Escape to Faith and Freedom
by C. A. Davidson
LitFire Publishing

"'Then atheism must be the government-sponsored religion in the Empire,' Ben said, 'but they sure don’t have freedom.'"

Ben and Ruben are just boys when they flee with their uncle from the Kohor Empire in the 1960s. Ben has been raised in secret as a Christian, while Ruben is swept up in the nationalist atheism that is a hallmark of the oppressive Kohor regime. When their father is detained by the secret police the day before their attempt to flee the country, the boys must grow up with their uncle on the island of Yeshurun. Ben flourishes under his newfound freedoms, enjoying his public display of beliefs, while Ruben struggles to find his place, getting swept up with a rebel group intent on bringing the ideals of Kohor to Yeshurun. As revolution and upheaval take place in the name of progress, Ben must rely on his faith to find the strength to stand up for what he believes.

Drawing fairly obvious parallels to the real-world Cold War that split the world with its differing ideals, this story begins a series of books that examines and decries the spread of atheism as a dominant attitude in political thinking and government. The use of two brothers as a metaphor for the lines between democracy and communism works exceptionally well, showing the differences but also the crucial commonality between the two sides. Eventually, that metaphor falls away, and the reader is forced to take a hard examination of modern Western culture and the motivation for its eager departure from traditional values. Utilizing an interesting premise, a fascinating parallel history, and a profound message on morals, this book manages to weave an entertaining story filled with action and romance while also giving the reader something to think about.

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