonus points: No foul language or sexual content, so this book is also appropriate for young adult readers.
Couldn’t Put It Down!
Indeed, Salvation is another exceptional read by author Raena Rood. I couldn’t put it down! I’d grab a copy now ‘fize you (before Kimber nabs all of ‘em. Don’t tell her I said that, okay?).
January 14, 2022 at 5:54 pm
What a fascinating person Corrie ten Boom was!!! Thanks for telling me more about her, she so inspiring!
January 14, 2022 at 6:09 pm
Her book “The Hiding Place” was also made into a movie with the same name.
January 14, 2022 at 6:14 pm
The Hiding Place movie trailer: https://youtu.be/yjP7nTMX33s
January 14, 2022 at 11:14 pm
Thank you both so much for this lovely review! I totally agree about book series often fizzling after the first book, which is why I was so hesitant to write a series. I was terrified that books 2 and 3 would flop. But I’m so glad that readers are connecting with it. I give God all the glory for making this story what it is. He led the way and I followed. Thank you again for reading and reviewing! –Raena
January 14, 2022 at 3:38 pm
Roger that! 👏