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The Long Way Home (The Homelanders) Hardcover – January 31, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—In this fast-paced sequel to The Last Thing I Remember, Charlie West is a fugitive on a mission to discover the truth about the year he can't remember. He heads home to search for some answers after a harrowing escape from both the police, who believe he murdered his friend Alex, and a terrorist group known as the Homelanders, who believe he has betrayed them. While the book begins mid-action, his backstory is provided through flashbacks and first-person inner monologues, allowing the audience to be brought up to speed quickly. Covert interactions with his friends also offer glimpses into his lost year, providing both Charlie and the listeners with clues that could help solve the mystery of his past. While the intense, thrilling narrative will keep the audience on the edge of its seat, it's Charlie himself who propels the story. Passionate and loyal, he loves his country and God, and while his patriotism and religious conviction could have come across as over-the-top, they instead make him more realistic; his beliefs are a large part of who he is and what motivates him, yet they don't define him. Narrator Joshua Swanson's well-modulated voice perfectly conveys Charlie and his struggles as he fights to clear his name, and his youthful sound lends authenticity to the performance. Action-packed and suspenseful, the audiobook will have listeners eagerly anticipating the next installment.—Audrey Sumser, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Mayfield, OH --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Unfortunately for Charlie, little has changed since the climax of The Last Thing I Remember (2009). He is still on the run from both the cops (who think he killed his friend Alex) and a group of terrorists known as the Homelanders (who may have brainwashed Charlie during his yearlong fugue state). Eager to clear his name, Charlie heads back to the most dangerous spot of all, the hometown where it all happened, and takes up residence in an abandoned house. Soon his old buddies—as well as the girlfriend he doesn’t remember—are pledging to help him operate covertly. Some readers may chafe at Klavan’s apparent conservative leanings, which come off more strongly in this volume. Also stronger, however, is everything else: Charlie’s ache for a normal life, action sequences that never let up, and showy set pieces (escaping a library, investigating a haunted house, even downloading software) that are wrung for every possible drop of nervous sweat. Best of all, unlike many second chapters, this one pays off with some seriously heavy revelations. Grades 8-11. --Daniel Kraus
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Top Customer Reviews
The story continues and now Charlie West is running with a little more information but just as much confusion. Charlie now knows the crime he was committed for and what day it is, but there still many holes in his past. Where are his parents, how did the girl of his dreams become his girl, how was he found guilty in a crime he is sure he didn't do, and who are the goons tying to kill him. Charlie decides the best way to get answers is to go back to the beginning of this mess. He heads home.
This book gives only a few answers. We now know who is chasing him, but we are not really sure why. We know that there was evidence stacked up against him that made it hard for a jury to find him innocent. We know the story between him and his girlfriend. We also find out a more about the people from his past including his friends, his teachers, and his karate instructor.
Charlie is still a great character in my mind. I love his commitment and his moral compass. He doesn't give up and tries to do things the right way. The only problem Charlie struggles with is that running from the cops is the right thing but also may be the wrong thing. We do get to meet his friends in this book. I really liked all of them. I like that they stick by him, they know him well enough to believe he never killed Alex. They will do what they can to help him out. This leads them straight to danger.
Charlie does what he can to keep his friends out of it, but they insist on helping and land themselves right in the middle of a very dangerous game. Charlie now has to worry about getting himself out of a sticky situation while saving the life of another.
The first part of the story was a little slower than the first book but when it picked up it really picked up and I couldn't get the pages read fast enough. I am looking forward to getting to the last two books to see how it all ends.
I enjoyed book two in the Homelanders series! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves action and an adventure. The book is written for the Juvenile audience but my Granny has even read the series and loved it! So doesn't let the word Juvenile scare you into not reading it, adults can read it too! It will keep you reading along trying to help West figure out the truth. I can't wait to keep reading the series and enjoying the answers that are revealed. The book is hard to put down and it has a lot of action. This book series needs to be made into a movie or a TV series! I would watch it, for sure!
If you read the first book, then you just got started. If you didn't read it yet, then start there. In Book One, Charlie West wakes up in a torture chamber with no memory of how he got there. Through a series of tense moments and narrow escapes, he manages to figure out that he was tried and convicted for the murder of his friend, got a girlfriend and escaped from prison, and that all happened in the previous year, which he does not remember at all. The first book ends with him blowing up a bridge, and it was just getting started. By the end of the second book, he comes a long way toward understanding who he really has been over the previous year and why he seems to have been not only a murderer but a domestic terrorist. He ends with figuring out who his arch enemy really is, which leads to the typical plot exposé, where the villain spills the beans to the captive protagonist.
After finishing this book I was still disappointed that the sequel to this one hadn't been released yet, but I was beginning to get the idea that I might be in for more than a few purchases before I get the complete storyline.
The Long Way Home involves a cast of characters around the age of seventeen and eighteen, and it does seem to be written for that age group, or a little younger(never mind that I'm much older). It seems to be marketed as Christian fiction, but, like most Christian fiction it doesn't really have anything especially religious in it, other than to say that it lacks some of the lewd elements found in much of secular fiction.