The Last Thing I Remember (Homelander) by Andrew Klavan

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The Last Thing I Remember (Homelander) by Andrew Klavan

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: Excellent thriller, which confidently moves in and out of flashback scenes. Young action fans will love it!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: April 2009
Publisher: Headline
ISBN: 978-0755352999

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Charlie West - US Air Force hopeful and karate expert - remembers when his main concern was whether schoolmate Beth would go out with him. So why is he strapped to a chair in a windowless cell?

Charlie's predicament gets even worse as he hears someone order his death, but he manages to make a daring escape from his captors, only for things to get really weird. He can't remember anything of how he got to the cell or why anyone would need him dead, but he quickly finds out that there are several people or organisations looking for him. The first half of the story or so is told in roughly alternating chapters, changing between his current predicament and memories of the last day that he can remember, and the juxtaposition of his time on the run with flashbacks to normal everyday discussions with his karate teacher Sensei Mike and arguments with his former best friend Alex work really well.

I'm trying to keep reasonably quiet about the major events of the plot - I read one summary of the book before deciding to try it, and it gave away the events of a good three quarters of the novel. While I still really enjoyed the story, I think I'd have done so even more without knowing quite so much about what was going on, so hopefully I can persuade readers to give it a try without spoiling too much for them.

Klavan is an adult thriller writer who has won several awards and had works such as Don't Say A Word adapted for the screen. I always think adult writers writing children's novels can sometimes backfire badly - however in this case it certainly doesn't! It's a book clearly aimed at early secondary school, or even late primary school children, as evidenced by the free graffiti stickers, meaning it's free from sex or bad language, but he definitely doesn't write down to his readers as some authors do. The fantastic story and good writing could be enjoyed by older teens and adults as well. I'm even willing to forgive him for making Charlie patriotic, religious, and generally far too much of a 'perfect' character, as these aspects make the question of what our hero did in the time he couldn't remember even more intriguing. As someone who really loves history, I particularly appreciated Charlie's mantra, Never give in; never give in - never, never, never, never as it's taken by Sensei Mike from a Winston Churchill speech to inspire him.

The book ends on a massive cliffhanger without revealing anything too much of some of the questions raised during the story, and I'm not quite sure how I'll last several months until the next book in The Homelander Series is released. Still, if it's anywhere near as good as this one it will be well worth the wait!

Many thanks to the publishers for sending this book to the Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: For a thriller aimed at slightly older teens, try The General, or any of the other books in Robert Muchamore's CHERUB series.

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Buy The Last Thing I Remember (Homelander) by Andrew Klavan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Last Thing I Remember (Homelander) by Andrew Klavan at


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