Genre: Christian Fiction
Page Count: 275
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Why I read it: Review copy from author
Cover thoughts: The cover on this one is absolutely gorgeous. Seeing a picture of it doesn't do it justice. I think this may actually be my favorite cover on any book I've ever read.
About the author: Tom Davis is the president of Children's Hopechest. He is also a tireless advocate for orphans, those living with HIV/AIDS, and just about anyone who is suffering. He is an all around great guy, and you can see the love of Jesus shine through him. Makes it hard to write an unbiased review of his books, but I'll try.
The plot: Stuart Daniels is a photojournalist who is visiting Russia on assignment for his job. While there, he is persuaded by a friend to help two young girls who are caught up in the sex slave industry. From there things snowball until he finds himself right in the middle of it all, helping a group who is working to free as many girls as possible from the nightmare they are living in.
Characters: I liked Stuart. He seemed not to be the "perfect" Christian man, as is sometimes portrayed in Christian fiction. He was flawed, he had doubts, he wanted to go home and get out of the mess he found himself in (who wouldn't?), but he was also admirable. He knew that someone had to help these girls, and it might as well be him. Stuart is really the only character we get to know, besides Marina, whose story we get in bits and pieces throughout the book. Marina's story is heartbreaking, and it really makes you want to take action against the sex slave industry.
Setting: I've never been to Russia, but I know Tom Davis has been there many times, so there's no reason for me to believe his portrayal isn't authentic. I could really feel Russia come alive through the writing. I could feel the cold in the air, see the buildings and the people--it was very well done.
"My name is Marina, and this is my story. And it is also the story of my sisters, and many other girls in this world who are bound in slavery. This is for them."
Read this if you're in the mood for: something that will break your heart and make you want to do something (which I think is the whole point of the book). The good thing is that there are resources in the back of the book if you (like me) are compelled to take action and get involved.
Continue or part ways? I know this is the second "novel on the edge of the world" book, and unfortunately I haven't had an opportunity to read the first (Scared) yet. I've read a couple of other non-fiction books by Tom Davis, and I will continue to read his books as long as he is writing them.
Want your own copy? You can find this book at Amazon, Christianbook or Barnes and Noble.