Subversive by Raena Rood ★★★★★ #BookReview #BookBlog #Subversive

Primary Genre(s): Fiction, Christian, Dystopian
Published: 16 Jun 2020 by One Foundation Publishing
Page count: 310
My Format: eARC via NetGalley
Cover: Simple
Pacing: Amazing
Ending: Hopeful
Would I recommend it: Yes
Commission Link: Buy Subversive
My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads
In an abandoned coal mine, a group of fugitives huddle four-hundred feet beneath the surface of the earth. To the world, and to the Federal Task Force who have been commissioned to hunt them down, they are known as subversives. Dangerous religious zealots who must be captured and imprisoned before their extremism can infect anyone else. Since the night of her parent’s arrest, Gemma Alcott has been in hiding as a subversive. She’s found a home – and someone to love – but she’s never forgotten the love she left behind.

Taylor, a young Task Force officer, believes wholeheartedly in his mission and in the danger posed by subversives. He believes in his mission so much that he detained and imprisoned his own father. But when his first love, Gemma, is captured by a rogue Task Force unit, his loyalties are put to the test.

Facing interrogation and possible death, Gemma must summon the strength and faith to protect her friends, no matter the cost. And Taylor must decide if he’s fighting against evil…or for it.

My Thoughts
I was contacted directly by the author via my blog and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing this book. I am so glad I said yes! Here are my pros and cons for Subversive:


  1. I will say upfront that I am extremely tired of dystopian novels. I think the market is supersaturated with that genre and I stopped reading them a long time ago. I think this novel has dystopian elements; however, this isn’t your typical, science fiction, new world, futuristic, dystopian novel. This is today and right in your backyard… and that makes it more realistic and disturbing. I enjoyed this version of “dystopian”.
  2. I am very impressed with the writing in this novel. I found myself pausing quite frequently to reread particularly well-crafted sentences. I don’t often do this, especially not in debut novels! So, when I come across such lyrical sentences, as I found in this book, I am very impressed.
  3. I also found the story to be exceptionally descriptive without being verbose. One of my biggest pet peeves is when an author is overly or unnecessarily descriptive. It often feels like “filler” and it can absolutely ruin a book for me. So, when world-building and storytelling is described well without verbosity, as it is in this book, I am very impressed.
  4. This book started off with a bang and held my attention throughout. The story takes place over a span of just a few days and it is unputdownable. It is part thriller, part suspense, part young adult romance, and part conflict/war.
  5. The story has a Christian worldview that was represented well. The Bible, scripture, and Christianity are part of the story, but I didn’t think the book was “preachy” at all.
  6. The characterizations were fantastic and relatable. Gemma is a particularly impressive and strong character. I’m not sure I could endure a tenth of what she went through!  
  7. I was impressed with Gemma and Taylor’s complex and honest relationship. Considering the intensely difficult situation they found themselves in, they were both very mature and level-headed.
  8. As you read you will feel anger, joy, hope, love, fear, pain, loss… almost every emotion is covered!
  9. The thought of living in a society without religious freedom is very scary and this book highlights exactly what that situation might be like.


  1. There is some violence and gore in the novel. I am including this as a con simply because I want people to be aware it exists in the novel in case that type of thing is a trigger for anyone. None of the violence/gore is gratuitous in my opinion, but instead exemplifies the lengths some people will go to in order to make a point and/or to silence others.

This novel is attention-grabbing, fast-paced, and engrossing! The story is expertly crafted and the characterizations are genuine. While the novel is fiction, persecution of this type is not implausible and that made the book intensely thought-provoking. I am quite impressed with Subversive and I cannot wait for Ms. Rood’s next novel in this series! I know she can write well, but I hope she can write really fast, too!

I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone. If you particularly enjoy thrillers with dystopian elements, this book is definitely for you! Click on my link below and order it today!

Thank you NetGalley, One Foundation Publishing, and Raena Rood for a free eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy Subversive. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Click here for a description of my rating scale.

(image from Goodreads)

Where to find me:
Facebook: @KayckayBookReviews
Twitter: @KayckayReviews
WordPress: Kayckay Book Reviews

2 thoughts on “Subversive by Raena Rood ★★★★★ #BookReview #BookBlog #Subversive

  1. KayCKay…I love your blog and I’ve been anxiously waiting to hear what you thought of the book. I’m so happy you loved it! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing Subversive. I can’t wait for you to read book 2! –Raena

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reading this was entirely my pleasure! I can’t imagine how excited you must be with publication day just around the corner! I’m sure many others will appreciate this story as much as I do! 🤗 – Kim (KayCKay)

    Liked by 1 person

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