Are They Trying to Tell Us Something?

There are many dark places, these days, in Young Adult fiction. How many books for teens “celebrate” aberrant sexuality? How many get their young protagonists involved with pagan “gods”, or witchcraft?

But the biggest books, occupying the rank once held by Harry Potter, are The Hunger Games and Divergent, their sequels, the movies made from them, and assorted spin-off items.

Both of these depict a highly unpleasant future in which the human race must live under evil and oppressive tyrannies. Both tell stories of teenagers who rise up to overthrow their governments. And both are runaway best-sellers.


Is there an awareness, somewhere out there in the culture, that we are heading for a really bad time?

My editor remarked to me the other day, “But that’s what I love about Bell Mountain. Sure, there’s a lot of bad stuff going on in those stories; but there are also victories being won, and there is always hope. Right in the middle of all the problems and crises and wars, there’s hope. Those other books seem awfully short on hope.”

In my Bell Mountain series, the hope is always centered on God, not man. After all, it was humanity’s bright ideas that messed things up in the first place. Wrath and envy and avarice do their share of harm in history; but pride has all those other sins beat. In my books and also in the others, it’s pride that has wrecked whole civilizations.

And in this other fallen world, the one that we live in, it’s pride that threatens to ruin us–the pride that convinces our leaders and the prattling pinheads of our brain trust that they know all the answers and that’s why they deserve to hold the power: because they know how to give us paradise on earth, if only they can make us all obey them.

That’s what they always think, and always will.

Hey–if we ever do wind up living like the poor devils in Divergent or The Hunger Games, remember: it started out as some experts’ bright idea.

3 comments on “Are They Trying to Tell Us Something?

  1. Well put as usual, Lee. So often we get led towards the non-God side of things – not just in fiction but in everyday life. True it may not always take on such huge post apocalyptic proportions – but its there in small things. We find ourselves saying “I bet this goes bad” or “It would be just like that old so and so to do this!” – turning away from hope from our Lord to what amounts to an anti-hope of forms. I try to start each day with a better attitude and KNOW that He is in charge. I don’t succeed most days with it but know I am loved and there is Hope. More books like your series would help – but its hard to get the press and image out there. Maybe if we use reverse advertising.. tell kids not to read Bell Mountain? Its bad for them..etc.. Might work.?!

    By the way… thanks to your influence I started a blog too. (misery deserves company?)

    1. I often say my books are smarter than I am. It will take me a long time to outgrow my deeply-ingrained habit of pessimism–which I fully recognize as something NOT pleasing to God. And it didn’t come from God, either. Happily, it doesn’t look like I brought it up the mountain with me.

    2. We are all just human.. but I do think Bell Mtn is good – or should I say Good? Keep up the good work, Lee – we appreciate you.

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