Down From The Mountain
Author: Elizabeth Fixmer
Release Date: March 1st, 2015
Publisher: Albert Whitmen Teen
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Eva just wants to be a good disciple of the Righteous Path. She grew up knowing that she and her mother are among the chosen few to be saved from Armageddon. Lately, though, being saved feels awfully treacherous. Ever since they moved to the compound in Colorado, their food supplies have dwindled even while their leader, Ezekial, has stockpiled weapons. The only money comes from the jewelry Eva makes and sells down in Boulder--a purpose she'll serve until she becomes one of Ezekial's wives.
But a college student named Trevor and the other "heathens" she meets on her trips beyond the compound are different from what she's been led to believe. Now Eva doesn’t know which is more dangerous-trusting Trevor of being forced to marry Ezekiel.
There has been an influx of religious cult novels in the young adult genre over the past year. You’d think with the topic, there wouldn’t be much of a difference between them, but I have enjoyed each one more than the last. Down From The Mountain is no exception, in fact I expect this one will always stand on it’s own in my mind.
I have a fixation for things that are real. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy living in a fantasy world as well, but for me there is something much more interesting and often time far more terrifying, when I know what’s on the pages is also out in the world.
We meet The Righteous Path right as all hell (no pun intended…okay, maybe a little) is about to break lose for them. The appearance of a potential intruder on their meager camp sends leader Ezekiel into a manic frenzy, sacrificing the health of those he is supposedly to protect, to use money for guns. Ezekiel uses the excuse that God wants them to fast, to make up for them severe lack of food, yet over abundance of guns that have arrived.
Fifteen year-old Eva may have grown up sheltered, but she’s whip smart. She devours every school book she can, and desperately misses The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe which Ezekiel, along with all other works of fiction, has banned from the compound. Anything that takes the focus and adoration off the so-called prophet seems to disappear rather quickly from The Righteous Path.
What I found most fascinating about this particular religious cult novel, is that it parallels The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and it’s often referenced. One might find something like this a little bothersome, but each time it happened, no matter how well I know the C.S. Lewis story, I am shocked to see it laid out as Elizabeth Fixmer weaves them together in her own remarkable way.
Eva pushes forward, always looking, always watching. She is, in my opinion, the perfect heroine for this story and I adored watching her grow and become the solid force to be reckoned with, as she fights to protect her pregnant mother and the other’s on the compound. With Aslan as her counter point, how could she not.