The Final Hour is the fourth and final book in Andrew Klavan's Homelander series, but don't let that put you off because it works absolutely fine as a stand-alone novel. This series is aimed at teens, in particular I would say boys, but I still enjoyed reading it as an almost 40-year-old female !
The basic plotline, as described on the back of the book (so don't worry, this isn't a spoiler !), is that Charlie West went to bed one night an ordinary high-school kid and woke up, wanted for a murder he didn't commit and hunted by a bunch of ruthless terrorists. The Final Hour finds him in a tough prison, abandoned by his allies, with the terrorists still after him, and in the unenviable position of being the only one able to save the world ... if he can find a way to beat all the odds and recall the information he learned as an undercover agent, as well as get out of prison.
In a useful plot device, especially for those who haven't read the previous books, Charlie took a drug that wiped out his memory so that he wouldn't be able to reveal sensitive information under torture. The antidote is slowly giving him parts of his memory back, in violent and traumatic flashbacks, helping him (and the reader) to fill in the background.
It's a fast-paced, adrenalin-fuelled read that will have you turning the pages long after you meant to stop ! Classed as Christian fiction, it does have a very slight message of faith but nothing that will put off non-believers or those of a different faith.
It's not always realistic, with Charlie up against the odds and walking out with barely a scratch, and I did think the Islamist terrorists were a bit stereotypical, but for both of those, that's no worse than most of the Hollywood blockbusters !
star rating : 4/5
RRP : $14.99
for more information : www.TheHomelanders.com
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