Relentless Rebels addresses courage

Relentless Rebels addresses courage

Relentless Rebels addresses courage and the role faith plays in difficult circumstances. Relentless means unrelenting, which means grim determination. Rebel means fighting in an armed conflict against a constituted authority, especially in hopes of improving conditions. While I’ve never been a rebel as defined, I do relate to being determined. I bet you do too.

Relentless Rebels, the Hesitant Heroes conclusion

Sharon Rene’s new release, Relentless Rebels, lives up to these definitions. Team Seven, a group of elite teenagers, fight alongside other freedom fighters in this sequel to Hesitant Heroes. The story picks up in the jungles of Venezuela where they are hiding form the power-hungry tyrant River Wallis.

Set in 2063, this dystopian YA novel, looks at how young people with ideals take on a corrupt system in an attempt to dispel lies and bring about truth and a better society. The world is divided between Sierra Stone followers and River Wallis followers. But of course, one of them is lying. We all know it is River, but how will Team Seven and the other freedom groups prove that they are telling the truth and that they are working to make a better world?

Team Seven’s leader, Jordan Scott, believes the oft quoted: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” from Esther 4:14, in the Old Testament. Clinging to this helps Jordan to persevere.

Novel includes plenty of tension

While this fast-paced novel is intense, it includes budding romance and some humor. Chapter 27 was especially funny with Rafael and the cow and chickens. Timberlyn, who has the gift of healing and working with animals, rescues him though. Great characters and descriptions of  different places like Hollywood, Memphis, Chicago, Paris, and London, add to the realism. I wouldn’t want to live in this world of collectives. River’s way of ruling the world is tyrannical and crazy.

Since the novel addresses corrupt leaders, it includes violent skirmishes, which leads to characters analyzing their roles. I appreciated Jordan’s struggles with forgiveness and her wrestling with guilt. She knows vengeance is the Lord’s, but pushing down those roiling emotions of anger, frustration and sorrow play havoc and make her question the stability of her faith. Talking about this dilemma adds to the poignancy. At least I thought that I would struggle with similar feelings if I were thrust into such a situation. We want to do what is right, but oh, getting back at those who hurt us is so tempting.

Novel has relatable characters

I appreciated how Sharon Rene showed the loyalty of Hector and his men. Although they looked mean and scary and could be ruthless, their hearts were tender and their goals honorable—to rescue the downtrodden and bring about order and peace. Of course, war is always ugly, and so many people are hurt and killed.

She also gives the reader ideals to strive for like standing up for what is right.

In her efforts to do what is right, Jordan puts herself into dangerous situations both with her rebel group and with the enemy. She is a relatable heroine with her struggles, but she also gives the reader ideals to strive for, like standing up for what is right even if it means you might get hurt doing it. Sometimes we avoid harm in various ways by protecting ourselves. Since I can be quite emotional, I understand Jordan’s emotions and her concern over the perceptions caused by them.

Jordan knew “hatred was wrong. No doubt, God was disappointed in her.” So often, we wrestle with this. Jordan thought God was disappointed with her but not Laurel. Such thoughts are so relatable.

Hannie always strives to look tough. I like watching her come out of her shell learning to trust and to express herself and to work through some jealousies. I laughed when she agreed to share her feelings with someone and said, “I’ll give it a try, but the minute he laughs, I’ll knock him out.” Vulnerability takes courage.

Hannie doesn’t’ give Laurel much credit, but Laurel’s courage is commended as she lives with an enemy, which makes for some scary scenes.

Faith Aspect Appreciated

Have you ever uttered, “But I should have tried harder”? When Laurel says this, it strikes me because I see that she did her best in a difficult situation. I realize that we all beat ourselves up this way. We can do all the right things, say all the right things, but other people make their own decisions. We can’t change hearts. Only God can.

As Jordan says, “Each person is responsible for their own decisions, and you can’t make anyone decide for Christ.” Still as Laurel responded, the pain is still there.

Team Seven works to remain a group of integrity. Their stamina is tested throughout the novel by the enemy. They’re an incredibly smart and talented bunch. I think teens will love the conclusion of this series.

For another review of a dystopian novel, please read my March 4 blog at Storyteller Squad about A Gentle Tyranny.

Do you enjoy dystopian novels?

And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14

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