Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Book Review: The Oaks Remain by Julia J Gibbs

About the Book: 
In a world divided by blood and race, Veralee Harper comes of age under the guardian oaks of her family’s isolated plantation in southern Alabama. Red Oaks stands frozen in time, a haven for Simulacrum people for generations, against the chaotic world of the Friguscor. Life quickly unravels when her own split second decision breaks the Simulacrum law she is bound to keep. The blood moons have begun, the watchers have returned and war with the cold-hearts, the Friguscor seems inevitable. As she struggles to reconcile deep love for her family and loyalty to her people with the reality she is coming to know and the love she finds for a mysterious man, she realizes she is marked by more than the tseeyen on her arm. Many have a plan for Veralee Harper, but only she can decide which way it will end.

My Thoughts: Books that fall under the fantasy category, even if only just barely, do not generally interest me.  This book, however, thoroughly captivated me.

The author writes with such stunning detail that you can picture yourself within the pages.  At times her writing style can only be described as beautifully poetic, far different than the "dumbed down" style we're used to hearing spoken in our modern society, yet it does not seem out of place.

You can read this book somewhat superficially if you are so inclined, but any sort of in-depth reading at all will have you pondering all sorts of questions.  What is my purpose? Who am I? How do my life choices affect the lives of those around me?  Is the law to be followed blindly or interpreted through circumstance? Should there ever be exceptions to the law? Do our motives matter?  Do the ends justify the means?

People are separated into two different races - Simulacrum and Friguscor.  The differences between the two are internal at the core, yet manifest outwardly as well.  The blood of the Simulacrum protects them, causing them to age slowly and heal quickly.  The cold hearted Friguscor begin dying and decaying immediately after birth.  Though they live and work side by side, the Simulacrum try to limit their contact with the Friguscor for safety reasons.  The Friguscor can sense the sweet smell of the Simulacrum, and once they've gained a taste of their blood, they have an insatiable hunger for more and are capable of inflicting monstrous atrocities in order to obtain it.  Veralee begins to question the long-standing rules and traditions of the Simulacrum and questions whether it is possible for the Friguscor to be saved.  And if it's possible, is it worth the risk?  

The book clearly wrestles with themes contained in the Bible - the differences between Jews and Gentiles of the OT; the Jews' struggle to decide who Jesus was; the tendency of many to blindly cling to law over grace; the offering of a perfect life in order to take the punishment of the guilty; the power of the blood of Jesus; and the reality of eternity. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait for Book 2 in this series!

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.   Thanks Julia! 

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails