December 8, 2010
The Truth of the Matter is the third part of a 4 book series written by Andrew Klavan. I didn't read the first two parts but was easily able to pick up where the story left off and thoroughly enjoy the story. Charlie West is a teenage boy who pretty much lives out the fantasy of any thrill seeking guy his age. He was selected to join a top secret government agency (he can't tell his parents, his friends, or his incredible girlfriend) anything about it. He is chosen because of qualities that only he has which will help America destroy terrorists. The cops are after him. The terrorists are after him. Agents are after him. He also is a black belt in karate so he can fight when he needs to. He can also use guns. But who can he trust? Who is on his side?
The third part in the series delves into these issues in the overall storyline. The action is non-stop throughout this book. It's like walking into an action flick just as the climax is about to begin so if you get into it now, you'll still enjoy it, but having background information can certainly make it more enjoyable.
The book was very suspenseful. I kept wanting to look ahead to see what was going to happen (and did on several occasions) but was able to constrain myself most of the time. I would define the book as a version of the television show 24 if Thomas Nelson publishers (who actually did) shared the storyline. There is high drama, wild chases, explosions, and characters who turn out to be people you didn't expect them to be... but done in a manner friendly to the Christian worldview.
This book has a fairly specific audience. Patriotic American Christians who support war efforts against the Taliban, who is the clearly stated enemy against whom Charlie is working against. Military service is defined as being extremely honorable. Teachers in public schools who advocate the moral relativism growing in our culture are scorned. I myself would classify myself as pretty conservative politically and this book is certainly written for those in that camp. Definitely for flag waving Americans.
That said, this book is certainly juvenile fiction. It will be most enjoyed by males aged 11-15. Others can certainly enjoy it, but it is written from the perspective of the male, teenage character and his perspective on things might be most relatable to them. There are words used seemingly intended to give the reader an opportunity to look up its meaning in the dictionary as it is then used several times shortly after it's initial use. Additionally, characters are defined repeatedly ensuring that the reader isn't missing the author's intent. If you are the parent of a child that age and want to give him a book he will utterly enjoy, and you are a "family, faith, and God" type of Christian, this would be a great book to purchase.
Four stars (out of 5).
I received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher for review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255