I received a copy of this book from the author to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own, are honest, and are based on my observations while reading this novel.
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Do you like dystopian novels? So do I, which is why I jumped at the chance to read Campbell’s Heresy novel. If you haven’t, check back to when I did a cover reveal for this Heresy. I was intrigued the moment I saw the cover. I thought the cover was simple, yet intense. When I started reading the book, I hoped that the cover depicted the level of intensity of the story. Keep reading to find out if it did!
About The Book
- Book One: The Heretics Saga
- C.A. Campbell
- Dystopian Romance
- Fearless Lit
- October 18, 2020
- 474 pages
In Arcadia, being different is heresy. Heresy is death. To survive, citizens must live, dress, and even love according to the United Council’s will. Their power is absolute—until a rebel bomb ignites at a national ceremony and unites the lives of three unlikely people.When the bombing goes wrong, Nicolette Howell, a young heretic, finds herself alone and on the run, bearing secrets that Arcadia would kill for. When she’s captured, she must escape, but how can she, when her best chance lies with the son of her sworn enemy? Driven by the execution of an innocent, Jacob Osgood, a United Councilor’s son, hunts for the truth about the heretic movement that Arcadia has hidden. But the truth could cost him the one thing he cannot stand to lose: the girl who saved his life at the bombing. Shiloh Haven, the orphaned daughter of heretics, is forced to become Arcadia’s spy in a sinister plot to destroy the heretic army. She faces a terrible choice: survive or risk everything to save the boy she might just love and the rebels who are her only chance of being free. As their fates entwine, the three must answer an impossible question. What would you die for?
About The Author: C.A. Campbell
C. A. Campbell hails from Kansas City (The Missouri side, if you please), where she shares her writing space with her husband and three ridiculous dogs. She splits her time between writing, saving lives, and teaching students how not to kill people as a neonatal intensive care nurse and nurse educator. When she’s not working, she can be found (likely, in her pajamas) making things out of yarn, listening to a true-crime podcast, or yelling at medical errors in television shows. Heresy is her debut novel.
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I love the summary for Heresy and I equally loved the cover. It is intense and I wanted to see if the story was equally intense. I am also a sucker for dystopian novels.
The drama and fight for freedom in all dystopian novels have never disappointed me. Because of that, I will almost always read a book that says it’s a dystopian novel. Now, this book is geared for the Young Adult world. I don’t usually read young adult books because they are generally too simple for my tastes. However, because of the summary and the genre, I wanted to give the Heresy Novel a try. Ready to see if you should read it too? Let’s get into it.
Alrighty, so, the first chapter in. What are my thoughts? Well, to be honest, I was afraid this book would severely lack in creativity(which I will get into later). It wasn’t a bad start by any means. Truly, I was still interested enough to read on to the next chapter. I don’t know, it just felt like the C.A. Campbell was playing too close to what other dystopian novels have done before. But, as I said, I will go more in-depth into the creative side of things later on in this post.
I think I should preface you with a couple definitions though before continuing on. The book is titled Heresy so I think you should know what that means.
Overall I was very happy to start this book as it was on my TBR list. As you are very well aware, tackling your TBR list can be like an accomplishment of sorts at times. One day you and I will be able to shrink out lists down to a reasonable size! Right?
Use Of Imagery
One thing I love about books is getting lost in them. I would read in the morning, and then a couple of hours later I would pick it up again just because I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I wanted to know what happened. I attribute this feeling largely to C.A. Campbell’s use of imagery. I could envision exactly what the characters looked like, what the rooms looked like, buildings, and more. The story was good but being able to “see” it made it a million times better. She has mastered the art of showing, not telling.
So, this is one thing that I felt could have been better. I mentioned earlier that the first chapter didn’t hit on the mark for me. The Heresy novel is dystopian and that is evident when you read it. However, I felt like it was unoriginal compared to the other dystopian novels I have read before. It followed along the same lines with trackers on people, bleak colors, and a group that goes against the system (plus more). I wanted there to be a new take on what a dystopian world would look like. I know a lot of it is similar so there isn’t much room for creativity, but I still craved it.
One creative aspect that I felt C.A. Campbell did right was the main female character. Shiloh is the main voice in the Heresy novel and I liked that she was different than most YA novels showcase females as. She was scared and possibly insecure, but mostly she was strong. She fought her inner demons and didn’t lean on a lover.
I like that she starts out just like the average person within this dystopian world. She wants to live and fly under the radar while making a life for herself. So she follows the rules, along with some rules of her own. She didn’t start out wanting to fight and I loved that because it felt real. In a real dystopian world, most people would do as they are told because it is the simplest way to survive.
The fire within her really doesn’t start until she goes through an extremely traumatic situation. And even then it took her a while. C.A. Campbell addressed confidence, fear, and level-headedness within this character and she couldn’t have done it any better.
Why I Think Heresy Steers Uncomfortably Close To The Real World
Okay, now on to the juicy bit. There was one particular statement from the Heresy novel that I just couldn’t believe. It struck me so hard because I just thought this is our world right now. Let me rephrase that a bit. I can’t speak for the entire world because I haven’t been around the entire world (yet). However, I do live in America (not right now but that’s temporary) and when I read this statement I just thought about how real it was with respect to what America is like right now. Hopefully, the C.A. Campbell doesn’t get mad at me for sharing this one sentence but here goes nothing!
Tell me that is not super similar to what we are dealing with right now in the United States. Like I said I can’t speak for the rest of the world but let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
This part of the Heresy novel goes on to basically catch the reader up to speed on how the United States became what it did in Campbell’s world. But, I can’t help but think that her world could happen. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility. This is both scary and intriguing to think about.
Star Rating For The Heresy Novel
Despite my wariness at the beginning of the book, I truly enjoyed this read. The Heresy novel was full of action and romance without being too cheesy. Campbell’s imagery was incredible and I was hooked enough to read this book in just a couple of days despite working on getting a Master’s. I think it only fair to give this book a rating of 4.5/5 stars. I am really impressed with the Heresy novel and I will be looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Let’s Talk About It!
I came into contact with this book by doing a cover reveal for it. Then I added it to my TBR list, and actually got it taken off of my TBR list too! I read through the whole book fairly quickly. Even though this book is geared to those who read Young Adult books, I think anyone would truly enjoy reading Campbell’s Heresy novel. For now, I would love to know one thing. Do you think a real-life Dystopia could happen one day? Let me know in the comments below.
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