Friday, April 7, 2017

Review: Cadáin's Watch by Daniella Bova

The Christian Rebuttal to The Handmaid's Tale

Cadáin's Watch is the third and final book in the Storms of Transformation trilogy, which is set in the near future of America, where everyone is under the tyranny of a Healthcare Law that encroaches on everything.

The trilogy has many viewpoint characters, but mainly focuses on Jason and Michelle. This final book also shows an angelic viewpoint, which I thought was nicely handled. The angel Cadain has a perspective and tone that seemed plausible. Jason's character throughout the series is the most interesting with his internal struggles and sometimes wrong but very human decisions. The way he would reflect and pray at night while fighting to save his family by day made me think, actually, of Marcus Aurelius writing his Meditations in his tent while at the frontlines of war.

I've been trying to figure out why I like Cadain's Watch so much. Normally I don't like literary style at all, because of what I think of as "navel-gazing about 1st world problems." Bova is the first writer I've encountered who combines literary style with gripping, huge stakes and I think it makes her work feel realistic in a way a lot of dystopic fiction does not. Most dystopic fiction is essentially cerebral - what if this goes on and this happens what can we do? Bova's fiction is spiritual and emotional - if this happens, how would you and I deal with it and what would the impact be on our souls?

I think I mentioned in my review of the the first book, Tears of Paradox, that I basically felt it was slow and too much in the characters' heads. Well, the author has tightened that up a lot and Cadain's Watch has much better pacing and a lot more action. It's great to see a new writer improve so much over the course of one trilogy. It's still a book I had to read slowly because it would keep getting me thinking about current events and my own reactions to them.

In this review title I referred to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale - in case you haven't read it, this is a fairly old feminist novel that posits a future theocratic America where the Christian Right has oppressed all women. It's really rather ridiculous but the Left loves it. Anyway, the Storms of Transformation trilogy to me is a much more realistic mirror-image treatment of the scenario of a future authoritarian America where the Left oppresses families.

Bottom line: Cadáin's Watch is an excellent conclusion to the reflection-provoking Christian dystopia trilogy Tears of Transformation.

A review copy of this book was provided to me free of charge.

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