Title: Far From the War (Far From the War #1)
Author: Jeffrey David Payne
Publisher: Roche Harbor Books
Reviewed by Sabrina
Economic ruin and partisan rancor have pushed America to the brink of a new civil war. Esther is caught in the middle, serving as a page in the United States House of Representatives when rogue politicians and military leaders stage a modern day coup d'etat. When the coup turns violent, she abandons Washington, D.C. for home. She must learn to survive on her own as transportation and financial networks fail, as the war disrupts food and water supplies. The result is a cautionary tale about political extremism and the true cost of war.
Ester acted way younger than seventeen and I pretty much didn't like her. Book smart, not street smart. It is not a bad thing but I hated that she just walked around in the beginning, thinking she already knew how the world works and how she knows a lot, so go away mom and dad, blah blah blah. I loved her witty remarks though and how she changed throughout the story. She may have cried too much but considering what she's been though, I'd cut her some slack.
I'm going to admit that I had no idea about politics and all the technical terms that come with it. That's what threw me off at first. When I read through them in the beginning, I was confused, but I got the general idea of what was happening. Despite my lack of knowledge, I wish that I could have seen more about Ester's life during the time she was going through the Page Program at the United States House of Representatives. The war came too quickly for me, and although the story could accelerate, I thought it was too sudden.
The strongest points of this book would have to be that the reader could easily be attached to the characters (Not Ester, at first, anyway), dialogue, and that everything was put so bluntly. There was no sugar or buttercups when revealing the war. Everything was so raw and real.
Way too much tragedy and death for the first book, even if there is a war. But it shows that Mr. Payne is not afraid to cut off characters. Another complaint would be that I did not get any of the references the characters made at all. I don't really mind much though.
And lastly, I liked how Ester and Mathew's relationship went. All I can say is that it was different.