Friday, September 20, 2013

Vlog Post with Jeff Hirsch

Book Nerd Vlog

I live in upstate New York with my wife and a small passel of animals. I used to write plays (I actually have an MFA in it, which is number 8 on US News and World Report's list of the top twenty most useless masters degrees) and now I write books for teens. I've written three, The Eleventh Plague, Magisterium and The Darkest Path.

A few random facts about me:

  • I’m incredibly superstitious.
  • I believe in baking as the ultimate stress reliever. I mean, sure, I write pretty good books but have you tasted my Triple Chocolate Espresso Cookies?
  • I’m deeply obsessed with the work of Joss Whedon, Stephen King, Bryan K. Vaughn, Prince and Tom Waits.
  • I started writing because of two women—Susan Cooper, author of the Dark Is Rising Series and Denise Stewart, my 7th grade English teacher.

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USA TODAY bestselling author Jeff Hirsch once again creates a futuristic world with stunning, dramatic realism.

A civil war rages between the Glorious Path–a militant religion based on the teachings of a former US soldier–and what’s left of the US government. Fifteen-year-old Callum Roe and his younger brother, James, were captured and forced to convert six years ago. Cal has been working in the Path’s dog kennels, and is very close to becoming one of the Path’s deadliest secret agents. Then Cal befriends a stray dog named Bear and kills a commander who wants to train him to be a vicious attack dog. This sends Cal and Bear on the run, and sets in motion a series of incredible events that will test Cal’s loyalties and end in a fierce battle that the fate of the entire country rests on.

The stories within Jeff Hirsch's books are always filled with the scary reality that it could totally happen. In The Darkest Path, readers are driven into a futuristic world, plagued by the second American civil war between a militant religion and the the diminishing US government. The Glorious Path have been capturing people and forcing them to convert to their teachings, including fifteen-year old Cal and his brother, James. The two brothers have been trapped into this life for the last six years where they are given a Choice: join or die. Cal is just waiting for the right moment to plan their escape, while James has found comfort in the Path. When Cal develops a bond between a stray dog named Bear at the Path's dog kennels, it was the opening he was waiting for to carry out his escape. But by now, it has been years too long and James decides to remain within the Path.

Author Jeff Hirsch sets up an explosive presentation about the effects of civil wars. His writing style dissects the paranoia that only a civil war could bring forth. It will tear families apart and people that were once your friends, quickly become your enemy. Nothing is black and white and every action is taken with great care as it becomes very difficult to decipher between friend from foe. The characters were developed perfectly and they didn't feel out of place. Their reactions and emotions felt right for the situation that they are in which is a rare scene in most dystopian novels. Jeff does an excellent job explaining how the civil war molded Cal and James to the people that they are after six years of captive.

Jeff always manages to lace his stories with truthfulness and it was evident with some of the resolutions towards the end of the book. The Darkest Path is an incredible story about the struggles between families while trying to survive in a hostile environment where conflicting forces are sorting out their differences. Although it seemed it was destruction in every scene, it was refreshing to read the passages about Bear. The bond between boy and dog reminds us that no matter how cruel the world has become, there's always room for enjoyment in life. The fact that each Path member is given a Choice, Jeff really goes the distance of what it really means to weigh out your options. Cal's single decision involving Bear sets up a fast-paced and heart-wrenching adventure. The ending does present resolutions but raises more questions than answer. This can be a stand-alone book but has all the right elements to continue its story.

You can purchase The Darkest Path at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Jeff for making this giveaway possible.

3 Winners will receive a Signed Copy of The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch.

5 Winners will receive a Surprise ART Bookmark by James Vallesteros.

Must be 13+ to Enter
International Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for the giveaway! Book sounds interesting =)

  2. Fantastic! His books are amazing and the first three chapters The Darkest Path were breathtaking! Thanks for the chance for a giveaway!