March 29, 2012
Deliver Me from Evil, the first book in Kathi Macias' Freedom Series, which exposes the horrors of human trafficking, left me anxiously awaiting the arrival of Special Delivery.
This second book is the continuing story of Mara, a young woman once enslaved in a human trafficking ring, and Jonathan the pizza boy turned Bible college student who aided in her rescue. Their relationship, which is strained at best, gives insight into the deep emotional trauma experienced by someone who has been victimized so severely. I'm now anxious for the final book in the series, The Deliverer, to see how things progress.
I am thankful that the beginning of Special Delivery was a refresher of sorts because it had been awhile since I read Deliver Me from Evil. Within minutes of picking it up, I was completely engrossed. So much so, that I read it from cover to cover. I found it impossible to put down with the character's lives hanging in the balance. For me the book was riveting. Just as it is with a really good movie, by the time I'd finished the book, I was emotionally spent. This is something that I've rarely experienced from a fictional work.
It was all-too-real.
And that is what makes Kathi Macias' work so outstanding. Not only does she tackle dark issues which society and the church seem to overlook but she also does it in a very compelling way. You can't help but invest yourself emotionally while reading her books. They will turn you inside out and upside down providing haunting reminders, even after you put them aside, of the plight of others in need of both our awareness and help.
In Special Delivery the author, once again, does a masterful job of weaving in additional characters and sub-themes while exposing them to additional facets of the hideous problem of human trafficking. Take Lawan and Francesca, for example. Their circumstances are uniquely different yet both are slaves, nevertheless, in desperate need of deliverance. Mara, is not completely out of danger, either. I'd share more of their stories but you really must read them for yourself to adequately feel their pain. I certainly felt it profoundly and believe that we must all feel it deeply if real progress toward abolition of this problem is to be made.
I've learned a great deal from the first two books in Kathi's Freedom series. For starters, I now understand that human trafficking is not something that happens only in other parts of the world. I've done additional research. It's happening in my own backyard. I've also realized that "enslavement" comes in many forms and its roots run very deep.
Special Delivery, in particular, helped me to see that there is much more to human trafficking then first meets the eye. And, speaking of eyes, there is a very good chance that we may actually be coming into contact with "human slaves" throughout the course of our day. This book presents a scenario shedding light on what such an encounter might look like. It was very realistic, and I believe it happens with regularity.
If you would like a "portal" into the world of human trafficking look no further. Kathi Macias' Freedom series is a great place to begin. I cannot recommend Special Delivery highly enough. It is one delivery that was well worth the wait.
This recent interview, with Kathi Macias, gives additional insight and information that you will find useful. It also features a video trailer of the book. Don't miss it. You might also be interested in my review of Deliver Me From Evil.
I am giving away a copy of Special Delivery as part of the Christian Service Speakers blog tour. For a chance to win, leave a comment about why you are interested in the book. I'll choose a winner at midnight CST on Tuesday, April 3rd. (U.S. residents only)