There isn't any reason I would have picked up this book if I hadn't been friends of this author's brother, if his wife (and one of my best friends), hadn't worked with his daughter to do the cover art for it.
It's about Christian peace keepers (peace I dig, organized religion? Not so much.) and the main character, Spike, is heavily into anime. I will make no apologies here, I despise anime to the very depth of my soul. Cartoons, comic books.....can't do any of them, no one knows why.
Spike is an emotionally withdrawn women whose self esteam issues arise from her, less than complementary father, Otto, who has been estranged from Spike and her sister Margie for most of their adult lives. The estrangement is a result of lies told to the girls by their mother....not by anything he did in particular, though of course he wasn't perfect.
Margie, the younger sister, get's involved with a group call Reformed Anabaptist Peace Team, or RAPT, a group dedicated to bringing peace to many of the non peaceful areas of this planet (which is sadly pretty much everywhere), and is promptly sent to Iraq and then, with equal promptness, is kidnapped.
The story revolves around the people who love Margie and how thy go about their lives without her, and how they live without knowing her fate from day to day....
Spike, along with Margie and her ex, Marcus are anime fans (help me.) together they decide to write their own story, Champlooland (I kept thinking of it as Shampoo-land) which Marcus and Spike continue to write in Margie's absence. So that means, dear reader, we get a hefty dose of it in this book. It didn't bother me too much (though I admit to skimming those parts from time to time), so for those who like (or just don't hate) anime, it won't be an issue. The author did make a few references to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, witch was redeeming, and offset the anime sections I had to endure.
I know the author does this kind of work and I would take my hat off to her for it, if I had a hat. It takes some brass balls to put yourself in that kind of danger for what you believe in.....I am not that brave.
This was a self published book, which I tend not to pick up due to the fact there is no professional editing involved (this is not a criticism because any book I would write would need extra strength editing), but I think she did a pretty good job of it on her own.
Over all, I enjoyed it. It was a different read for me. 3.5 stars.