Mr. Klavan's gift for keeping us on the edge of our seats continues in this novel of a teenager trapped in a nightmare, no longer sure what is true. Charlie West's story raises the question: "What if I woke up in a world I didn't recognize, accused of crimes I don't remember, hunted by an organization I have no memory of joining?" The book manages to weave together the common details of everyday life with an extraordinary adventure.
This book brings together the importance of a humans values. Countless times Charlie has to decide what he values in life, and act accordingly. This includes his country, his family, and the love of his life to name a few. Along with a regular teen life alot of us can relate to, it doesn't take long before becoming a page turner. Being the first book in a series of four, you won't learn about the whole story in this first read. At first, i thought it was a little too simple and spectacular, almost like a fantasy when you read about the miraculous things he does. But at the end, it leaves an incredible cliff hanger that eventually made me read the next three. As you go through the series, you will appreciate the first book more as the story unravels and reveals the true meaning for Charlie's actions.
Charlie West is a normal High School kid who is worried about grades, and girls. He likes to hang out with his friends. He likes to go to Church. He likes to take Karate and enjoys the mentorship of Sensei Mike. He loves his Country and loves his family, even his snooty sister.
Charlie wakes up one day to find himself a prisoner of a group called the Homelanders a group of American citizens helping the Islamists overthrow the country. He is being tortured by some of them to find out what he knows about them but he can't answer as his last memory is going to bed after a day where he did a Karate Demonstration at school and had a fight over a girl with his former best friend.
Charlie west finds himself in the middle of a nightmare situation and desparately tries to remember everything that happened on the last day he remembers. He is desparate to escape his captors and the truth of what he is facing will shake him to his very core.
I enjoyed the first book in the Series very much. Charlie has some exciting adventures and he ends up with a lot of unanswered questions that further the mystery. I enjoyed Book 2 very much and am looking forward to the publication of book 3.
The book is written for a teen christian audience. There are both Christian and Patriotic messages in the book. You may find one or two cliche characters but they don't take away from the excitement. The violence is subdued (the torture occured before the action began)and there is no foul language. There is a scary moment when Charlie has a climatic confrontation with his captors but overall nothing to scare the psyche.
I have enjoyed the series so far and look forward to the next chapter.
I purchased this book for my 12 year old son with hopes to entice him to put the XBOX & IPOD down. As always, I read the book first .. you never can be too safe! I loved it!! Its full of action and adventure. Charlie West is an ordinary teenager soon to be young man. He faces obstacles that would make the strongest of believers give in and surrender but with words of wisdom from mentors in his life and his faith, he pushes through each one. I agree with some of the other reviews, the ending is abrupt and there is no sense of accomplishment as a reader. After putting in many nights/hours of reading when you finish the book you want to have some answers. However, it just made me crave the next book- which is exactly what the author was trying to accomplish!!
When my son started reading it, we would talk about the book at the breakfast table each morning. He even told me he felt like we were in a "book club" together. He did in fact put the XBOX down and finished the book in a record 48 hours (record for him!). He is excited to read the next book, we ordered it from the local bookstore today. Anything that encourages reading in a child is priceless to me! Thank you Andrew Klavan for taking the risks you have taken with writing these types of books and know there are tons of kids out there putting down the remote control and picking up your books!!!
I got the book on the earliest date they said it would be. It was in VERY good condition. On the bottom of the book there is a tiny rip. But not on the pages themselves. There are no pages missing. The book itself is very good. I enjoyed it so much that I finished it in less than one week. It was very hard to put down. I would read it while I was on my 15 minute break and was so into it that my break lasted a half hour. I still didn't want to put the book down! It got my heart pumping, my brain contemplating, and my imagination blooming. I was able to picture every scene without problem. The only thing I got aggravated with was deciding on what I wanted Sensei Mike to look like! You'll find out about him if you read the book. Andrew Klavan is such an amazing author, I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone!
This is my first Andrew Klavan book and even though it's marketed to young adults I found it to be very entertaining and quite the page-turner. By no means is it preachy as some critics have stated nor is it contrived. The Christian message is very thin but the pro-American view is strong. We follow first perspective through the eyes of a teenage boy. Not just any kid but an upstanding student, son, athlete and a kid who loves his country and God. Some say youth like this boy Charlie do not exist but in my circles they do and I'm pleased Andrew has chosen to write about one of them. Looks like it was a lot of fun to write. You'll enjoy this book and so will your teenager. I've already started book two.
Please keep in mind that this series was written for teen and young adults. It is not intense and serious like Steven James' FBI series or of fine literature such as Athol Dickson's novels. It is simple yet entertaining and well written but not high-brow literature.
Get a copy for a teenager.
1 Star = Pathetic 2 Stars = Fair 3 Stars = Good 4 Stars = Excellent 5 Stars = Life changing
Charlie West wakes up tied to a chair in a torture room. He doesn't know how he got there. He manages to escape and tries to figure out what happened. But the bad guys come after him and so do the good guys. He's a wanted man on all sides. As the story progresses, we get flashbacks of Charlie's ordinary high school life. As we wonder how on earth this sweet guy got mixed up in all this, the puzzle pieces together in our minds.
Great idea for a story. I loved the mystery of what was going on and how things unfolded. Conveniently enough, Charlie is a black belt in Karate. Good thing. Because everyone is chasing him down. I soon realized that there were not enough pages left to resolve the story to my satisfaction, and really, when I closed the book at the end, it didn't feel at all like an ending. Just the end of a chapter. Looks like the books read as one big story. So I'm off to read book two and three, because I have to know what's going on! A fun and suspenseful read.
I seriously can find nothing wrong with this book. Written in a simple, down-to-earth, first person style, it is still somehow well written. Klavan is a master. He seamlessly mixes current action with the necessary background information, giving you time to breathe and laugh before being thrown back into the fray. The main character is not the typical teenage boy you find in most novels. Though there is a girl he likes, he's not head over heels, and he actually knows what he believes and acts on it. Though there is a little blood and some fist fights(karate, actually), over all I would not call it a violent book. It is very intense, though; not for the weak of heart. The ending leaves you longing for the next book yet finishes nicely, unlike the Left Behind: The Kids books, which always leave you desperately hanging. So, I would recommend this to almost anyone! Tighten your seat belts and enjoy the ride!