Book Review: Take and Give by Amanda G. Stevens

Title: Take and Give
Author: Amanda G Stevens
Publisher: David C Cook
Published: August 2015
Series: Haven Seekers, Book 3
Genre: Speculative Fiction

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Austin Delvecchio has tried to use his Constabulary resources to track down his missing girlfriend Violet. He finds a stranger instead, held illegally and mistreated. Rescuing the man will make Austin’s boss an enemy, but ignoring the situation will mean the man’s death.

Lee Vaughn has lost the most important person in her life. She continues his work her way, providing black market medical assistance to Christians and allowing fugitive Violet to live with her. Then she learns what really happened to Marcus, and the danger following him leaves them all with only one option: to flee.

To make it to freedom, all four will have to rely on their traveling companions. But that’s not easy when confronting past hurts, fear, and distrust.

My Thoughts:

As I finish reading Book 3 in this series, I am thrilled that the fourth book will be available soon [edit: yes, it’s already available as I’m posting this review] because I can’t seem to get enough of these characters. The fascinating premise – What if Christianity were illegal? – drew me in to this series initially. But it’s been the characters and their true-to-real-life struggles that have stuck with me and keep drawing me back for more.

This book picks up where the last one left off, continuing the tale from the viewpoints of Lee and Austin, two characters who appeared in previous books, but that we get to know much better over the course of this one. I have to say I was surprised by some of the details we learn of their motivations and backgrounds – Austin’s in particular – but the details fit and give me a whole new perspective on them. That’s one of the beautiful things about this series. As we look at things from different characters’ viewpoints, we get a multifaceted view that broadens and deepens our understanding of the characters and situations.

All that aside, the thing that really stands out about this series so far, and that I’d love to see accomplished more often in Christian fiction, is the way it grapples with challenging theological and relational issues. There are no straw-man arguments or easy answers. Nothing feels preachy or clichéd. Rather, some very difficult questions are addressed, gradually, within the fabric of the story and arising from who the characters are. It’s really quite elegantly done.

I want to read more books like this one.

Highly recommended. Just be sure to read this series in order. First is Seek and Hide, followed by Found and Lost, Take and Give and the recently released Far and Near.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes.

Quick Links: About the Book | About the Series | Author’s Site

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