Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Book Review: The Homelanders Series by Andrew Klavan

The Story

After waking up strapped to a chair and about to be killed, a teenage boy escapes from his captors, only to discover that he has lost his memory. As he tries to discover how he ended up a captive, he finds that not only are the men who captured him on his trail, but that he is also on the run from the police, who believe he murdered his best friend. With nowhere safe and no one to help him, he tries to evade the agents of both the good and bad guys as he searches for a way to prove his innocence, recover his memory, and defeat an organization that wants to destroy America.

My Take

After hearing quite a few friends rave about this series, I was eager to read it, and snatched up all four books when they were on sale. The first book, The Last Thing I Remember, was mostly an excellent thriller, though it weakens a bit towards the end. However, since the story continues through the next few books, I assumed that this would not be a major flaw, and kept reading the fast-paced story.

In the second book, The Long Way Home, the action sequences were just as solid as in the first book, and were more realistic than many action scenes in entertainment these days. The characterizations were good in the first book, and they continue to deepen in the sequel. As with the first book, the ending was a bit weak, but it was obvious by this point that this was due to the episodic nature of the series, which was building up to the big climax in the last book.

The third book, The Truth of the Matter, reveals a lot more of the information that the protagonist has lost, and if you have enjoyed the series up until this point, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s a relief to read a book series that actually promotes good values, with characters who are truly heroic in spite of their flaws.

As I expected, the last book, The Final Hour, provides a big climax for the series, with things getting even more tense than before. While any of the books in the series might not seem that impressive in and of itself, all four book read together combine into an exceptional adventure that is well worth reading for any fan of action and thrillers. The author has a better understanding of the way the world works than most authors seem to, and this, along with a variety of other virtues, give the series a depth and warmth that is often lacking in modern fiction, even in otherwise skillfully crafted stories.

Content Overview

Not surprisingly, violence is pervasive, but it is not graphic. There is no swearing or other problematic content. Things can get intense, and some adult themes come up, but teen readers and older will be fine it. The series is clean enough that parents might even consider giving it to mature children who are advanced readers. I highly recommend this wholesome and well-written thriller series to everyone who’s interested, and I hope it reaches many more readers.

10 comments:

  1. Brilliant review, Jonathan. :D I was so thrilled you enjoyed this series as much as I did. And you are right; for a thriller, the books hold a peculiar warmth, and I think that is mainly due to the deep values and character arcs the book took the characters through. You make me want to read it again. :D

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    1. Thank you, BushMaid! It's great to find a series like this, and I'll be reading it again, too. :)

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  2. I love this series, too--to the point of purchasing all four books brand new, which is very rare for me. Glad you enjoyed them. (And, yeah, they have some weak points in places, but overall it's some of the best suspense I've read.

    I'd also recommend Klavan's latest two books: Crazy Dangerous, and If We Survive. Crazy Dangerous is a bit creepy, and I almost stopped reading it, but was very glad that I kept with it when everything came out in the end. Still, If We Survive is far better, and I think you'd really enjoy it, Jonathan, if you were disapointed with the episodic endings of the Homelanders series.

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Kay!

      I hope to get those books soon. The episodic endings in The Homelanders actually didn't disappoint me, since it worked with how the series was plotted.

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  3. Yay! I love these books. :D I need to read them again. I'm glad you enjoyed them!

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    1. They're definitely worth rereading. :)

      Thank you for commenting, Elizabeth!

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  4. Sounds like some good books- I may have to check them out sometime. :)

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    1. They are. :) Let me know what you think of them, if you do!

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  5. I hadn't heard of these books. They sound interesting. :)

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    1. They're definitely worth reading, if you like the genre. :)

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