FUGITIVES FROM NORTHWOODS – Book One
Author: Chris Bostick
Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged
Narrator: Eddie Frierson
Length: 8 hours, 4 minutes
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Publisher: Chris Bostick
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐
* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
The worldwide economy has collapsed and the United States no longer exists. Governments regulate every aspect of people’s lives including assigning jobs and telling people what and how much food they can consume. In the guise of the “greater good” people’s homes and property have been seized and now live in run down tenements.
At the age of 14 teenagers are forced onto buses and taken to labor camps. At these camps they work to help provide for the rest of society. These camps are more like prison camps than summer camps and the teens remain there for years under guard. Beatings are common and considered educational. Escape is considered a “High Crime” and is punishable by death.
Despite the severity of the penalty they will receive if they are caught, a group of eight teens decide to take their chances escaping the Northwoods fishing camp. They decide to attempt to cross the Canadian border to freedom.
This book details their flight and their survival in the wilderness while being hunted by men and dogs.
The problem I had with listening to this book was the detail it contains. There is just too much detail about the terrain and the species of fish as well as their preferred bait. The story itself suffers because there is so much focus placed on the minutiae of survival. However, if you are interested in what type of fish are available in Northern Minnesota and how to catch them, or how many lakes and the details of the landscape, you will really enjoy this book.
One faux-pas that I noticed was when Cerrswi was talking to Penn and referred to herself as a “back seat driver”. I did not get the impression that these teenagers would know what a “back seat driver” is. Isn’t their world one in which no one owns vehicles and that everything is confiscated for the greater good? How would she have learned that phrase?
I would have liked to hear more detail about what went wrong with society. There is some detail, just not enough.
I also would have liked to hear a more thorough backstory for each of the characters. I did not feel that I really knew any of the characters by the end of the audiobook. Penn is the only character whose motivations and feelings are delved into with any depth. There is a small amount of detail given regarding Cerrswi’s background, but not enough for the listener to really “know” her. This is unfortunate because I think these characters and this story definitely have potential.
During the last hour and a half of the audiobook the story picks up and gets much more suspenseful and interesting. The ending is actually the best part of the book and has my interest piqued for the next book in the series.
In fact, the audiobook contains a short excerpt from book two in the Northwoods trilogy which sounds like it will be a great book.
The narrator was good and was able to easily differentiate between the characters. He does his best to generate the feeling of suspense, but it is difficult to make multiple fishing and hiking scenes come across as suspenseful. However, once there was action he was able to convincingly convey a sense of urgency and danger. I rate the narration as 4 out of 5 stars.
I rate the story as 3 out if 5 stars however I do firmly believe that this series has promise. I look forward to learning more about the characters and the world they have found themselves in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
To find out more about the author visit http://chrisbostic.weebly.com/
ABOUT THE NARRATOR:
Eddie Frierson has been a professional voice actor for over thirty years. To learn more about him and to hear samples of his work visit http://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A16HO4RYGC9XLJ