Publication Date: November 25, 2013
Origins: From Author for Review
Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: "They are the most brutal Empire we have known for generations.
I am a seventeen year old slave boy, who must endure a life of servitude and sacrifice to keep my family alive.
They took away my mother, my sister, my friends, everything I have cared for including my love.
I inadvertently struck out and my actions started a chain reaction which led to war and a full scale rebellion.
They have sent two armies to crush our resistance.
I have an army of 300 maltreated slave children.
They have an army of 5000 battle hardened men.
I have hijacked an armoured State train.
They have a limitless arsenal of the most sophisticated weapons on the face of the earth.
I have promised my army of slave children to get them to freedom or die trying.
They have vowed to kill every single slave child and have promised to handsomely reward the one who brings my head.
I have made a pledge to my younger sister and will cheat death as many times as it takes to fulfill it.
They are planning victory celebrations as a foregone conclusion, and have ordered ingeniously gruesome deaths for my soldiers and our families.
What they don’t know is…we have a stolen nuclear warhead in our possession and we intend to deliver it to the Emperor’s doorstep."
Review: The Purist Empire has abolished religion and keeps the believers in slave camps. Every year, the Empire takes the seventeen-year-old first-borns of the believers to live a life of servitude to the Empire in one form or another. It is now Joseph’s turn to be taken by the Empire, but their cruelty and a slave sacrifice have given the slave children a reason to rebel. Commandeering an armored State train, Joseph and his followers look to cripple the Empire and free as many slaves as possible. Joseph also longs to rescue his wife, Grace, who was taken to another Empire facility. Joseph, who is uncomfortable with the mantle of leadership thrust upon him, must make the most out of this situation and strike blows to the heart of the Empire. He’s promised to free the slaves or die trying and the Empire is determined he die trying.
BELIEVE is a dystopian novel whose characters really draw you deep into the story. Joseph had no plans to be a hero, but he’s thrust into a situation where his choice to fight affects much more than his own life. Joseph’s humanity and selflessness in the face of overwhelming odds will tug on your heartstrings and it helps him be an effective leader. There was a bit of repetitiveness in some parts of the story, but I think it’s only a matter of a little polishing which will help BELIEVE truly shine. Readers will root for Joseph to succeed, especially in the face of all he’s endured. S.F. Malik is definitely an author to keep your eye on! BELIEVE will touch your heart in myriad ways you’d never expect.
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