First Dystopian Book Review – Crossroads by Paul Willis


BY: Paul Willis

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Third Person • Fiction • Three (?) POV • 396 Pages


About the Book (Backcover Blurb):

Lethal persecution. Haunting decisions. Death just a whisper away.

Jack grew up concealing his faith, but now the persecution of Christians has turned lethal. After inadvertently putting his family in danger, Jack becomes aware of a covert agency dedicated to protecting Christians. The agency takes his mother and sister to safety and offers him a position as an emergency medic within their ranks.

Caring for the injured allows Jack to help their cause without violating his pacifistic beliefs, but he stands at odds with tough resistance fighter Britain. Grueling firefights, severe losses, and desperate choices test their beliefs as each of them seeks to save lives no matter the cost. But what is that cost?

Why I Choose this Book:

I’ve been following the author’s blog, Project Blank Page since around the time he started it last winter. His posts are always amazing and either make me laugh or think (or both), so when he offered people a chance to read his book in exchange for reviews, I jumped at the chance. (And, on that note y’all should check out his blog – it’s well worth reading.)

Plus, that cover is pretty great looking. Intriguing, right?

What I Thought about this Book:

This is one of the very first dystopian books I’ve ever read, and I’ve discovered that I wouldn’t exactly be a good candidate for running for my life. (Spoiler: I wouldn’t have survived past the fifth chapter if I was one of the characters in this book.)

Crossroads is packed full of action. There were lots of weapons and fights and explosions throughout the book. Plus, tons of scenes with words like “tactical” and “mobilization” and “blood” that I was nearly amused at myself for reading it, because this isn’t my normal kind of read at all. At the same time though, the book wasn’t morbid or too detailed, something for which I was very grateful. (There was never a time when I felt squeamish or uncomfortable while reading, so yay.) I’m sure that lots of girls would find this book to be right up their alley, but overall, I think guys would find this book more their style.  (And, on that note: It was interesting reading from a guy’s perspective.)

The main character was well-written, and even though I didn’t relate to him, I did find his character arch to captivating. There is a significant change from who he was in the beginning of the book to who he was at the end, and it happened a logical and well-thought-out pace which I appreciated. His struggle was something that I’ve thought about in the past, and so that was one way where I could identify with him. Near the beginning of the book I really wondered what the outcome would be, and how his beliefs would morph over time. (I wasn’t disappointed.)

At one point in the book the main character is trying to make a decision, and he asks a mentor of his if he believes differently from then on, would the sacrifices he made in the past be worthless. His mentor replied, “No bad path is good enough to stay on. No one wrong decision is worth hanging on to.” It doesn’t make as much sense out of context, but  it was such a spot-on answer that I could have applauded it.

Despite all that I did like about the book, I sadly found it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. It was a great introduction to dystopian, but as I mentioned, it’s not really my normal genre. I found everything a bit hard to follow, and there were times when the whole motivation behind the plot didn’t make complete sense to me.



Strangely enough, even though I didn’t agree with the main character’s actions at the beginning part of the book, I had a lot of the same questions that he had. There were various things that the characters did that I don’t think Christians should do, but to refrain from spoilers, I won’t go into detail with that. 😉

Happily though, the book was clean, and although violent, it wasn’t detailed.


I’m giving Crossroads three out of five stars. (As I mentioned, I’m probably not the correct audience for this book. If you do like dystopian, your rating would probably be a lot higher.)

*I received a free ARC of this book from the author. I was not obligated to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

5 thoughts on “First Dystopian Book Review – Crossroads by Paul Willis

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