The First Principle – The Story

herBook_3DIt’s day two of the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy blog tour. We’re reviewing The First Principle, by Marissa Shrock. I received a print copy of The First Principle compliments the publisher.

The Story

The First Principle is Young Adult dystopian science fiction with definite Christian content. Some books claim to be Christian but handle the subject of Christianity loosely, delicately, or subtly. I have no problem with any of these approaches. Just know, Shrock’s book doesn’t tip-toe around it.

Neither does it tip-toe around the subjects of teen pregnancy and abortion. As such, I wouldn’t recommend this book for tweens or younger teens. Nevertheless, I applaud Shrock and the publisher for tackling these two important issues.

The Spirituality

I personally found the Christian themes/elements to be a bit heavy-handed and “in-your-face” at times, and prefer the spiritual aspects of a story to be presented with a bit more finesse, but remember, I’m a forty-year-old woman with three kids, i.e. I’m not the book’s intended audience.

The Characters

Shrock’s characterization often struck me as one-dimensional. For instance, the main character can hack into secure computer networks, but we’re never told where she learned that skill. As it is, her skills as a hacker seem only to serve the plot.

I found Drake to be the most multi-dimensional and, therefore, believable, so for me, he was the highlight of the cast.

The Plot

The First Principle moves from conflict to conflict at a fast clip making it an easy read. Shrock seems to have a good grasp on plotting, and I felt this was an area where she shined.

The Technicalities

The story was very tightly edited, which is more than one can expect these days, even from major publishing houses. I appreciated the author’s and the publisher’s attention to detail in this area.


I’d give The First Principle three stars. I’d recommend it to older teens.

To find out what others are saying, check out the links below.

Julie Bihn
Thomas Clayton Booher
Beckie Burnham
April Erwin
Victor Gentile
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Jalynn Patterson
Chawna Schroeder
Jessica Thomas

Jessica Thomas graduated summa cum laude with Academic Honors in Writing from Ball State University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in English and completing a Minor in Creative Writing. She began her professional career in marketing at a large Indianapolis law firm. Since transitioning to Information Technology in 2001, she has worked in the pharmaceutical, student loan, and defense financing industries as a computer programmer, systems analyst, Web developer, and technical writer. Of all the jobs she's held, she considers motherhood the most challenging of all. Her dystopian science fiction novel, This Quiet Tyranny, is available on Amazon.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Rebecca LuElla Miller September 22, 2015, 6:48 pm

    Interesting observations, Jessica. I agree that the Christianity was much more centrally positioned in this story than in a lot of books these days. I thought the discussions about Jesus Christ arose fairly naturally in the story. But I do expect that some will label this as “typical” Christian fiction, with the mandatory conversion. I don’t have a problem with this kind of character development, but I think I would have liked to see her grapple a bit more with the decision.

    Still, I thought it was well done. And as it turns out, quite timely, now that abortion is a topic in the public square again.


  • Julie Bihn September 23, 2015, 3:04 am

    Good review! I agree especially on the tight editing and solid plotting. I didn’t expect to read through this book in a weekend, but it grabbed me.


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