Six months after their narrow escape from the Task Force, Gemma Alcott and her subversive friends—including her soldier boyfriend, Taylor—believe they’ve found safety at an isolated camp located deep within the Pennsylvania wilderness. Known as the Sanctuary, this hideout for persecuted Christians is supplied by elderly bookstore owner Letty Webb and her network of sympathizers in the nearby town of Winter’s Dam. The camp is beautiful and idyllic, and Gemma falls asleep every night in the protection of Taylor’s arms. But no matter how safe she feels, she cannot break free from the ghosts of her past—including Gavin, the ex-boyfriend whose heart she broke, and Mullen, the redheaded soldier who haunts her nightmares.
When the Task Force puts Winter’s Dam on lockdown to root out the sympathizers, a small group from the Sanctuary—headed up by Gemma and Taylor—prepares to fight. They work out a plan to infiltrate the town and rescue Letty and the others. But the rescue attempt goes terribly wrong, setting in motion a devastating series of events which could endanger not only Gemma and her friends, but the Sanctuary itself.
Stripped of everything she loves, Gemma must stop hiding and confront the Task Force—and the ghosts that haunt her—once and for all. And she must put her faith in the only Sanctuary that can never be destroyed.
I received this book for free from the author. All comments and opinions are entirely my own, and I am writing a voluntary review.
Let me just start by saying that it feels like it has been ages since I read the first book in this series and subsequently had to wait for this one to come out. In reality, I read it just over a year ago, and it just felt like the wait was longer because I was impatient for the story to continue (plus COVID was a thing). 🙂
In my review for Subversive I mentioned that one of the things that stuck out to me was that it took place in our world. They eat our junk foods, reference our historical events, and read our classic literature. The only real difference is that they have a totalitarian government that hates Christianity. While reading this book, I was really struck by how much this really increased the impact, because it made the overarching message more real. I wasn’t looking at a world far removed from my own like in The Hunger Games, and so I couldn’t pretend as easily that the challenges these characters faced were irrelevant to my life. The overall effect was that it was very thought-provoking and challenged me in my own faith and beliefs, which is my favorite part of the dystopian genre.
Moving on to the story itself, I thought it made an excellent sequel to Subversive. I loved getting to see each character grow and change as people, and especially in regards to how Gemma really came into her own as the story progressed. You can tell how much effort Rood put into making each person unique and well-developed. The plot was full of suspense, and I’m dying to see what happens next.
Overall, this was an excellent piece of Christian fiction, and my only complaint is that I can’t read the next installment already. 5 stars!