Eight teenagers escape imprisonment at a work camp to brave the wilderness. Tested to their limits, they struggle to survive their terrifying dash for freedom.
After the total collapse of the world economy, the United States could not stand together. So they failed separately. In the small region-state of Winnkota, poverty and greed are turning the idyllic Northwoods of Minnesota into a barren wasteland of clear-cut forests and over-fished lakes. Every able-bodied teenager is conscripted into a labor force and sent to work in harsh, prison-like conditions. They are enslaved young so they never learn to think for themselves. But Penn is different. He's determined to win back freedom - for himself, his friends, and someday for his homeland.
On a cold autumn night, the group makes their dash for freedom north of the border. The fugitives endure a series of difficult wilderness challenges while pursued by the ruthless camp guards. They weave through dense forest, scale cliffs, swim through the bitterly cold lakes, and otherwise try simply to survive. Pushing his friends to the breaking point, Penn guides the fugitives through a harsh, but ironically beautiful, backdrop of amazing Northwoods scenery. Adversity and loss abound, all while an unexpected physical attraction leads to a burgeoning love story.
Should any of them survive to reach the border, will the freedom found equal all that they expected?
©2013 Chris Bostic (P)2015 Chris Bostic
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"Kept me on the edge of my seat."
I love the storyline and I really loved the way it was performed. It's a story that pulls at your heart strings makes your heart race and takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride.
When they finally made it to the border, WOW just WOW!
No but he did awesome.
Oh absolutely, I couldn't "put it down." My daughter and I were like WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!
I'm going to read the rest of the series, this is well written and performed what a fabulous story.
Determined youth escape
Can't do this without spoilers, but here goes. There are some deaths and the grieving scenes wrenched my heart.
When they made it to the other side.
What would you sacrifice for freedom?
This is a story about survival and perseverance. This group of kids has unbelievable determination, and even when they’re kicked in the teeth, they don’t give up. The author has done a wonderful job at bringing the reader into the story. At times I felt excitement and found myself cheering them on. At times of loss, I wanted to cry with the group. It’s a well-written story that flows well with strong characters. The narration is fantastic with sound effects that bring the story to life. The author intended the book for young adults, but it certainly knows no age limits for likeability. I highly recommend this read.
"Enjoyable Dystopian Tale"
Fugitives from Northwood is an enjoyable dystopian tale set in a near future USA. The tale revolves around a group of friends who escape from a forced labor camp and make a run for the Canadian border.
I found the story enjoyable, as opposed to anger-inducing or depressing. Not that the setting wasn't bleak, but more that the people the story was about were good people. And unlike a lot of dystopian and apocalyptic tales, we don't have people turning on others, traitors, and just outright despicable people. Sure there were horrible people in the book, but I felt they they were more peripheral to the narrative. At any rate, I found the story left me with a good feeling, and wanting more.
The narration was excellent, with some sound effects embellishments adding to the overall presentation.
I look forward to the next two books in the series, to see how the story proceeds and resolves.
"Tight shot on the dystopic"
I am all about free books for two reasons. One, it’s FREE. Two, sometimes I actually get exposed to new authors, new genres and new ideas that I actually like. It’s been pretty eye opening for me to branch out into areas I never would have traveled. For instance, I never would have picked up Fugitives from Northwoods if the author himself hadn’t offered a free audible version for a review.
It’s worth it to note that the narrator, Eddie Frierson, is pretty darn good. He adds a dimension to the story that readers might miss on the page. I have another book narrated by him on my wish list and am looking forward to the moment I get to hear him again. I think Mr. Frierson was a very good choice to read this book to me.
Also, I am always doing something else when I’m listening to books. I just can’t sit still during daylight hours. Sometimes, when listening and doing something else the story or the narrator keeps droning on in my ears, but my thoughts have traveled elsewhere and I have to rewind. If that happens a few times, I give up on the audio and turn back to the page for my own immersion reading. That never happened with Fugitives from Northwoods, not even once.
Now, about the story:
After I finished and the credits rolled, my first thought was: That’s it? And not in the I need the sequel kind of way. It was that there wasn’t enough. There wasn’t enough character development for me to cry when I was supposed to cry. There wasn’t enough description of the dystopic world. There were brief instances that clarified. They seemed to end too soon. It feels like my peripheral vision didn’t exist. I couldn’t see the whole picture.
Because Chris Bostic creates the immediate setting so very well, I kept expecting a similarly rich description of the greater world even if it was just dropped in conversation the way the backgrounds are.
Aside from a few passive voice instances that stood out to me in the last ¼ of the book (I usually don’t notice those easily when listening rather than reading.) The writing is solid and descriptive. The voice of Penn is consistent. He felt like a kid learning to be a man. He is the strong silent type of man not willing to show weakness, especially in a leadership position in such a dangerous situation. At the same time, he can draw strength from Cesswi without thinking of it as weakness.
I usually read other reviews before I delve into a book. This time I did not. Now, going through what others have said there is, as usual, one point on which I do not agree. Some say that the beginning is slow. I did not find that.
The beginning starts with a daring midnight escape. How is that slow?
The imagery is fantastic. The pacing is just right for an escape. I’m actually thinking about the sequel, but will probably wait ‘til it hits Audible.
I can’t wait for my boys to listen to it and tell me what they think.
