John Hutchinson (aka Hutch) and his buddies want nothing more than to escape their less-than-successful lives by going camping in the middle of nowhere up North. After all, angry ex-wives, the unemployment statistic, and an overall depressing atmosphere can’t reach them out in the woods, where even phones are hard to come by. But when Hutch is nearly vaporized by a group of madmen with a powerful toy, it’s clear this wasn’t the vacation they bargained for. When Hutch becomes the protector of a nine-year-old boy, he realizes it’s up to him to save an entire town from sudden death.
This book exceeded expectations. When I received word that the Hutch series would collide with Liparulo’s other adult novels, the Immortal Files, I realized I was going to have to educate myself before his next installment.
Reuben Land is an eleven-year-old asthmatic boy with a loving family. His younger sister, Swede, is an aspiring writer, his older brother Davy a passionate man and an accomplished game hunter, his dad…a man of miracles. But when the town bullies begin a feud between themselves and the Land family, the war is taken too far and Davy sentences himself to the life of an outlaw. With Davy gone, the Land family must find a way to recover, and Reuben and Swede are determined to find their older brother, who’s escaped to the Dakota Badlands.
This book was required reading for my Advanced Creative Writing class because of its masterful use of description and word choice. I had my doubts before picking up this book, but before I knew it, the humorous and literary writing style of Leif Enger had kidnapped me into his world of outlaws, road trips, and of course the Dakota Badlands. Its setting I particularly enjoyed because of a family road trip we took ourselves through the Badlands a couple years ago, so that’s always a plus.