The Story: Mission trips are usually normal. Usually. Especially mission trips to help school children in Central America. Will Peterson and his three friends, are sheltered, rather pampered, highschoolers who can't wait to return to their video games and shopping excursions. They are in Costa Verdes to build a wall with their pastor. Partly out of a want to serve and partly to earn required service points. It should be a rather uneventful experience and that's what they get. Until the shooting starts.
Caught in the middle of a bloody revolution, Will and his friends are aghast at the hatred surrounding them. Their title as Americans is a death warrant and they are sentenced to death. Their one ticket out is a bitter ex-marine who has turned his back on trusting anyone. Trapped in the jungle with killers, snakes, and lost Indian tribes, they journey to home and freedom.
If they survive.
There was some violence in this book. Knowing beforehand what the plot line was, I was not surprised at the violence and it was handled very well. One thing I love about Andrew Klavan is his respect for life. Will does kill someone in the book by shooting them. However, he does it out of defense for his friends and it haunts him the rest of the book. A wiser man explains to him that it is good and right for him to regret having to end a human life, but that sometimes that is the only way to end evil and protect those you love. Again, wonderfully handled and shouldn't be a problem for a mature audience.
A kiss is exchanged. Other than that the only thing is when they are *spoilers* in jail. The girls are separated from the boys and apparently made to endure the soldiers' comments. Eventually one of the girls slaps the soldiers and tells them they wouldn't want their sister treated this way. The only reason the heroes weren't at the girls' sides was they were imprisoned. Another great theme in Klavan's young adult books his the great respect the boys have for the women.
None as I recall.
5 star! Great book!