Book Review: False Refuge May 25, 2011Posted by Jaidis in 4 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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US Army reservist Alex Swenson has gone AWOL to avoid Iraq duty. He’s fled to the Big Island of Hawaii, where he finds himself attracted to cute and wily Kanani, a crime-world survivor searching for a better life. Yet Alex’s old army buddy, Jerry, is hot on Alex’s trail.
A secretive island haven, Krieger Estates, was supposed to grant Alex a new life and identity, but soon Alex finds that the estates’ amoral founders thrive on absolute power, lockstep obedience, and unjust violence. Fleeing’s no option this time. Alex refuses to play along and it brings his new overseers’ full wrath. To save Alex, Kanani and Jerry join forces with a hard-nosed plan that enlists even the rugged and unforgiving Big Island terrain itself.
False Refuge by Steve Anderson is the thought-provoking story of Alex Swenson, an army reservist who has gone AWOL. Having fought for his country, Alex is left to determine what loyalty really means to him and how far he is willing to go. Alex soon makes up his mind that he is done with the violence and suffering and takes action into his own hands by going AWOL in hopes of starting over. He travels to an island in Hawaii where there are rumors that a place called Krieger Estates will help him stay hidden. Alex’s conscience is put to the test when he must decide between staying hidden or risking everything to disarm a gunned robber.
Alex happens to meet a local Hawaiian named Kanani who puts up a good cover of being an innocent local when really she has a dark and mysterious past that she is running from. Instantly drawn too Kanani, they go on the run together in hopes of starting new. Things turn out differently once they reach Krieger Estates when Kanani’s past may be more of a hindrance rather than an attraction. No matter their pasts, Alex and Kanani must stick together and enlist outside help to battle the powers that are demanding their obedience inside the Krieger Estates walls.
Mr. Anderson writes an extremely descriptive tale that allowed me to easily envision the scenery and really get a feel for Hawaiian climate. The descriptive details alone make this book a good read but is balanced out with a great story line as well. I could almost feel the wetness of rain soaking into my pores while reading False Refuge.
There are several issues covered in the book that may leave the reader agreeing, or disagreeing, with Alex and his beliefs on war. Is war needed to secure our freedom, is it just a necessary evil, or is it just a way for certain people to gain more power without having to get their own hands dirty? If you have an open mind when it comes to aspects such as war, I recommend giving False Refuge a try.