Ruth3 by Michael Fridgen
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**A finalist for the 2013 Minnesota Book Awards in Genre Fiction** In an utterly changed Philadelphia of the future, extreme religion has transformed the urban streets into God's chosen city and programmed its denizens as fervent disciples. That is, except for Ruth3:5, a twelve-year-old girl who dares to pose a simple question that may forever bar her from the seemingly promised land. Ruth3:5, Michael Fridgen's penetrating, action-packed dystopian thriller, charts the journey of free-thinkers in a post-apocalyptic world, where purity of thought can exact the highest possible cost. Casting a cold eye on the perilous fallout of religious extremism, this page-turning philosophical work of fiction envisions a future where a doctrine that promises to save may very well be the agent of mental imprisonment. Ruth3:5 is a devout young citizen of Philadelphia, who eagerly awaits the next allotment of scripture from her iPraise and the coming of ChristBirth, when she can wear her new green dress to praise the birth of Jesus. However, circumstances soon conspire to banish Ruth from the only home she knows. What her elders have made perfectly clear, however, is that those who dissent will feel the full force of GovernChurch and may end up in the grim and Godless Magdelene House. During Biblecation class, Ruth questions the sacred text, therefore thrusting her fate into the hands of the fierce Captain Jeremiah48:10. His aim is to apprehend Ezra2:41, a mysterious woman working against the GovernChurch. Along with Ruth's young friend Two Samuel1:26, Ezra is consumed with saving them all from dogmatic oppression and the bizarre rituals that await Ruth and Sam when they reach sexual maturity. She soon entangles them in a perilous cat-and-mouse game, from which only those with the most resolute of minds can emerge. A contemporary spin on Brave New World, it explores the eerie implications of religious fundamentalism, while engaging readers in a fast-paced tale of suspense and danger sure to make the heart race and the mind reel.
 

About Michael Fridgen

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Author Michael Fridgen is the international program director for a small university campus in Minnesota. Previously, he was a devout Catholic, but left the church when he began to question the actions of its leadership. This questioning led to an intense fascination with religion, which is the topic of his dystopian novel, Ruth3:5. The author has traveled extensively and has witnessed diverse cultures and religions, furthering his curiosity about people and the lengths they will go to adhere to their beliefs. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and a master's degree from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
 
Published November 27, 2012 by Dreamlly Books. 368 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In Fridgen's debut young-adult dystopian novel, a young girl, her grandmother and her only friend race to escape the repressive, walled city of Philadelphia.

Feb 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Ruth3:5

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