Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review: Crazy Dangerous

Sam Hopkins is a good kid who has fallen in with the wrong crowd. Hanging around with car thieves and thugs, Sam knows it's only a matter of time before he makes one bad decision too many and gets into real trouble.

But one day, Sam sees these thugs harassing an eccentric schoolmate named Jennifer. Finding the courage to face the bullies down, Sam loses a bad set of friends and acquires a very strange new one.

Because Jennifer is not just eccentric. To Sam, she seems downright crazy. She has terrifying hallucinations involving demons, the devil, and death. And here's the really crazy part: Sam is beginning to suspect that these visions may actually be prophecies-prophecies of something terrible that's going to happen very soon. Unless he can stop it.

With no one to believe him, with no one to help him, Sam is now all alone in a race against time. Finding the truth before disaster strikes is going to be both crazy and very, very dangerous. (From

Crazy Dangerous. Doesn't it sound like a crazy kind of book? And it is, because the author is a crazy kind of author.

He's written an acclaimed series titled The Homelanders, which I've read and loved. Seeing as Andrew Klavan came out with a new book, I was excited to read it and be swept away by Klavan's trademark fast-paced writing.

And I wasn't disappointed. Around two hundred pages, and (I assume) a stand-alone novel, Klavan grabs your attention with a talkative and interesting main character, and then hooks you with the action and runs you until you reach the satisfying end. And don't worry, there's some great plot twists. Klavan keeps you guessing, and even leaves a little mystery at the end to leave you thinking after you finish the final page.

As I read the book, I thought that Klavan had gone spiritual-warfare on us, the book. You'll see.

Character-wise, the most of the characters were suitably developed for the length of the novel, especially the two primary characters. The "love interest" (which didn't seem to be more than an add-on character) felt like cardboard, to put it bluntly. There wasn't much of a theme, but more of a mantra: do right, fear nothing. Which, while not very powerful, it did serve the interest of the novel.

All in all, while not a particularly deep novel, it was a rollicking ride with some quirky characters. Definitely recommended! Rated 8.75 out of 10. (Five stars.)

(I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.)

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