Tearing the Veil (J. Rodes) – Review

5 stars

~ About the Book ~

Braxton Luther, the sellout. 

Now a part of the Den, he’s determined to make good on Eliza Knight’s faith in him—to be more than what he’d settled for when the Party had taken over. But his goal is dangerous, and not just for him. As he searches for a way to protect the silent, invisible victims of the new government, Braxton’s mission—which includes finding a way to rescue Eliza from the Reformation Camp—becomes even more complicated. Hannah Knight, Eliza’s sister, is simply too much like him.

Tired of standing in her perfect sister’s shadow, Hannah determines to find her own place in the world. If that place is with the Pride—the girls’ home and training center provided by the Party—so be it. When she leaves the hopelessness of the cellar, that’s all she’s aiming for. But Quinn Sanger, the handsome son of a powerful political leader, finds her at the creek, and her life takes an unexpected and optimistic turn.

Braxton’s convinced Hannah’s in trouble. Hannah’s convinced Braxton and all the Uncloaked are insane. But when they peek behind the real veil the Party maintains, the truth is beyond what either had feared or hoped.

If everyone knew, it could change everything. They redefine their mission. It’s time to tear the veil.

Series:  #2 The Uncloaked
Release date:  
17 July 2017
Pages:  403

Amazon US  //  Amazon AU  //  Goodreads

~ Excerpt ~

“You don’t know what you need,” he said, once again reclaiming his hold on my arm. “I swear, Hannah. You are about as blind as…”
He let the insult hang.
“You?” I snorted, stumbling against the uneven floor as he led me to the metal stairs.
“Yeah. That’s about right.” He stopped, turning to face me as he towered over my head.
An intentional pose, meant to intimidate.
“Does that make you feel better, kid? I did a lot of stupid, so I can’t judge you, right?”
Pretty much, yeah. Although it sounded childish coming from him, with that condescending tone he’d mastered.
“You’d do well to figure out the difference between judgment and caution.” The preacher’s son in him seemed to step forward for the first time ever. “And the honest desire to protect. Which is where I’m coming from.”
My fists doubled at my sides, and I lifted my chin, unwilling to bow to his air of superiority. “You’re coming from guilt, and that’s about it, Braxton Luther. Don’t try to paint your attempts as noble when really they’re driven by your own stupidity.”
Both of his hands grabbed my shoulders and his hold sank deep. “That’s exactly what I’m telling you, foolish girl. I. Was. Stupid. Now here I am, stuck in a nightmare I couldn’t imagine.” Heat rippled from his voice. “Why won’t you listen? Why are you here? I told you to run. […] What are you trying to prove?”
“That I’m not my sister!” With both palms against his chest, I pushed. Though he stumbled back, he didn’t let go, and for two steps, we danced a clumsy set in the darkness of our argument. My eyes finally adjusted to the lack of light enough to make out his face. His wide, dark eyes. The pain etched in his expression.
Slowly his fingers loosened, though he didn’t remove his hold. “No one expects you to be Eliza.”
“Of course they don’t.” I spat the words, all the ugliness I thought I’d stuffed away surfacing like a green branch on black water. “Because I can’t be that good. That perfect.”
Silence followed the echo of my outburst, and I bit my trembling lip. All the months that had gone by, and I hadn’t moved past it yet. She still held my freedom captive.
“Hannah…” My name fluttered from Braxton’s breath, a tag of sympathy that both coddled my bruised spirit and needled my inflated pride.
Sniffing, I went rigid again. “Don’t.” I gripped his hands and flung them from my shoulders. “I don’t want your lectures or your pity.”
“You won’t have either.”
Tipping my head to the side, I raised an eyebrow, challenging his statement.
“How could I lecture you?” One palm cupped the side of my head, and he released a long, sorry breath before he whispered, “It’s like looking into a mirror.”
A look of total humility crossed his face, and his shoulders drooped.
I’d never expected to see him broken like that. Nor could I have imagined how close his reaction came to breaking me. Because really, I was terrified. Nothing of the Pride, or the Jackals, or the Party for that matter, made sense anymore. The further into it I got, the murkier it all became. And just like Braxton, I’d run into the mess by my own decisions.
I was stuck too.

~ Review ~

Oh, man! I need the final instalment in this trilogy yesterday! This is SUCH a compelling series—everything Christian dystopian should be. It paints a realistic and confronting picture of where society could end up if certain current trends are followed through to their logical conclusions, but it also inspires courage and tenacity in the face of extreme adversity—even on the back of foolish choices.

This series is definitely best read in order. In The Uncloaked, the Progressive Reform Party was voted into power and established a New Order: “No authority, on earth or in heaven, is above the power of the newly established order. Moreover, any claim of higher authority is punishable as treason.” To Braxton Luther, the answer seemed simple: Tick the right boxes and play the game. But then he found out what ‘playing the game’ required. There is no room for apathy now; doing nothing is still a decision, and it will cost more innocent lives.

When Tearing the Veil opens, several months have passed since the events that closed The Uncloaked.  Braxton lives with the knowledge of all that his foolish naivety has already cost—both himself and others, most particularly Eliza—and he’s determined to stop Eliza’s sister, Hannah, from making the same stupid choices. Unfortunately, some people have to learn the hard way. But Hannah’s course takes a slightly different turn, one that confuses her all the more, and tangles her heart in an impossible knot.

Hannah and Braxton are both fantastic characters: passionate and stubborn, and more often than not, learning the hard way. But that somehow makes them stronger, and they definitely need strength— physical, mental, AND emotional—to do what needs to be done so that everyone will see the Party for what it really is. In fact, if the last pages of Tearing the Veil are anything to go by, they’ll be needing more yet!

J. Rodes puts heart and soul into everything she writes, and I absolutely cannot wait to read the rest of this series.

I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.

You might also be interested in reading my interview with Jennifer Rodewald (J. Rodes) about dystopian fiction, and you can learn more about Braxton and Hannah in this character spotlight.

~ Previous Books in the Series ~

 Read my review for The Uncloaked.

~ About the Author ~

J RodesJennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. The draw to fiction has tugged hard on her heart since childhood, and when she began pursuing writing she set on stories that reveal the grace of God.

Aiming to live with boundless enthusiasm, her creed is vision, pursuit, and excellence. Blessed with a robust curiosity, she loves to research. Whether she’s investigating the history of a given area, the biography of a Christian icon, or how nature declares the glory of God, her daily goal is to learn something new.

After growing up in Denver, Jen moved to Nebraska to attend college where she met and married a Husker. She now lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, laughs at her horses and chickens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.

Connect with Jen:  Website  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  The Uncloaked Facebook Page


About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, New Releases, Speculative Fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Tearing the Veil (J. Rodes) – Review

  1. Pingback: Character Spotlight: Braxton Luther & Hannah Knight from Tearing the Veil (J. Rodes) | Fiction Aficionado

  2. Jen says:

    Thank you for this sweet review, Katie! I’m so glad book two didn’t disappoint! *whew!*

    Liked by 1 person

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