Printed (Book Review)

  • Author: Cameron Fitzgerald
  • Publisher: The Noble Initiative
  • On-Sale Now
  • Synopsis: In this near-future dystopia, Christians are among the most-wanted enemies of The State. Facial analyst Jasper Wood, a government employee who identifies emotion via facial expression, embarks on a journey with Emmett, a newly-apprehended criminal whose expressions bely his sentence.
  • Promising first novel with room for improvement. I like what I see and am praying for the author.

I received a complimentary copy of the book through NetGalley and the publisher.

Overall Impression

This is Fitzgerald’s first novel and I’m enthusiastic about its themes. The novel explores identity in Christ, relationship with the Father, nobility, sexual purity, belief, forgiveness, and God’s plan.

In this season, the Lord is impressing on me the need for truth in the books that I read, and this book certainly packs a lot of truth!

With that said, there were a few passages where I felt the messages could have been conveyed with a bit more originality. Certain passages read more like an apologetics sermon, with language (big words/ “Christianese”) that I think would be more palatable in a nonfiction text. 

Additionally, I feel the need to mention that there were a number of typos, which made the book feel a bit less polished than I would have preferred.

Highlights

As mentioned, there was a lot of really great content ☺️ and that made me really happy! I also think that the premise of the novel worked well with the content. Given the premise, the thematic content fit and did not feel “crammed in,” although there was a lot of it.

Some of my favorite things:

  • I really like that God is consistently referred to as the Father and that the Father relationship is the foundation of the character’s walk with Him.
  • I appreciated that God’s plan is foremost and prioritized.
  • Discussion of identity in Christ was beautiful and truthful! 
  • My favorite parts were ones in which concepts were explained with fresh language, in everyday speech and with illustrations that make sense to the reader.
  • The dystopian element was a lot of fun. I liked learning about Jasper’s job and would have liked a better glimpse into Jasper’s world.

Content Critique

There were a few points I disagreed with including:

  • Description of Satan as the “enemy” of God
  • Reference to America once being a light to the world; this is a popular idea, but, given our nation’s oppressive roots, not one that I endorse
  • There’s one plot element, also, but I won’t mention it because I don’t want to spoil anything

Scripture Connection

There are a lot of possible connections…

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Song Connection

This My Soul by the Gray Havens; Ballad rendition of the Gospel

Book Connection

Sinner is book three of Ted Dekker’s Paradise trilogy. Although not dystopic, the book is set in the near-future and includes discussion of religious freedom, as well as thematic content about identity in Christ.
Gilbert Morris’ Seven Sleepers series is a juvenile/ YA Christian book series set in a post-apocalyptic world. Children fight the forces of evil, while following Goél (Hebrew for The Redeemer).

Published by Stephanie Agnes-Crockett

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

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