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Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite
Gill D Anderson’s The Chosen Seven tells the story of six strangers whose lives are changed forever when a lunatic with a gun came into Alessandro’s Cucina. Farzad Abed, crazy and angry with the world, claimed to be a terrorist and that his sudden violence was an Islamic State attack on Australia. He started with a restaurant full of hostages but narrowed it down to six. He claimed that he and his remaining hostages would be known as the chosen seven. Farzad believed that after brainwashing the hostages to take his side, they could make the world sit up and take notice. The chosen seven would change the world. Jacob Brown, Jagriti Goshal, Regina Terry, Levi Haines, Bill Walker, and Paul Townsend were brought together by a dangerous situation. Helpless, frustrated, and angry, they were handpicked by Farzad to play along in his delusion. Stuck inside the restaurant with their lives on the line and their rescuers hesitating outside, the handpicked victims realized that if they want to survive that night, they may need to work together and rescue themselves.
The Chosen Seven is a remarkable book that captured my attention from the very first chapter. Gill D Anderson wrote in so many characters with differing characteristics and backgrounds that it was hard to believe sometimes that they weren’t real. Their struggles and regrets in life were realistic and easy to relate to. The six hostages were so different from each other but they came together brilliantly when the situation called for it. Of course, in a situation like that, there were bound to be some challenges. I love how it all came together in the end. All the loose strings were tied up neatly. It starts with these different people, each living their own lives, minding their own business, each with their own imperfection, and their own problems, and I got to see into their lives and understand them on a deeper level. Their stories reached out and took hold of my heart and it was easy to sympathize with them and fear for their lives. Most of the characters changed after the harrowing incident and I think it was a perfect depiction of how people evolve from their experiences and learn something new. The hostages and their families’ new perspective in life after the incident was my most favorite part of the entire book. This was an incredible and exceptional piece of work and I would definitely read it again.