Saturday, January 1, 2011

Book Review: The Truth of the Matter (Book 3 of The Homelanders Series)

Author: Andrew Klavan
Genre: YA suspense
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 2, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1595547142
ISBN-13: 978-1595547149


"You're not alone. You're never alone."

Charlie West has held on to that belief, but now he's starting to wonder. He went to bed one night an ordinary high-school kid. When he woke up, he was wanted for murder and hunted by a ruthless band of terrorists. He's been on the run ever since. Now he's stuck in prison, abandoned by his allies, trying desperately to stay a step ahead of vicious prison gangs and brutal guards. And a flash of returning memory tells him another terrorist strike is coming soon. A million people will die unless he does something. But what? He's stuck in a concrete cage with no way out and no one who can help. Charlie has never felt so alone-and yet he knows he can't give in or give up . . . not with the final hour ticking away.

My Take:

Charlie West is a feisty protagonist, who's missing a year of his life and running from mystery killers--a group of terrorists he just escaped from. He can't recall what's happened in the last year, so he's on a hunt to fill in the memory gap. When he tracks down the only clue he can remember, a guy named Waterman, he begins to get some answers, but the closer he gets to uncovering the truth, the more danger he finds himself in. And when Waterman dies with questions still unanswered, he's left in a sea of black all alone, trying his best to get out alive.

This book is categorized and sold as Christian, and I don't know how the others in the series are, but this one, THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER, could be enjoyed be readers of any or no faith. This novel really only refers to his belief in God but doesn't preach at readers or speak any Christianese at all. It is clean, but not to the point of being annoying, as the grit and danger keep it exciting. And even though this is YA as well, any reader who loves suspense would enjoy this. It's a good example of a cross-over type.

I got this book from Booksneeze, unaware that it was a third installment in a series, but that didn't bother me in the least.

The storyline was very easy to follow for a new reader, gripping, suspenseful and action-packed. There is a strong possibility this novel could be boring for those who've read the previous, since I as a new reader was riveted to discover the chunks of his missing past, whereas those familiar would already know them, making the reveals less impacting.

The only thing I didn't like was the narrative and dialogue were very simplistic, and I don't think you should ever dumb things down for teens. I think if the author hadn't skimped in this area, his novel would have had even more cross-over appeal. Other than that, it was most enjoyable.

So, if you're looking for a good YA suspense novel, Christian or not, check this one out.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255


~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.

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