by Pam Bachorz
Rated PG-13; Not Recommended
Enslaved to Darwin West and his cruel Overseers for 200 years, the Congregation has been gathering the precious Water from leaves to keep Darwin in luxury. And in all that time, only 6 have died. Only Ruby, her mother, and the Congregation's Elders know the real power behind the Water that provides their longevity - Otto's blood. But Otto has been gone for almost 200 years and while waiting faithfully for him to come save them, the Water relies on its power from another source . . . his daughter, Ruby. 200 years of enslavement is a long time, though, and Ruby - who only appears to be 17 - is sick of slavery and cruelty and longs for freedom. When a new Overseer arrives, his kindness is viewed with suspicion by Ruby. Does she dare trust his promise of help and escape? And how can she think of leaving when without her blood, the Congregation is doomed to die?
The Congregation is a religious group but instead of God, they worship Otto - the man whose blood gives them life. They pray to Otto, they count on him to rescue them from slavery and await his coming while suffering beatings and starvation. Their chant while being oppressed is "Otto will come, Otto will come". If you're noticing parallels you should - they are clear. However, this book does not praise or glorify God through the parallels. Instead, it feels like praise of a false prophet. It reminds me of when Saul turned to a witch for answers instead of God.
The book had occasional cursing. There are also some kisses, scenes of whipping and torture, and claims of a sadistic love from Darwin towards a slave. I rated this book PG-13 but I do not recommend it. It is not uplifting.
If you want a good book that has Christ parallels in a way that glorifies and uplifts, I recommend instead the Chronicles of Narnia for all ages. You can't go wrong with a little C.S. Lewis!