~ About the Trilogy ~
From Sellout to hero, by way of the den. Braxton Luther finds himself in the crossfire of a new order, and discovers apathy is a dangerous option.
~ Excerpt ~
Uncloaked? What was that?
Tristan smirked. “Clearly. Family?”
“Noted.” He leaned over Kipper, who cowered like he expected a blow. “Fix it, boy. You’re in our sights.”
Kipper didn’t respond. I detected a tremble in the boy’s hands, but he held a strong gaze. A gaze that seemed somehow familiar in nature. I glanced to Eliza. She was biting her lip as she kept her eyes fixed on Kipper. My view widened, encompassing both of them. His eyes darted to her, and she nodded ever so slightly.
Wait. What just happened? My chest expanded with a fierceness I hadn’t anticipated. I zeroed back in on Eliza, wanting to take her by the arm and pull her to my side. What was this guy doing, looking to Liza for strength? She didn’t have any to spare. And she’s mine.
“What do you expect me to say?” Kipper’s weak voice ripped me out of my Braxtonian-centered universe.
Tristan still hovered over the guy. “Show us a sign of loyalty.”
“What do you want?”
“I think you’ll find life much easier if you comply.” Tristan tapped Kipper’s tab. “Try it. See what happens when you check the correct box.”
My attention dropped to my own tab. The correct box. Not the right box—as in what is true of you, but the correct box—as in PC.
The words burned in my vision.
Check a box. Get on with your life.
My own voice echoed in my ears. Was it really that easy? We were living like impoverished beggars at the Knights’ house, and it could have been avoided by checking the correct box?
“I won’t.” Kipper’s meek voice beckoned my attention again.
The air seemed to turn cold and hard. Eliza pulled in a long breath and held it. I scowled, first at her and then at Kipper. Tristan looked to his right and then to his left. The bulky guys flanking him returned his glance with smirks.
He smacked Kipper on the back of his head, sending the kid’s face toward the desk. “It’s your funeral.”
I assumed that was figurative. Couldn’t be anything but, despite the zinging sense of fear rising in my chest. Not in this country.
Excerpt from The Uncloaked
~ Review ~
I reviewed each book in this series as it released in 2017. The reviews below are snippets from the original reviews I wrote. You can read the full reviews by clicking on the link at the end of each snippet. You can also read my interview with Jen about this series, or check out my character spotlight for Braxton and Hannah.
This book had me riveted from its opening lines, and hasn’t let go of me yet, because I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in the series! Not to mention I can’t stop thinking about how I would react if faced with the same situation. Would I have the courage to stand, come what may, even if that meant death? Or worse . . .
Rodes’ narrator, sixteen-year-old pastor’s son Braxton Luther, is testament to her ability to bring complex human characters of any age to life on the page. Braxton is snarky but kind, confident in his own understanding yet insecure as a person, intelligent but naïve, and self-deprecatingly honest about his own inward-focusing tendencies. He’s a character you can’t help but love in spite of his flaws, and one who burrows deeper into your heart as he faces increasingly difficult choices and circumstances.
Tearing the Veil
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.
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!
Charging the Darkness
What a gripping conclusion to this series! Charging the Darkness builds on the question that has driven this series so far—”Will you stand?”—by asking an even more challenging question: “What will you do with what you believe?” In other words, how will you respond to those who persecute you? With forgiveness or bitterness?
One character in this series has stood firm in her convictions from the beginning: Eliza Knight. As a result she has suffered humiliation and abuse of the most inhumane kind. (We are given enough information to understand what she has been through, but it is not graphic.) But in an ironic twist, she is now the key to saving those who persecuted her. Her convictions were strong enough to stand in the face of extreme persecution; are they also strong enough to choose forgiveness over bitterness and hatred? Powerful, life-shaping stuff!
This is an absolutely fantastic series, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s thought-provoking, challenging, heartbreaking at times (one point in particular in this novel, so be prepared!), but ultimately inspiring. Only one thing remains to be said: Will you stand?
~ About the Author ~
J. Rodes lives on the wide plains somewhere near the middle of Nowhere. A coffee addict, pickleball enthusiast, and storyteller, she also wears the hats of mom, teacher, and friend. Mostly, she loves Jesus and wants to see the kids she’s honored to teach fall in love with Him too.
~ Giveaway ~
1. Print copies of the books (US only)
2. E-copies of the books (International)
3. Audio copies of the books (International)
Enter the giveaway HERE.
~ Tour Schedule ~
January 8-Soulfully Romantic
January 9-Smiling Book Reviews
January 10-Book by Book | Flowers of Quiet Happiness
January 11-Just Commonly
January 13-The Green Mockingbird
January 16-Fiction Aficionado | A Baker’s Perspective
Janaury 17-Singing Librarain Books
January 18-Henry Happens
January 19-Reader’s Cozy Corner
January 20-Pause for Tales