Charlie is a squeaky-clean high-schooler who gets good grades, dreams about joining the air force
, and loves practicing his karate—and it’s this last skill that comes in especially handy when he wakes up tied to a chair next to a tableau of torture instruments
. In an attempt to understand how he landed in such dire straits, he flashes back to the last thing he remembers: a seemingly typical day at school. So begins the fantastic first half of this post-9/11 thriller in which each bit of recovered memory directly informs how Charlie deals with his mysterious captors. The excitement plateaus once Charlie escapes and realizes that he’s wanted by more than just a band of terrorists, but the chase scenes, gunfire, and fistfights never let up. The rah-rah patriotism may put off some readers, particularly given Charlie’s apparent unwillingness to moderate his black-and-white views. On the other hand, this is just the first book in the Homelanders series, so there is still plenty of time for Charlie to develop shades of gray. Grades 8-11. --daniel kraus
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Charlie West just woke up in someone else's nightmare.
He's strapped to a chair. He's covered in blood and bruises. He hurts all over. And a strange voice outside the door just ordered his death. The last thing he can remember, he was a normal high-school kid doing normal things--working on his homework, practicing karate, daydreaming of becoming an air force pilot
, writing a pretty girl's number on his hand. How long ago was that? Where is he now? Who is he really? And more to the point . . . how is he going to get out of this room alive?