*I read this book for my own enjoyment.
When Jack receives a text from his fiancee asking for help, Jack is determined to transverse the divided country and dangerous lands to come to her aid. From California to the far East coast he goes, crossing battle lines in America's civil war.
We get two stories in this book. Where Jack is currently as he tells his story of why and how he got here. Each chapter is one of the two places, keeping the feel as though he's in the moment. It's easy to follow as he does have a lead in at the end of current chapters to let us know he's returning to the story.
This world is crazy divided! So many issues in America. The country is divided by these issues and at war with itself. Everyone's beliefs have come to strong points and they will stand by them. We see these strong differences as Jack travels across the country and lives through each place. This story was written and published over a year ago, but it's something that strongly relates to the many different beliefs in our country, something that makes us strong but could easily divide us as well - like it does here.
The different divisions of America have their own slang to go with their beliefs. At times the slang slowed me a tad as I was reading, making me think on what the words meant again. Thankfully Stephen has a glossary for the words at the beginning. I suggest taking a glance over these so you are aware going in. I did and it helped place the words. But eventually I came to read the words and keep going, aware they were slang and what they meant.
When the book started, I was curious to see how Jack would get away from the firing squad. Then I grew curious of what Jack tells he's come across on his way to help his fiancee, and what trouble she was in. As his travels start, I became interested in the world that was new yet old. There were small curiosities that I wanted to know more about, like the woman that decided to travel with him. In the sections where Jack is currently I was lead to wonder if Jack's really telling a tall tale or if it was all true. I wasn't sure, and wanted to find that out too. And I learn all these things.
Jack's story shows how he's grown to become friends with people in two of the three fighting fractions in America. These three shouldn't be friends, they are of the different divisions of the world, but they are. They've risen above the lines of Red, Blue, or White and beliefs that are strong to become more. We see it through what they live through and their actions to help each other.
Thinking on the three friends, I really like the moral that is portrayed here. There is a reason behind the story and something to think on. A feel that all can be friends no matter beliefs, as long as you are willing. Something wonderful about this book, through all these characters live through and the moral you pick up on in the end, there is a lightness to the story that makes the traveling Jack's done seem as though it's a story to keep him safe from the firing squad. There is a ease at which the characters converse that keeps the story light.
This journey all fits together in the last few chapters. How all the people Jack meet on his journey are connected in the world. We learn why Jack is here. And does Jack finally find Lara?
For me this was a light, fun read that had more depth to it than I realized until the end. It was enjoyable.