Review of The First Principle by Marissa Shrock

Leah Courtney
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I'm always on the lookout for good young adult literature. It's a difficult genre because so much of popular fiction just reflects the fads and trends that I don't want my kids to be involved in. So I'm always glad to see alternatives with a Christian worldview. Unfortunately many of these prove to be not very well done. So, of course, kids won't choose these to read because they just aren't good books. I was intrigued by the description of The First Principle, one of these Christian alternatives to the dystopian society novels.

From the book's description: 

In the not-too-distant future, the United Regions of America has formed. Governors hold territories instead of states, and while Washington, DC, is gone, the government has more control than ever before. For fifteen-year-old Vivica Wilkins, the daughter of a governor, this is life as usual. High school seems pretty much the same--until one day, that controlling power steps right through the door during study hall.
When Vivica speaks out to defend her pregnant friend against the harsh treatment of Population Management Officer Marina Ward, she has no idea she's sowing the seeds of a revolution in her own life. But it isn't long before she discovers her own illegal pregnancy. Now she has to decide whether to get the mandatory abortion--or follow her heart, try to keep the baby, and possibly ruin her mother's chances at becoming president.
A rebel group called the Emancipation Warriors, who are fighting to restore freedoms once held unalienable, offer her asylum. Can Vivica trust these rebels to help her or will they bring everything crashing down around her? Accepting their help may come with consequences she isn't ready to face.
Marissa Shrock's debut novel crafts a chilling story of what may be to come if we allow the economic and moral crises currently facing our country to change the foundations on which we built our independence--and of the difference one person can make when they choose to trust God's lead.

I wasn't sure about The First Principle when I first picked it up. The cover image wasn't appealing. That may sound silly, but it's often the first thing that draws me to a book. And when I began reading I wasn't sure if the book was going to have a decent plot that could stand on its own or if it was going to be a cheesy knock off. But I was very pleasantly surprised.

The First Principle has a good cast of characters. They were believable and likable. Told in the first person viewpoint of our heroine- Vivica- the story also lets the reader get to know the other characters well.

The story line was interesting and fast moving enough to hold my interest and keep me thinking about what was going to happen next between readings. There is some suspense and quite a bit of action. There were some scenes in the story that were rather unbelievable and that didn't flow as well. But, overall, the story went together well.

The book ends in such a way that there can easily be additional novels in a series. I easily recommended the book to my teen readers, and I know we'll look for more to follow.

I give The First Principle 3.5 stars and a PG-13 rating (for some violence and suspenseful scenes).

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.

***Special offer for this week only. The First Principle ebook is free today- February 9- and is $1.99 through February 15!*** Visit the Kregel Publications Amazon page here- Kregel Publications

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Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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