Review: Ransom in the Rock, by Yvonne Anderson

Cover art: Gateway to GannahRansom in the Rock, by Yvonne Anderson (Yvonne Anderson, 2014)

Book 2 in the Gateway to Gannah series, Words in the Wind, ended with young Lileela critically injured. Her desperate father, Pik, sent her in the care of his father to his homeworld, Karkar. Ransom in the Rock is the story of Lileela’s return approximately ten years later, very much set in the Karkar ways and attitudes and viewing her native Gannah as barbaric and uncivilized.

Why didn’t her parents bring her home sooner? Why are they dragging her back now? Lileela’s struggles have given her more than the usual teen attitude. As she learns the truth about the delay, and as she rediscovers her love for her family and planet, Lileela still longs to get away.

But will anyone on the planet survive the treacherous Karkar plans?

And what about the group of genetically-engineered Earthers, AWOL from their military service and heading for Gannah?

Readers new to the series could begin with this book and get up to date fairly quickly, but it’s worth reading from the beginning if you have time. The premise behind the story is that while Jesus revealed Himself on Earth, God the Father set His story in the stars for all races to see and learn. The ancient Gannahans believed God’s message and turned from their warlike ways, but by then the Karkar considered them mortal enemies.

Gannah is Eden-like, and the few citizens with Old Gannahan blood have an organ called a meah that allows God to speak directly to their spirits (they know Him as the Yasha, but His Earth name is Jesus). The meah also links them telepathically with others who have the organ. The people live simply and follow a strict, honour-based code reminiscent of the Old Testament laws.

In current North America, we don’t appreciate strong authority figures, submission to husbands or parents, or honour/shame-based discipline. The character of Pik, himself a Karkar but also a follower of the Yasha and married to a Gannahan, gives readers someone we can relate to. Pik lives the Gannahan way, but at times he still isn’t comfortable with aspects of it. He accepts what he doesn’t understand for the sake of those around him who value the lifestyle.

On the outside, Gannahans resemble Earthers. The Karkars look different: tall, stiff-faced, six fingered and “alien.” I find it interesting that it’s the Karkars who echo the worst of humanity, while the Gannahans give a glimpse of what we could be. Lots to make us think in this book, yet nothing feels heavy or preachy.

Favourite lines:

Captain Abdul-Malik’s orders made the stuffy briefing room feel chill. Planted a bitter nut in his belly that sent roots downward and branches upward and filled his whole being with dread. [Kindle location 250]

“Every-one who believes in God thinks He’s on their side.” He stopped tapping. “But it’s not a question of whether He’s on our side. The issue is, are we on His? Do we live in obedience? Do our actions and attitudes honor Him, or make Him ashamed of us?” [Kindle location 1000]

I’ve been enjoying this series and I’m glad there’s another book in the works to complete it. To learn more about author Yvonne Anderson and her writing, visit Y’s Words. You can read the opening chapter to Ransom in the Rock here.

[Review copy from my personal library.]