Author: Jeffery David Payne
Release Date: September 17th, 2011
Publisher: Roche Harbor Books
Acquired: ARC from Publisher
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 4 Stars
Economic ruin and partisan rancor have pushed America to the brink of a new civil war. Esther is caught in the middle, serving as a page in the United States House of Representatives when rogue politicians and military leaders stage a modern day coup d'etat. When the coup turns violent, she abandons Washington, D.C. for home. She must learn to survive on her own as transportation and financial networks fail, as the war disrupts food and water supplies. The result is a cautionary tale about political extremism and the true cost of war.
This book is not like a typical dystopia book, where the reader already sees the fall of humanity and the rise of a new oppressive government. This shows what happens beforehand, and what's scary about this book is that it could possibly happen. When turning on the news people see our current "leaders" and can imagine something like what Esther goes through to actually happen.
Personally, I feel like the book should have been called FAR FROM HOME because the majority of the book was her journey getting home, but FAR FROM THE WAR is good enough.
The beginning I felt like the character's were a little flat, like people were just going through the motions, not really showing interest. Esther was the kind of character that is focused and has one goal in mind, and you just want to jump in and give her some fun. She was so serious. But later on in the book you start to see the way war changes her, the way war changes everyone.
I feel like Jeffery captured the fall of humanity so well. He takes you from the country's capital where everything is semi-together, to the West coast where the war grows increasingly and people go to their savage behavior. It actually gave me goosebumps and I almost wanted to just stop reading.
For me, the character's development really surprised me. I thought this book would be a complete disappointment, but I was taken aback by the way he just started making these character's three dimensional and believable.
The reason it got a four is because there was a lot of things that moved really fast, like some relationships. I mean, Esther knew a guy for one day and it was like she was in love or something. And the same happened with her friend, and I just kind of scoffed at that. And there was the ending. It leaves the reader in a cliffhanger, because now they really, really want to read the next book, but the problem with the ending, and I'll try to say this with as little giveaway as possible, is that it didn't get the emotion I was looking for. I was really surprised by what happened and I was expecting something else, but it was really an anticlimax.
I was expecting more and felt that the author fell back a little in the writing. I could almost see why he did it, and it's pretty scary, but still. I wanted some tears, some joy, some disbelief; something. Instead I got the same monotone voice that spoke in the beginning. A little disappointed there.
Another thing that bothered me was the cover. For a young adult book I wish they would have done more with it, like put some of the symbols that are expressed in the story with the eagle and swords, but I can tell you that story is a lot more interesting than the cover.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and can't wait for the next book to come out, next year in July.