"Great Dystopian Read"
This book was fantastic to listen to. There were just enough sound effects to not be distracting. The story seems eerily like a realistic prediction of the future and will make you think. can't wait to continue this series!
"An excellent YA novel! Can't wait 4 the next book!"
Ben, Seswee and the crew have been prisoners of the work camp in what used to be the United States for several years. Finally sick to death of the oppression that they live with every day, the crew of eight prisoners decide to make a break for it and try to find freedom in the Albertan Federation to the north.
This is an excellent first book in this series intended for young adults. Chris Bostic does a wonderful job of creating his characters and the dystopian world of the near future.
The banks have collapsed, the economy is in ruins and the government officials have siezed absolute power turning what was once the United States of America into a state where marshall law rules and the power of the government over the people is absolute.
When Ben and Seswee and their small escape from the forced labor camp the government will stop at nothing to recapture them or kill them in the attempt. The bottom line is they want them back so that they can be made examples of.
The book is almost entirely about what this small group of fugitives goes through in their attempt to reach an outpost that they have heard rumors about that is supposed to exist on the other side of the border in Federation territory.
Eddie Frierson does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life and giving them a voice.
I will listen to the rest of the series as it becomes available and I strongly urge all others who like believable storytelling to do the same.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
"Excitiing YA dystopian novel set in the woods"
Dystopic novels are a dime a dozen these days. It's hard to write one that is more than 50 %--original. Chris Bostic doesn't do a bad job in his first novel. Fugitives from Northwoods is a novel about 6 teenagers forced into hard labor camps after their county disintegrated. The teens decide to escape to the border. The remainder of the novel delves into the teens' trek into the beautiful yet treacherous country to the border. Along the way, we have deaths, and romance, and weak, whiny characters, and hero leaders. But the description of the trek in the country is beautiful.
I enjoyed Chris Bostic's first novel. He writes well, save for the occasional pedantic language and rote story structure. The narrator Eddie Frierson was terrific! Beautiful young voice with the right inflection and enthusiasm, and he did a great job of voicing each character.
I would love to read another followup to Fugitives--it needs one!
"An interesting start to a promising series"
FUGITIVES FROM NORTHWOODS - Book One
Author: Chris Bostick
Type of Book: Audiobook - Unabridged
Narrator: Eddie Frierson
Length: 8 hours, 4 minutes
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Publisher: Chris Bostick
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐
* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
The worldwide economy has collapsed and the United States no longer exists. Governments regulate every aspect of people's lives including assigning jobs and telling people what and how much food they can consume. In the guise of the "greater good" people's homes and property have been seized and now live in run down tenements.
At the age of 14 teenagers are forced onto buses and taken to labor camps. At these camps they work to help provide for the rest of society. These camps are more like prison camps than summer camps and the teens remain there for years under guard. Beatings are common and considered educational. Escape is considered a "High Crime" and is punishable by death.
Despite the severity of the penalty they will receive if they are caught, a group of eight teens decide to take their chances escaping the Northwoods fishing camp. They decide to attempt to cross the Canadian border to freedom.
This book details their flight and their survival in the wilderness while being hunted by men and dogs.
The problem I had with listening to this book was the detail it contains. There is just too much detail about the terrain and the species of fish as well as their preferred bait. The story itself suffers because there is so much focus placed on the minutiae of survival. However, if you are interested in what type of fish are available in Northern Minnesota and how to catch them, or how many lakes and the details of the landscape, you will really enjoy this book.
One faux-pas that I noticed was when Cerrswi was talking to Penn and referred to herself as a "back seat driver". I did not get the impression that these teenagers would know what a "back seat driver" is. Isn't their world one in which no one owns vehicles and that everything is confiscated for the greater good? How would she have learned that phrase?
I would have liked to hear more detail about what went wrong with society. There is some detail, just not enough.
I also would have liked to hear a more thorough backstory for each of the characters. I did not feel that I really knew any of the characters by the end of the audiobook. Penn is the only character whose motivations and feelings are delved into with any depth. There is a small amount of detail given regarding Cerrswi's background, but not enough for the listener to really "know" her. This is unfortunate because I think these characters and this story definitely have potential.
During the last hour and a half of the audiobook the story picks up and gets much more suspenseful and interesting. The ending is actually the best part of the book and has my interest piqued for the next book in the series.
In fact, the audiobook contains a short excerpt from book two in the Northwoods trilogy which sounds like it will be a great book.
The narrator was good and was able to easily differentiate between the characters. He does his best to generate the feeling of suspense, but it is difficult to make multiple fishing and hiking scenes come across as suspenseful. However, once there was action he was able to convincingly convey a sense of urgency and danger. I rate the narration as 4 out of 5 stars.
I rate the story as 3 out if 5 stars however I do firmly believe that this series has promise. I look forward to learning more about the characters and the world they have found themselves in.
"A bit of slow start ...."
I was given this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review.
This is a young adult dystopian story set in a frightening future USA.
I liked the actual plot idea, and it is rather well written,good discpitions, but I found the first two thirds of the book rather slow paced and uneventfull,(which I don't really feel was the authors aim) they are trudging though the woods again and again. Not until the last part of the book did I feel any serious suspense. If the whole book was as good as the last part , I would have gladly given it 4 or 5 stars
On the possitive side, the narrator Eddie Frierson, did a really good job and I liked the subltle use of sound effects now and again.
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