Last Believer Chronicles: Chosen Child
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Why can't I ever catch a break?! It wasn't enough that I was born into the lowest Caste in Chanro, and my family is one of the highest Castes. It wasn't enough that my life is over at 21 years old unless I can somehow get out of it, it wasn't enough that I am considered worse than the dirt that the other Magics walk on. Now, my teacher has decided that rather than live under the rule of the Master and Magic; which has been the rule for 6 centuries, she wants to follow a being called God, who has not been heard of for years! She's willing to go against everything that Chanro stands for, to stand up for God. She's speaking of crazy things, like forgiveness, mercy, and a person called Jesus Christ who supposedly saved all of us! It's crazy...isn't it? There's no way that it's true...is it? She wants to rope me into this and says that God's calling me for something more, but that can't be true...can it?
Demona is the exact opposite of happy. Her life sucks! She was born into the lowest magical caste though her family is in the highest. Because of that, she is destined for ridicule, she can never marry or have children, and she is required to commit suicide at the age of twenty-one. Then, her friend discovers a Bible hidden in the walls of their ancient home that gives her hope and changes her attitude. Demona isn’t sure what to think about her friend’s mysterious book, but when she is offered the chance to spy on her friends in exchange for caste re-evaluation, she takes it.
The Last Believer Chronicles: Chosen Child by Anilyn Shaw was quite different than I imagined. It is set in a post-apocalyptic future where nature is nonexistent and nearly everyone has magic. Christianity has been forgotten in lieu of the “No-God Act,” and the people are united under The Master, otherwise known as Satan, who fuels the magic, and his underling, Runua Judas. I would describe this storyworld as “the epitome of evil” and I didn’t particularly like it. But I have to give the author credit because she did a spectacular job creating it!
The plot was pretty good, though. It follows Demona from her birth to the third most-powerful people on the globe to her transformation and calling as a Christian with a new name. Chosen Child is largely the story of a young woman struggling against God, evil, the society, and her own conscience. Because of all the mistakes she makes, Demona is not the most likeable character, but she is forgiven and changed.
Some of the other main characters were utterly inspiring. Demonica/Ruth and Julia/Gabrielle were beautiful in their faith, though not without fault. I found them the most relatable, me being a Christian from a Christian background. I fell in love with these characters and long for the following novel.
Also, there are a number of name changes. The characters’ name changes represented their internal renewal as Christians. It was a little confusing at first but I easily caught on because the characters’ personalities were so distinct.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to lovers of Christian speculative fiction and allegory.
I borrowed a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
As a side note, I voiced several characters in the audiobook version of this book. Keep your eyes out for it!