The Rebel Christian

Book Reviews

The Blue Tower

The Blue Tower by J.B. Simmons.png

I’ve been really getting into YA fantasy lately, so I think this book showed up in my inbox right on time. The Blue Tower is the first book in a series that I think will earn a fanbase rather quickly. If you were part of the 99% who fell in love with series like the Hunger Games, Divergent, or even the recent best-seller, Red Queen, then I think its very safe to say you will find much to enjoy in this new series.

The Blue Tower opens with the protagonist Cipher who has just woken up and swam into a mysterious place called, of course, The Blue Tower. Everything here is a mystery to both the reader and the main character—that’s something I haven’t quite decided if I like yet, to be honest. There was a lot of mystery to this book where everyone was kind of left in the dark. It worked in a way that left you quickly turning pages, but sometimes I felt a little frustrated in the fact that I was turning pages to figure out the story, not necessarily to follow it.

Eventually, we learn that the “Blue” tower is not the only tower and that Cipher and other children must faceoff in a battle called the Scouring against the children of other towers. It reminds you of the Maze Runner and the Hunger Games twisted into one story but there’s still enough originality left over to make this story stand out on its own.

One of the things I liked about the story was the message of redemption that I picked up from Cipher and his mistakes and the lessons he learned throughout his journey. The fact that he actually learned something was enough to get a good review out of me because that’s something that seems to be missing in a lot of YA books today. I’m really tired of reading books with good plots but annoying characters, I’m very glad I didn’t find that here.

Aside from redemption, I kind of felt like the story centered on a purgatory-type concept. It works well for the book and the mystery of the towers, but I feel like that concept is more closely related to the Catholic faith, rather than Christianity. This little remark is not a complaint at all, just something I sort of noted while reading—I have read some Christian fiction that used Catholic elements in their writing simply for aesthetics. Some books use sword fighting Priests, others hold rosary beads, etc.

At the end of the day, this was a well-written story that I enjoyed very much and have no doubts that many others will as well. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to review this piece and even prouder that its part of the Christian literary community. I would most definitely recommend this book to others; YA fans will eat this up in one sitting! Fantasy nerds will certainly enjoy this and those with a taste for a new dystopian series may have just found their favorite read.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*