Good morning y’all! Today it is my pleasure to take part in a blog tour for Lauren Salisbury’s latest book, Conviction. There’s a giveaway following my review, so be sure to read all the way through for your chance at an awesome Conviction swag bag!
Preface: Conviction is the second book in The Legacy Chronicles series. You can read my review of the first book, Courage, here.
Synopsis (from the book’s blurb): Can two people with opposing principles overcome their differences to be together?
Than has spent his life ostensibly having fun while secretly fighting for his people’s freedom. A member of the underground resistance, he is only ever serious around his comrades and his family. When an injury forces him to step down from active duty and his reluctant nurse sparks his interest, Than finds himself in uncharted territory. The fascinating woman will have nothing to do with him.
Menali’s past has taught her to keep her head down and trust that God has a reason for allowing the human race to suffer on U’du. When Than explodes into her life, he refuses to take no for an answer and challenges all of her preconceptions. He soon has her re-evaluating her priorities and wondering what life with someone like him would be like.
There are so many ways I could describe Conviction, but I have narrowed down the list to the three words I believe most helpful: inspirational, epic, and heartfelt.
First and foremost, Conviction is a romance. I wasn’t expecting this since Courage was so action-focused with a little romance on the side, but I am far from disappointed! In the first book, most of the reader’s time is spent learning about the world of U’du. From the religious beliefs and social structure of multiple races, to soaking up descriptions of the planet’s natural resources and cheering for the resistance as they attempt to overthrow their oppressors, the focus is largely on learning about the world in the public sector. Conviction tightens the reader’s gaze to focus on the inner lives of two characters: Than and Menali.
Although fictional, these two are a wonderful example of God working in each person’s life to prepare them for a future together. At first glance, Than and Menali are irreconcilably different. As you learn more about their background and mindset, though, their compatibility is revealed. The road isn’t easy, but nothing can stand in the way of God’s plans, not even the people involved. As they and their community respond to tragedy and increasingly harsh conditions in the wake of a failed resistance attack, each person must choose whether they will lean on God and their neighbors for support, or isolate themselves in order to avoid potential suspicion by their oppressors.
As explained in my review of Courage, The Legacy Chronicles is a creative retelling of the events in the book of Exodus from the Bible. Set on a distant world featuring space travel, advanced technology, and other key aspects of science fiction and fantasy, the Biblical elements are treated respectfully and turned into something which might appeal to those who would never pick up a regular Bible. Salisbury does a very nice job of carefully examining how the Israelites maintained their oral history and religious dedication in the face of an empire determined to break their spirit. The characters experience emotional turmoil yet remain faithful to their God: not blindly, but with a faith that deepens over time. Rather than have every facet lined out, we watch the humans live out their beliefs. Individual characters say pieces of what they believe, and the reader puts them together to form a general picture. Having a good knowledge of the Biblical Old Testament makes this experience even fuller, but is not necessary.
While romance and personal development are the main focus of Conviction, there is still plenty of action as well. The resistance is still alive and planning missions despite being recently beaten down. The protagonists from the first book pop in and out from time to time, keeping us updated on their suspense-filled lives as well. Justice, the human condition, and space aliens are all prominent features of the series.
There is definitely no sophomore slump here. I thoroughly enjoyed Conviction, perhaps even more than Courage. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys science fiction, action/adventure, unconventional romance settings, creative retellings of Bible stories, or fiction with Christian themes.
To celebrate the release of Conviction and make this blog tour even more exciting, Lauren Salisbury is hosting a giveaway drawing for a bag full of Conviction-related goodies. You can enter here:
There are a couple things you can do to earn extra entries in the giveaway, but be sure to go back to the link above when you’ve completed each task to make it count!
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC in exchange for my honest review.