- Book: Volition
- Author: Chautona Havig
- Genre: Christian Fiction, futuristic
- Release Date: December 31, 2019
“I should have made that left turn at Tucumcari.”
It’s Doctor Who meets mail-order brides when “rescuers” from the future arrive to save Andi Flanders from a happy life with her loving family and fiancé.
Okay, so they meant to get her suicidal roommate, but hey. Mistakes happen, right?
And as far as Andi’s concerned, they can fix them—by sending her home.
However, when she learns what happens when she disappears from home, Andi has an impossible choice. Stay in the government-controlled futuristic world she despises and never see her family again or return to the twenty-first century and doom an innocent person to death.
Volition— Life and death decisions are so overrated.
This was a fun story! I enjoyed the futuristic vibe, plot, and characters. Of course, I couldn’t help thinking how timely this book is with the lockdown and current ultra regulation of businesses. I can’t wait to return to the old normal. This book highlights possible future scenarios.
Society wasn’t any more evolved or enlightened—it was scared of the consequences.
I was amused by the unique mix of characters’ reliance on technology and resistance to technology by embracing natural methods of doing things. The decor was an environmentalist’s delight. I loved the mention of one of my favorite homeopathic remedies: arnica.
Andrea (Andi) Flanders is accidentally “rescued” by men from the future. She was supposed to be in her own bed asleep when they came but was asleep in her roommate’s unoccupied bed because a cat shed on her own. Her roommate was slated to be “rescued” from a suicide attempt but was in the hospital when the Rescuers arrived.
Volition presents a possible future where men outnumber women because of population control. Their society used time travel to retrieve women from the past who were soon going to die and bring them to the future. These women then receive advanced healthcare or counseling to save them.
They neither saw nor care that they’ve stripped these women of one of the things that humans need more than almost anything else—their volition.
The “rescued” women are immediately married to their “sponsors” and given a year to try to make this marriage work. Andi sees this as an abduction not a marriage.
To remove the choice to do something, even to do what is wrong, strips us of what makes us human in the first place…
Different protections are in place for the women’s safety yet not all want to be rescued. One provision is they can briefly choose to divorce after the first year. What would happen if a woman arrived who doesn’t want to live with her sponsor but doesn’t believe in divorce?
Laughing, I watched as the fatigue began to disintegrate almost visibly. “Hey, how about a movie? I’ll order anything you want.”
That was fast. I’d never seen it—never heard of the movie, but hey, who was I to complain? Once connected to the video database, I found three movies with Speed in the title, but Andi took the Slate and chose the right one. “You’ll love it.”
Some things just didn’t make sense to me. A police officer with a vendetta against the police force? It didn’t make sense. I mean, I know we’re full of depraved people just like any century, but if justice was so superior in the past, why on earth were things like this allowed to happen?
When I asked her, Andi said, “Didn’t you get the part where this is a movie? It’s fiction. You don’t see this kind of thing every day.”
I enjoyed reading this book’s strong emphasis on Biblical sanctity of marriage. Andi decides to live by the Bible’s marriage advice by not divorcing. Perhaps she can find happiness in her marriage even though it was not of her choosing. Her sponsor may not be attractive to her but he is kind, patient, and extremely cheerful. James has his own doubts about their marriage since he was not anticipating such an intensely philosophical and religious wife.
This was an unusual time travel novel. History doesn’t seem to change much by Andi’s removal from the twenty-first century. It makes sense to me that the other women who were going to die don’t change history much by going to the future. The focus here isn’t on an individual’s importance in the chain of world events but on choices, what it means to be a Christian, and relationships.
“Everyone has the right to make his own decision, but none has the right to force his decision on others”
How much does it take to change our preconceived notions of each other? It takes a lot of time and experiences for Andi to break through her resentment to appreciate James’ good qualities. He has guts to selflessly try to make amends for her mistaken abduction. He works to do what’s best for Andi when it is not in his best interests. That is the beginning of love. I really liked James as he stood up for Andi to the government and other people.
I think some people might not like some scenes shopping for women’s underclothes and a training on future hygiene practices for women. I felt these were tastefully handled and were realistic.
Read Volition. Really! It is a sweet story with a happy ending and many great thought-provoking predicaments.
I received a free advanced reader copy of this book. All opinions are completely my own.
