Release Date: September 24, 2013
Genera: Dystopia Sci-fi/Action Adventure
Subjects: military, war, dogs, survival
Age/Grade Level: Ages 12 and up/Teen
Length: 320 pgs.
List Price: $17.99
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Summary/ product description: “USA TODAY bestselling author Jeff Hirsch once again creates a futuristic world with stunning, dramatic realism.
A civil war rages between the Glorious Path--a militant religion based on the teachings of a former US soldier--and what's left of the US government. Fifteen-year-old Callum Roe and his younger brother, James, were captured and forced to convert six years ago. Cal has been working in the Path's dog kennels, and is very close to becoming one of the Path's deadliest secret agents. Then Cal befriends a stray dog named Bear and kills a commander who wants to train him to be a vicious attack dog. This sends Cal and Bear on the run, and sets in motion a series of incredible events that will test Cal's loyalties and end in a fierce battle that the fate of the entire country rests on.”
My Review: This is probably my least favorite of the books written by this author. I did like the dog, but he didn’t play a big enough role later on in the story. This biggest issue with this book, that made it hard to read is that the text was set in a san serif typeface. Not a good thing for a book. I skimmed too much.
I did like the setting, and the fact that Cal traveled through Arizona, and other western states and all the way to the East coast. I love adventure, but most of this book fell flat. I didn’t really care much for the characters. I really wish that James chose to go with Cal. I wish Cal met Nat sooner. It was all very slow. The Eleventh Plague was a lot faster that this book. I also didn’t like the idea of a military religion. I was creative, and kind of like a cult, but didn’t work well. I feel like this was more of a 2nd civil war kind of book. The Glorious Path states were mostly in the south.
There was a lot of survival stuff, which I love, but nearly as descriptive as I like. I did think that Bear sounded cute. A small, tough dog he was. I really wanted to like this book since I won an ARC of it, but I mostly found myself skimming, hoping for something interesting to happen. I recommend this book to boys 12 and up. I think this is more of a boy book.
Cover Art Review: This cover reminds me of the 11th Plague’s cover. It is very dystopian looking. I love the back cover more, though. The dog and the destroyed car a awesome. The helicopter and burning house look cool too.