Today’s Mystery Monday feature is book 2 of a teen read called The Long Way Home — The Homelanders Book 2. The protagonist, Charlie West, should be in his senior year of high school but instead, he’s on the run from both the police and a gang of home-grown muslim extremists who want him dead. He’s been convicted of murder although he can’t even remember his trial — he has amnesia and can’t remember anything from the night his best friend Alex was killed until his escape — a whole year of his life, gone. Now he’s on his way home to try to prove his innocence.
Charlie is a black belt in karate and has good friends at home who want to help him but what he’s trying to do is extremely dangerous so he doesn’t want to involve them. None-the-less they do what they can to help. He doesn’t know who he can trust, though, and sometimes questions whether or not he could have actually killed Alex. He’s resourceful, fit, and a very quick thinker — always ready to roll with the punches and anticipate danger.
Charlie is the narrator of the story and he tells it as it happens in a kind of stream of consciousness. It moves from one explosive, tense action scene to another as he gives us his thought processes and flashbacks to book 1 in the series, The Last Thing I Remember. There is enough backstory that you don’t have to have read book 1 although I suspect that if you have read it, you might find this one too repetitive. When I picked this book to read, I didn’t realize it wasn’t stand alone and must have liked the plot judging by how annoyed I was with the cliff-hanger ending.
Klaven’s target audience is teenage boys, and for them, this is probably a page-turner and all the action and use of technology would keep them pumping through the book. I found it slow-going when Charlie is thinking things through, planning his next move, and sometimes the blow-by-blow fights and chases too detailed when I just wanted to get on with the plot. I liked the characters and Charlie’s determination to continue loving his country and believing in his Christian values; he and his friends are pretty stand-up characters we don’t always see in exciting adventure stories today. I usually enjoy books for children and teens but from an adult perspective on this book, I probably won’t buy the last two in the series although I can see how a teenager could be really drawn to them and read them through very quickly. * * * 1/2
If you, too, are a fan of mysteries, I hope you’ll not only enjoy my Monday posts but will contribute by publishing your own Monday Mystery, mentioning my meme, then come to my blog, comment on your mystery (or mine) briefly, and include the link directly to your mystery review. You can also copy my MMM badge to your post.