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Appointed Time (Sands of Time Trilogy, #1) by C.J. Peterson 

Combining contemporary young adult science fiction/fantasy with Christian fiction, Appointed Time is a tense tale of action and adventure. 

The medical clinic in Maine specialized in complex maternity cases, but when nurses Ben and Grace had only been there a short while, they realized there was much more going on than creating miracles for desperate women. The director, Professor Noah Roth, was involved in genetics manipulation, and the women who came to him for his help in carrying a child to full-term became his unwitting test subjects. 

When four special little infants with a highly sought-after genetic code were born, their mothers suspiciously began dying, leaving the babies in Professor Roth's evil hands. Ben and Grace knew they had to do something quick to prevent the children from undergoing further experimentation, so they gathered up a baby each and fled the clinic, planning to go off the grid and give at least two motherless children a chance at a decent life. 

Appointed Time is the first book in C.J. Peterson's young adult Christian sci-fi trilogy, Sands of Time. With its lively cadre of teenagers, a couple with some pretty insane skills, and an imaginative and terrifying plot, I enjoyed getting to know the players in this story, the building tension, and following the action as the fugitives work to stay under the radar and out of the clutches of the bad guys. 

The main adult characters of the piece, Ben, Grace, and eventually Sheriff Wyatt Reynolds, are good-hearted people struggling to walk the right path under unbelievable circumstances. They readily commit their lives to keeping Holly and Blake safe. They are definitely playing a long game as they must continually maintain their strategy until the children reach maturity. 

The child main characters, including those from the youth group, are fun and talented, and I enjoyed peeking in on their interactions with each other. They are good, normal kids with a couple of notable exceptions, of course. Blake and Holly not knowing the basic Bible stories was a shocking and eye-opening twist that I could imagine actually happening. 

As this is the trilogy's first book, most of the story is exposition needed to set up the rest of the tale. However, when the real action starts at around the two-thirds mark, it kicks into high gear. I enjoyed the establishment of the story's groundwork; it answers several logistical questions, quietly builds a solid foundation for the rest of the trilogy, and initiates a general feeling of foreboding. I recommend APPOINTED TIME to readers of contemporary young adult Christian fiction and young adult science fiction/fantasy.

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