Will Dove, the snarky warrior from an oppressed minority safely deliver her family's vote for peace?
Dove Strong loves God. She loves standing chin up and fists clenched when facing Satan's attacks. But there's one thing she doesn't love - other people. So when this spiritually-gifted, antisocial teenager is chosen to join other believers in a trek across Satan's territory, rattlesnakes and evil-intentioned Heathen aren't her biggest challenges.
But failure isn't an option. In a month, the Christian Councils will decide the Reclaim, a vote on whether there'll be a war between Christ's followers and Satan's to take back America. It is up to Dove, God's messenger for peace, to reach her Council in time. Because if she doesn't, things could get bloody.
This story makes you think about Christianity’s future, and how Christians relate to unbelievers. Dove lives with her family in the treetops – she can climb like a cat and fall like a feather. She is chosen to go on a mission to a faraway place with a person she does not even know. Her new friend Melody’s family lives underground and they rarely see the sun or the sky.
God has gifted both girls with extraordinary gifts that they will need on their journey. The girls are captured by 2 unbelievers, Wolfe and his sister, Jezebel, Usually unbelievers kill or hurt believers, but Wolfe and his sister act as if they want to be friends. Dove and Melody are given their freedom by Wolfe , but then they are chased by a dog and they find shelter in a snake – filled dumpster!
What other dangers await the girls in this new world?
In a near future fantastical setting where Christians are outcast, relegated to hide in the treetops, under the earth, or even in plain sight, Satan has power on Earth. The title character, teenage Dove, is the chosen one for the Strong family’s seven-year interval mission to take the all-important vote to the Council on whether to go to war. It’s a perilous journey from which many who attempt it never return.
God seems to have “handed out spiritual gifts with more of an open hand,” Dove says in her somewhat cynical first-person voice, one of many observances in this clever novel geared for young adults. Except that Satan has it in for this girl, and she’s going to need all the help she can get from other members of her Christian family to make it to the Council. Teamed with a reluctant girl from a neighboring underground-dwelling family, Melody, the tree-dwelling Dove must count on Melody’s danger-sensing gift along with her own ability to hear the voice of the Lord to keep them safe.
Dove and Melody encounter myriad confusion in the world of the Heathen, including the United Church of America. How could this be? But her greatest fears may be realized when she meets Heathens and gets a reputation for being a Heathen-lover. Filled with lovely language like spider-leg eyelashes, trilling voices, and suffering that wraps around Dove’s skull so tight she can’t think, this novel will make every reader consider the depth of faith which calls us.
God is still speaking when all else fails. Lorence has painted a vivid picture of a possibility when Christians with their one-way-to-salvation views are outlawed as perpetrators of hate crimes in a tolerant near future. But the Christians are still people with vastly different views on war and peace, defense and offense. When Dove’s certainly of a peaceful answer clashes with those who believe holy war is the only way to be free, how can anyone win? Dove Strong is the first of a planned trilogy with books 2 and 3 releasing yet this summer. While the reader isn’t dropped off a cliff at the end, you will want to read the stories that follow.