The Darkest Path is a war story that Jeff Hirsch managed to create with great detail while omitting the gore you might expect. The cause of conflict is based around religion which makes for some unforeseen events in the story. It also adds layers to characters that wouldn’t otherwise be there, keeping those pages turning. Time after time you think the worst outcome is inevitable and when all hope is lost, the storyline takes an unexpected turn. The struggles and complications that the main character, Callum, has to deal with are more than any teenager should ever have to, but it’s interesting to see how he handles them and how the experiences change him. If you enjoy dystopian or war novels, I highly recommend this book!
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic
Profanity/Language: 8 religious exclamations; 8 mild obscenities; 2 scatological words.
Violence/Gore: Many (38) brief incidents including characters joking about hurting another; verbal threats; implied deaths; character threatened with gun; planning suicide bombing; second hand report of character getting arm hit with baseball bat; wound from dog fight; mention of characters getting killed by drones; brief descriptions of war activity; seeing a town after bombing; explosions that result in injuries and death; character intentionally hurts self; characters getting hit; administering stitches; character tased; shooting; hunting; town burning; characters shot resulting in injuries and death. Extended incidents including fighting, explosions and shooting during war.
Sex/Nudity: Brief incidents including characters cuddling; touching arm and leg; hand holding; kiss; hugging.
Mature Subject Matter:
War, starvation, murder, death.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Adult characters smell of beer; second hand report of adults drinking wine; adults smoking cigarettes.