The Long Way Home by Sanne Wikjer is a short, but action packed sci-fi book about a soldier/mercenary who goes through an inordinate amount of fighting, war, politics, and espionage in an adventure that has more twists and turns than my salsa dancing.
When Sanne approached me about reading the book, I will be truthful and admit that I said to myself, "Shit, not another sci-fi book, I don't like sci fi." But after reading it, let me tell you...
I still don't like sci-fi.
It's on some foreign planet, there's weird funny names, everything that comes with sci-fi is in this book.
That being said, I couldn't put my finger on something that was gnawing at the back of my mind about the book. It was only 162 pages, but moving incredibly fast. Still, I was able to stick with the story and there wasn't anything abbreviated or missing from it. Then it dawned on me what I was reading.
I wasn't reading a book for 40 year old economist curmudgeons.
I was reading a book written for 13 year old boys.
Ergo, while I personally wouldn't recommend this book to colleagues, I would DEFINITELY recommend it to any colleagues who had 13 year old boys.
The plot is engaging and entertaining, as well as complex. But not too complex that a young person couldn't follow it. It also uses the occasional 50 cent word that would challenge the vocabulary of a young person, but not enough to deter them from the book. There are elements of economics and international trade that are boiled down simply enough a younger person could understand them (and coincidentally get a lesson in economics) And finally (the primary reason I read through it) is that it was fast paced and succinctly written. You can't go a chapter without a fight, a betrayal, or pirates running contraband. You want to see what happens to the hero in the next chapter. Naturally it would be outlandish for a mature man whose age has beaten the imagination out of him to read or "get into" this book, but it would be very entertaining, perhaps even inspiring to a young boy on the cusp of manhood or his teen years.
So if your son or a boy in your life is a sci-fi guy and likes to read, I would definitely recommend buying this book. The will be entertained and come away with an improved vocabulary, a moral lesson, and perhaps an economics lesson to boot.