Wednesday 17 January 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Heir of Zion (The Zion Series, Book 2) by Brittany Lewis

Heir of Zion
(The Zion Series, Book 2)
Author: Brittany Lewis
Genre: YA Christian Fiction
Publication Date: September 1st, 2017

Book Description:
Michael felt like his life ended the day his family left. In a way, it did. While he struggled to remain composed when he was in the company of others, he allowed his thoughts and anxieties to consume him when he was alone. Though the life that he had always known had ended, a new one quickly emerged, one that had been suppressed by the Elders for far too long. While Michael struggled to wrap his brain around the information he was learning about his true identity and the community he had grown up in, his heart continuously pulled him toward a young girl and his new found romance, while it simultaneously ached for the family he lost.

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Heir of Zion was much more engaging a read than its predecessor. In this book, we get to follow Michael's journey as he tries to adapt to a life without his family while at the same time learning about a family secret he had no knowledge of. Feeling both torn about his family's departure and determined to remain strong and be a proactive member of his community, he's left feeling uncertain about his future. Will he choose to remain at Zion or will he follow his family's path and escape the confines of his oppressive community?

I really enjoyed the sequel, a lot more than I thought I would. I engaged with the characters a lot more, though I would have liked them to have been a little more developed. There was a stronger sense of struggle in this book. The readers really get to feel Michael's turmoil. He's a likeable and relatable character. At just 17, and having his twin sister and his parents leave the only place they've called home, Michael Martin is left feeling ostracised by his family and his community. The people of Zion are forbidden to mention Michael's family, as if they no longer exist. Michael cannot understand how they could just up and leave him, and worse, he can't vent his frustrations in fear of further isolating himself. Deciding to repress his feelings, Michael sets his sight on gaining a high position in the church. When the Chief Elder of Zion learns of this, he decides it's time to tell Michael the truth about his heritage. As it turns out, Michael isn't who he thought he was nor is his family who he thought they were. Having discovered that his whole life has been a lie, Michael starts to feel as though he doesn't belong anywhere. To add insult to injury, he starts to learn the truth about Zion that makes him wonder whether or not he should to remain at Zion. Was Katie and his parents right in leaving when they did?

With all the revelations that Michael discovers, he thinks up a plan to change the way Zion functions. First, he has to get the people of Zion to follow him in making their community a better place. The story certainly depicts a totalitarian society that controls and brainwashes the populace to adhere to its system, so Michael has quite a mission ahead of him.

I found the story rather intriguing. I admire Michael's strength and his ability to keep fighting even when it seems there's nothing left to fight for. There were still head hopping issues present and a lot of repetition to contend with but the heart of the story won me over. I am definitely looking forward to seeing how Michael's and Katie's journeys interlink in the next book.


Award: Silver
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Source: Review copy via author

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