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.
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.
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 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 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.
Thomas Clayton Booher
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback
Rebecca LuElla Miller