Daniella Bova has done it again. If this new author had any concerns about her sequel living up to expectations, she can definitely put them to rest. Her follow-up to the excellent dystopia Tears of Paradox packs a powerful emotional punch while drawing readers more deeply into the perilous world inhabited by main characters Michelle and Jason. An America in which the assault and seizure of rural and small-town life by an ever-expanding, controlling, and centralized government (e.g. “the sharks”) grows ever more suffocating with each turn of the page.
In a society where family members have become brutal enemies and not even the seal of the confessional can be taken for granted, everyone becomes a suspect in a never-ending quest for survival. Want to live and worship as you please? Too bad. Want to have a baby with your husband? You’d better be willing and clever enough to secure a hideaway unless you want to incur the wrath of Gaia-worshiping zealots whose supposed concern for earth and animals does not extend to innocent human life. Got a problem with men raping young boys? You’d best keep your outrage to yourself…or else.
Are you getting the bleak picture?
Before I depress you sufficiently enough to eschew this book altogether, the author manages to balance the darkness with glimmers of actual hope in the form of human defiance and Godly assistance. A thread of the supernatural (expressed eloquently through the use of water imagery and other effective literary devices) weaves its way determinedly through the novel, strengthening resolve and lighting each step of the way. What God decrees, no man can oppose — not even the sharks — though they certainly put up one hell of a good, demonic fight.
Don’t get me wrong: there are no actual spirit demons in the novel, although based on the evil actions many of the secondary characters routinely engage in, possession is a logical conclusion and the only explanation for those who believe in Father, Son, Holy Spirit, heaven, and hell.
Unlike futuristic dystopia novels, Bova’s books are terrifying precisely because they’re set in the not-too-distant future — an America that has been fundamentally transformed. It’s a place none of us wants to visit or reside in, but within the bounds of fiction, the author provides a spine-chilling glimpse into our looming reality if we don’t abruptly change course and embrace the principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, limited government, national sovereignty and — lest we forget in our increasingly secular humanist culture — freedom of religion.
Congratulations to Daniella Bova for a job well done!