Wednesday, February 23, 2022


 Hey everyone! Today's review is for Fled For Refuge by Kristina Hall! As soon as I started reading, I knew this one would hit eerily close to what we'll soon be experiencing in the US -- already being seen in other countries -- and Hall definitely didn't disappoint. This is one of the "lighter" dystopians I've read in a way -- so if you want to read dystopian but avoid a lot of really frightening or dark themes (while still coming away with a LOT to think about and see in the world around you, because she covers quite a serious topic), this would be a great one to read. Anyway, onto the blurb and review!


Tony Dorence works security for a little country church mostly untouched by America’s downward spiral. Untouched, that is, until a car smashes through First Baptist’s front doors and the driver threatens the congregation. Though Tony thwarts the driver’s intentions, this seemingly random event sets off a chain reaction that endangers his sister, Merri, and everyone involved with First Baptist.

Merri Dorence, though not a believer, supports much of what First Baptist stands for. As Tony’s world is shaken, she too is dragged into the turmoil.

As everything falls apart around them, will Tony and Merri crumble beneath the pressure or flee to the only One Who can provide them refuge?


Hall dives right into the dystopian genre with a very, very realistic plot and pretty compelling characters. She grabs very hot-button topics of today - moral and ethical - and shows readers the kind of world some people are actually pushing for in real life today. I've seen it and heard news articles about it. While I won't talk about those issues in this review for the sake of spoilers, suffice it to say that I really came to believe the "a few years in the future" disclaimer at the beginning of the book. I would have liked to see a bit more worldbuilding, how the characters move around and deal with society as outcasts, but that might still be coming in subsequent books. I was also impressed by the plot -- you know when you scream at a character not to do something you know will hurt them, and they actually don't and you settle in thinking that everything's good, but then they end up getting hurt anyway? Yup.
While I think digging a bit deeper into Merri's character and why she struggles with belief would have made her redemptive arc much more impactful, it was great and the subsequent struggles she faces converting in an ideology-war-torn nation is well-represented. Overall, this isn't the grittiest dystopian I've ever read (so it's good if you want to dip your toes into the genre but don't like a lot of gore etc) but it's got something different going for it: the fact that you can set the book down and look out your window, and wonder how soon eerily similar events will start taking place there, because you've watched the news. That touch of reality makes this a read that will stick with you after you're done. 

What's your favorite dystopian? Have you picked up a copy of Fled For Refuge yet? 


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