My rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the Chiveis Trilogy website: Four hundred years after a deadly virus and nuclear war destroyed the modern world, a new and noble civilization emerges. In this kingdom, called Chiveis, snowcapped mountains provide protection, and fields and livestock provide food. The people live medieval-style lives, with almost no knowledge of the "ancient" world. Safe in their natural stronghold, the Chiveisi have everything they need, even their own religion. Christianity has been forgotten—until a young army scout comes across a strange book.
This is the beginning of what I'm sure will be a great trilogy. I particularly enjoyed the progression of the spiritual curiosity of some of the Chiveisi. The army scout, Teo, his new friend, Ana, and a few others form a community of believers, eager to learn all they can of this god of the ancients. The more they get to know Him, the more they realize that this Creator God is a loving god, a great contrast to the gods of their land, who rule by fear and manipulation. Chapter 9 in particular paints a beautiful picture of the excitement of seeking a deity that is totally unknown, the joy of finding out He is a good god, and the purity of forming a relationship with him.
Despite this being a very long audio book (more than 14 hours), I finished it quickly because I could hardly put it down. The plot is very complicated, with politics, sports, romance, drama, idolatry, and danger at every turn. Yet the story is easy to follow and doesn't give the reader a chance to get bored. Some of the dialog is a bit cheesy, causing me to laugh out loud at times. The narrator (Ray Porter) did a great job, although his depiction of Ana's voice was a bit like a Saturday Night Live skit where you know the gal is really a guy.
In order to show the contrast between the gods of Chiveis and the One True God, the author delves into the depravity and sinfulness of the followers of these false gods. Pagan rituals involving blood and sexual perversion, violent fights, suggestive innuendo, and torture were pretty common fare. The contrast between light and dark was very evident, but those details put this book out of reach for my teenagers.
Although several subplots were resolved, there were lots of unraveled strings at the end of this book. A definite cliff-hanger that will have me soon picking up the next book in the series, The Gift.
About Bryan Liftin
**I received this audiobook free from the publisher through christianaudio.com in exchange for an honest review.