About the Author
Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours, and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
More from Chautona
What Happens When You Explore Logical Progressions?
She used chopsticks. Me? I’m a fork kind of gal. But over plates of sesame chicken and fried rice, we hashed out what our NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) books would be. Every year, I challenged myself. Once by writing drippy romance (Discovering Hope). Once by turning a sermon into a story that wasn’t preachy (Argosy Junction). (psst… links are Chautona’s affiliate links—they provide a small commission to her at no extra expense to you!)
This time, I’d decided the challenge would include writing in the first person. Anyone who knows me knows how much I don’t like the first-person perspective. As we tried to figure out what our plots would be, my friend added another challenge. “Do science fiction.”
I’ll be honest. I almost laughed her out of the restaurant. But then an idea hit me. Why shouldn’t I? I could kill two dislikes in one book. Bam! Done!
That kicked off a book I probably never would have written otherwise.
I knew doing major techno-science stuff wouldn’t be conducive to trying to write 50,000 words in thirty days, so I immediately chose futuristic over space travel. The decision to go with a form of time travel was probably inspired by Doctor Who, now that I think of it. I didn’t back then. I just went with what I thought I might be able to make interesting—to write, if not to read.
That kicked off an idea that sent my brain spinning.
What would happen if you got kidnapped and taken to the future, but returning to your former life means someone’s soul will never be redeemed?
Of course, it would take a really strong, amazing character to pull off that kind of thing. Not everyone could do it. But who… who gives up her life for someone else?
That’s when I knew. That soul saved would have to belong to someone my character didn’t even like. Gotta raise the stakes, you know?
That’s also when I discovered that I wouldn’t like her—not at first.
Andi Flanders jumped onto the page with hands on hips and eyes flashing. She was livid that people in the future had interfered with her life. Then she’s broken when she realizes she can’t go back.
Fiercely independent, Andi enters futuristic Rockland with a critical eye and condemning spirit. Since most sci-fi stuff I’ve seen focuses on sleek, pristine futures full of glass and steel, I wanted to go a different direction. But how?
That’s when my solution came to me.
I’d take today’s world and push everything to logical exaggerated conclusions.
- Environmentalism? We’ll have a world that tries not to encroach on nature any more than necessary
- Population? I took China’s “one child” policy and made it worldwide… and then let the future deal with the fallout.
- Globalism? I let them have their one-world government that protects everyone from themselves.
- Apathetic faith? I didn’t persecute Christians. I just let their faith die a slow, natural death.
And then I threw in a character with a love for Jesus and a minor obsession with Ayn Rand’s objectivism. Yes, I’m aware that those two things can be mutually exclusive. That was the fun of it.
This Rand-spouting, Jesus loving, freckle-faced, fiery redhead had to deal with all of this stuff in a world as opposite from her freedom-loving self as can stand.
Ninety-thousand words later, I was done. And then I shelved the book.
For ten years.
On December 27, 2019, I got a message from my son.
He’d found a book cover design contest and wondered if he should enter. And if so, with what book? We hashed out ideas when I remembered Volition. It wasn’t edited. Done, but not edited. Could I possibly get the whole thing cleaned up before December 31 rolled over into January 1?
I decided to try.
Nolan got to work on a cover while I began editing like nobody’s business.
With the help of my amazing launch team, an incredible editor, and no sleep, the book was live on New Year’s Eve with three hours to spare.
Then my son decided not to worry about entering this year.
He lives. This is a testimony to God’s grace and control over my life. And my hands.
Or maybe it’s because he lives three hours south of me, and I’ve only seen him once since then. You don’t kill your son at your daughter’s wedding reception. Just sayin’.
But let’s go with the first reason. It makes me sound more spiritual or something. 😉
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Wishful Endings, May 12
Lots of Helpers, May 13
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 14
Pause for Tales, May 14
Emily Yager, May 15
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 16
Robin’s Nest, May 16
Texas Book-aholic, May 17
Inklings and notions, May 18
Worthy2Read, May 18
For Him and My Family, May 19
Read Review Rejoice, May 19
deb’s Book Review, May 20
Rebecca Tews, May 20
Book of Ruth Ann, May 21
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 22
Blogging With Carol, May 23
Quiet Workings, May 24
Breny and Books, May 24
Artistic Nobody, May 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click this link to enter.