Unleashing the Minds of a Young Reader | Review of “Unleashed Retribution” by Sigmund Brouwer (2015) Orca Books

unleashed

I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers program on Librarything.com

It takes a bit of an effort at times to engage a young reader to consider their world around them. There is so much that distracts them and confuses them. But perhaps having them read Sigmund Brouwer’s novel Unleashed Retribution might be enough to spark some consideration for them to ponder their lives and begin to ask questions.

Page 1-2

THERE IS NO ONE AROUND TO HEAR YOU SCREAM.

The words came into focus as I woke up on a toilet. The last thing I remembered was drinking Gatorade. Then a fog that had turned into midnight black.

Someone had ragged my unconscious body from the back of the mildewy gym where I’d passed out to the bathroom of the locker room, where I found myself now.

I was bound with duct tape. I was still in my sweats, sitting on top of the toilet-seat lid. Those factors, at least, were a small mercy. One, being in sweats, and two, on the lid of the toilet seat as opposed to the seat itself. After not knowing how you got there and being unable to move, it would be even more awkward to look down and see your sweat pants bunched at your ankles.

Not only does Brouwer have a suspenseful novel here but he touches on themes that occur in young lives. The book deals with Jace, who has been dealing with a cold and abusive household for a very long time. The situation is worsening and Jace decides to take matters into his own hands before his brother is hurt even more. The story is one of the The Retribution Series that young readers can continue to read on with.

Page 41-42

“Hey,” Bentley said.

“Hey,” I said. no point in any encouraging words, like, Yeah, Dad must be in a bad mood – he didn’t mean what he said.” First, it would have been laughable to call Winchester by any other name than Winchester. He wasn’t a dad. He was a biological father. Second, Bentley and I both knew that Winchester always meant what he said when he threw out barbed words. And third, we’d been through that conversation endlessly during our younger years, with Bentley crying and me raging, until we’d finally accepted that it wouldn’t change, and then we’d come to a more important understanding: we weren’t going to blame ourselves for Winchester’s treating us the way he did. And, no surprise, that made us tight as brothers.

The language Brouwer uses here is simple and frank, yet it still flows in a lyrical manner. He manages to clearly get inside the mind of a young person and understand how they think and feel. Then he took that understanding and created this book.

Page 85-86

Yeah, I was scared of gravity. But I kept whispering to myself, That all you got?

Halfway up the wall I realized I was winning the fight against my fear. The process just took determination and a willingness to believe that if you hung in there – ha! Nice pun, given the rope that dangled three stories down the side of the hospital in the dark night – you’d wind in the end.

I’d pull on the Jumar with my left hand, trusting that the mechanism would lock and hold. With my right had, I’d slide the other Jumar up as high as I could. Then I’d pull down on the right Jumar, locking it in place, and slide the left Jumar up.

The effort didn’t hurt my biceps or forearms. My boxing workouts had left me with plenty of strength. But alternating the weight of my body from my left hand to my right and back to my left was tearing at the broken and crusted blisters. Without the leather gloves, it would have been unbearable.

Unleashed Retribution by Sigmund Brouwer is a great book to engage young minds about the world around them. The language is simple and frank yet the story line flows along well. A great read.

Link to the website for the Retribution Trilogy

Link to Sigmund Brouwer’s website

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