Young Adult - Thriller
196 Pages
Reviewed on 03/16/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

My name is Daniel. I’m 23 now and was in my early teens when I started this journey in writing my first book. Being a special inclusion student all throughout school and college, I suffer from constant anxiety and on and off depression, even to this day. My struggles, like getting over the death of a loved one, have gotten easier to deal with, but still linger in the back of my head. Young and stupid, I let it control and dictate my thoughts and how I perceive the world. Born and raised in Long Island NY, I over time have seen
friends and family come and go like seasons. This book to me,
was an escape, in that, all the books we read in school made
me hate reading. Looking back at it now, I wish I could have
realized the flaws in the education system while I was in school,
not only in the schooling curriculum, but in society as well.
The locations, characters, and events that correspond in the
story come mostly through general life experiences and how I
see the world in the direction that it’s sadly taking. How the
story eventually plays out came from dreams I had far and in
between. This, for me, was my form of art and maybe you could
relate, understand, and accept where I’m coming from. If not,
maybe I will leave you asking yourself a question, seeing life
through a new and different lens.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

Told from the perspective of Chris Brennan, a modern-day equivalent to Adam, he meets Camilla, his Eve. As they fall in love and begin their life journey together, events take a drastic turn when they enter a futuristic world filled with war and destruction. Checkpoint by Daniel Scuderi recounts a human's journey through life, examining the need to rule and battle for superiority, at the cost of nature and civilization's future. Chris is unsure of what situations are his reality and which are his dreams as he tries to survive what appears to be World War III. Chris is forced to look at events in history and question whether humanity has learned anything from past decisions of hatred and violence. Was this catastrophe he finds himself in inevitable? The biggest question has to be, 'What's a nice place like this doing around people like us?'

Checkpoint by Daniel Scuderi has an imaginative plot jam-packed with bizarre occurrences that not only entertain but educate the reader. Although this is a well-written piece of fiction, the subtle but powerful messages throughout read like a futuristic history book. The characters have well-defined values and personality traits and the conflict brings so much depth and interest to the story. The section which covered entering a concentration camp was chilling and very realistic because it relayed the emotions of the prisoners so well. However, this story is filled with golden nuggets of insight. Racism, unwillingness to live your authentic life, the existence of God and the afterlife are just some of the subjects covered. This story will make you gasp in horror at humanity's ignorance and arrogance at times. For me, this is the type of novel that has the ability to change how you see the world and treat those you share the planet with.

Romuald Dzemo

Checkpoint by Daniel Scuderi is a spellbinding, beautifully written story that puts the reader in a dreamlike world. The surrealism in the writing is exacting, but it doesn’t fail to appeal to the finest of human sentiments, exploring themes of friendship and love, survival, and death. Readers encounter young characters whose lives are quickly disrupted by an impending threat. Can they survive the chaos that looms ahead? Can Chris Brennan stay close to the woman who occupies a special place in his heart, Camilla Roy?

This is a highly descriptive narrative. At the start, the reader thinks the protagonist is delusional, following a girl who changes her color every time he comes closer to her. But this style of writing captures the world of an infatuated teenager. The narrative is suspenseful and the use of religious symbolism is striking. One example is the protagonist’s encounter with the snake slithering over the tree’s branch, holding the apple, watching them play. There is the feel of the replay of the Genesis story, only it has a beautiful twist to it. The drama is strong and the characters leap off the pages with life. The story is told in the first-person narrative, and in a strong voice. Daniel Scuderi has an evocative style of writing that will arrest anyone’s attention. Checkpoint is conflict-driven, a story with memorable characters and a world that feels so strangely familiar, the world between dreaming and wakefulness.

K.C. Finn

Checkpoint is a work of thriller fiction with speculative, post-apocalyptic and surrealist elements, and was penned by author Daniel Scuderi. With explicit language, mild sexual situations and graphic violence throughout, the book is best read by adults and mature young adults at the upper end of the age spectrum. Our protagonist and narrator is Chris Brennan, a suspicious figure who finds himself in a town stuck amongst the remnants of what seems to be a global outbreak of war. As reality falters and the fight for survival intensifies, Chris and the other central characters are forced to face poignant questions about creation, reality and the world that awaits them now.

Author Daniel Scuderi has created a thrilling psychological work that rockets through a fascinating plot and will be sure to leave readers with many questions to puzzle out long after they put the book down. My religious knowledge is not extensive, but I did pick out the interesting parallels between this novel and the Book of Genesis, where the author plays with the idea of creation and destruction and what that now means to us in a very modern, human sense. The narration is nail-biting and well crafted, as Scuderi uses a genuinely unreliable voice in the quick-to-move and difficult-to-fathom Chris Brennan. This adds to the disjointed and surreal feeling of the work as a whole, and it is this knife-edge of reality which the narrative hinges on to give it its impact at the end. Overall, Checkpoint is a fascinating read that anyone seeking a truly unique perspective on post-apocalyptic drama will enjoy very much.

Rabia Tanveer

Checkpoint by Daniel Scuderi is a suspenseful thriller in which a young man named Chris is living in almost a dream-like state but the illusion shatters when his world comes crashing down. Chris isn’t sure what to do with his life, but he is sure that he loves Camilla. He found her when he was in the most agonizing pain and she swooped in like an angel to save him. Chris, Camilla, Alex, and Nicole were living in their own bubble when everything was turned upside down. Suddenly nothing made sense, their once perfect life was destroyed as the world around them came crashing down. Their school was attacked by “soldiers” who seemed to be doing the Lord’s work. Chris has to think of something to protect Camilla and get out of this mess alive. But before he can do that, he has to understand what is really going on.

Checkpoint by Daniel Scuderi is a complex story, one that will make you want to read on and try to understand what is going on. Author Daniel Scuderi has laid out some amazing imagery from the very beginning; he describes Chris’s imagination and dreams very vividly and allows the reader to get lost in his world. Chris is your typical teenager at the beginning of the story, but as the story progresses, you will see how he matures, changes and develops into a man who has seen death right in front of him. The first person narrative is actually very interesting and the author handled it really well. The tension was thick as the story progressed, it made me sit on the edge of my seat and hold my breath. I enjoyed how the chapter names foreshadowed what was going to happen next and it felt incredible. This is a really good story and I enjoyed it very much.