Friday, May 20, 2016

"Three Most Wanted" and "Liberation"

This is a spoiler-free review for Books 2 and 3 of the "I am Margaret" series. I have also released a third post dealing with spoilerific content, but for now, if you have read "I am Margaret" you should be safe to read this review.

Read my review of "I am Margaret" here.

First off, I should state that if you can handle IAM, you will have no problem with "Three Most Wanted" or "Liberation." Although there is violence in both books, it isn't stated as graphically as IAM. Corinna Turner has a good grasp of knowing what details are necessary to get her point across without being at all gratuitous.

Now emotionally there is a hard section in "Liberation", but it's impossible to talk about it without giving away major spoilers. All I can say is that be prepared for a strong emotional turn-about when you least want it, and have tissues near.

Book 2, "Three Most Wanted" is a solid follow-up to IAM. In my opinion it is the weakest of the trilogy, but still a good book. While IAM was an escape story, TMW (at least the first half) is a survival story. If you are intrigued by wilderness survival, then the first half of TMW is going to be right up your alley. If that's not your jive, it may drag a little bit for you - but not too much. There are high stakes, and things switch up at the midpoint.

The second half of the book takes a turn I wasn't expecting, mostly in that it advances the plot further than I thought book 2 would take it, so that was cool. Let's just say that if you're a Catholic, the second half of the book is going to hit home for you far more than it would for a Protestant or non-Christian.

Book 3, "Liberation" is a war story that maintains the human drama despite the ever increasing stakes. While book 1 was straight up dystopian, and book 2 felt the least futuristic (because of the wilderness setting), "Liberation" feels, in many ways, the closest to our society. I felt a weakness in books 1 and 2 was a lack of explaining how the world got to the point of allowing the disabled to be organ harvested. The answers come in book 3, through showing, not telling. While I still hope for further clarification in book 4, I appreciated how book 3 created connections between our own society and the future Europe of the IAM series. (More on that in my spoiler post).

Overall I have been very impressed with how Corinna Turner writes a faith-based story that matches the high quality of any good mainstream author. Many of us devout readers have gotten far to accustomed to lowering the bar for "Christian" fiction quality, but you won't find that problem here. IAM has strong characters, high stakes, challenges the mind and keeps you up well past your bedtime. I highly recommend adding it to your reading list this summer. (And hopefully book 4 will be out soon!)

You can purchase the series either digitally or ink-and-paper at Chesterton Press or Amazon, or request your library or local bookstore to order it for you.

1 comment:

Ashley Stangl said...

I seem to be the only person who liked Book 2 the best. I read the entire book (after the first few pages)in one sitting--while on a hard wooden chair. The survival stuff does drag on too long, but I love the twists and turns of the plot, and the climax is one of my favorite scenes in all of fiction (I get giddy just thinking about it). I am Catholic, though, which makes the climax more awesome. In comparison, I found Book 3 far less exciting, but I'm still super-excited for Book 4.