Keira by Kate Willis

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As a Book Reviewer, this is my honest review of Kiera by Kate Willis. I was not required to write a positive review nor any review. This is the first book or story that I have read by Kate Willis, though it is not her first nor her only publication.

Kiera by Kate Willis is a novel about a young woman who is facing the military draft during a war as soon as she reaches her eighteenth birthday. She has no desire to leave her family and friends and have her life change so completely. She and her parents and brothers pray that God will provide a resolution to this problem.

Though I liked the story and it held my interest and kept me turning pages, I found it difficult to determine a time period for the book. The lifestyles of the characters could very well take place in the present day. However, the mention of checking the weather daily to see what the level of radiation is before going outdoors makes it seem as though it could be in the not-too-distant future. Ms. Willis also mentions her main characters using “devices”, which are clearly electronic technological devices, to access information and contact friends and family. No specific name was given to any device, though they didn’t seem like anything other than today’s laptops, tablets, and cell phones. Each was always referred to as “the device”. Nor was there ever any clear description or information regarding the war that is taking place in the story.

However, Ms. Willis did a great job creating well-developed characters that the reader can relate to, like, and care about. The internal and external struggles of the characters are what keep the reader engaged and turning pages. The reader walks through the struggles with Kiera and her family and with Brennan Stewart, both empathizing and sympathizing with them, and hoping they will have a happy ending.

There isn’t really a romance in this novel, but there is definitely a love story in this book. By that, I mean, it is a very slow developing deep love between two of the characters. It isn’t sensual. It is a deep, pure love, unlike what the modern world views as love.

The ending of the story is a bit confusing. The words “The End” appear at the bottom of page 279, but there is one page following that, where a scene involving a minor character takes place, and it isn’t clear why the scene is there. It almost seems like a set up for a second book, but there is no mention of an upcoming book or that Kiera is part of any series.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, as I fell in love with the characters and I cared about them. Ms. Willis really did a wonderful job writing her characters, and they are definitely the heart and soul of this story, making it worth reading.

If you like character driven stories and like getting attached to and involved in the lives of a novel’s characters, you will definitely like Kiera by Kate Willlis.

Kiera is a Christian Fiction book and is a clean story – no profanity, no explicit violence, and no explicit intimate scenes. This novel is acceptable for both Young Adult and Adult Readers.

I do recommend Kiera by Kate Willis to readers who prefer character driven stories, and I give Kiera by Kate Willis 4 stars.

The Christian Controversy About Christian Fiction

Christian writers constantly face the dilemma about whether or not to mention God or Jesus in their fiction or how much Biblical information and Christian morals should they put in their writing. They have to wrestle with the decision of trying to reach the unsaved or simply write for the Christian reader.

But what about the Christian reader and/or the traditional Christian publisher? If you write for this market, does your entire manuscript have to be squeaky clean? Do your characters have to be perfect? Do you have to be preachy?

Of course, almost everyone has a different opinion. I entered a contest for Christian writers a year or so ago and I am hoping that my novel will reach both Christian and non-Christian readers who like historical fiction stories that don’t have profanity, explicit sex, or excessive violence.

Does that mean my characters are perfect and the story squeaky clean? Absolutely not because real people would not be able to relate to such a character or story. We all make bad choices and have to live with the consequences, and those of us who live the Christian life also do our best to change our behaviors/choices for the better, but we all struggle.

So, back to this contest. My main character is an honorable man who believes in the Lord and tries to do what’s right, but like everyone else, he faces challenges and temptations. Very early in my story he tells a lie, but before the scene is over, he admits the truth. My submission to the contest didn’t go to the next level because one of the judges was highly offended that my main character–the hero of the story–tells a lie and gave me low scores in all areas because of it. The judge also proceeded to tell me that the Christian Hero in a story must be righteous and cannot do something like tell a lie. This judge also said that no traditional Christian publisher would publish such a story.

Now, since I still haven’t quite finished the story, I haven’t even begun to look for a publisher of any kind, but I do know that I will never create a perfect character for thee reasons: 1) I want my readers to be able to relate to my characters; 2) I want my characters to be realistic; and 3) I want my stories to be interesting and hold my reader’s attention/keep them turning the pages.

I know that I would not read a story in which the main character does not face any struggles and does not show growth and change by the end of the book because such a story would be boring!

What about you? What are your thoughts about Christian fiction — perfect characters or characters who struggle with some of the same things you struggle with?