Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Review: AMONG THE BRAVE by Margaret Peterson Haddix

 Rating: 3.5/5 stars

In this book, we follow Trey. I like that this series ventures between different characters’ perspectives. Luke is the ultimate main character, but it’s nice to see some of Luke’s friends getting their own books as well.

Trey and Mark, Luke’s brother, are on a mission to save Luke, who we’re not really sure where he is at the start of the book.

Trey is terrified of the outdoors (it’s unclear if this is because he’s agoraphobic or because he literally did not go outside for twelve years and it’s all new territory for him), so he really has to overcome his fears to save his friend. 

There is non-stop action and suspense in this book, every scene ending at surprising points that I did not expect.

This is probably my least favorite of the books so far, just because it felt the most unrealistic. There are definitely more antics and conveniences in this installment than in the first four. A lot of times, things were just a bit too easy for Trey, too many times in a row. There were still some pretty intense moments, but I think because this is a middle-grade title instead of an adult title, the author was able to take some shortcuts that wouldn’t have worked for an older audience.

For example, there was one instance when a thirteen-year-old suddenly knows how to drive not only a car but a stick shift on his first try with exactly zero instructions or help. I highly doubt that. Unrealistic moments like that were purely to move the plot forward and pulled me out of the story, so I didn’t like seeing that happen, but I do think it would work for the target age range here. 

It wasn’t just those moments though; I was also less interested in the plot of this book than I was during the other books. Ultimately this book was about Trey learning to be brave. He took lots of risks to save his friends, and he learned a lot about himself along the way. Self-discovery is great for middle-grade readers, so it’s nice that Trey had such a dynamic character arc here. 

Among the Brave was the darkest and most intense book of the series so far, and also the longest. It also had the most lasting implications for the rest of the series. I really enjoyed the ending and can’t wait to read the last two books. 

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