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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Frontier America by Dan Sheldon is a conspiracy lover's dream book. Crafted as a screenplay, this is a short but impactful work for the YA audience about a young hero named Jonny Grimsly, who finds himself in a trap set by his own government. Frontier America is the only refuge left for people to escape to from Levi's evil monarchy. In a race against time, Jonny is determined to save the world from a vast deception, but can he count on his allies? This brief story opens with the US President declaring martial law to restore peace during the chaos of civil unrest between religious factions. Then you'll be introduced to Frontier America the place, and then characters Jonny and his girlfriend Avery, who have to gear up for battle amidst the terrorism. Jonny is a sniper, and Avery is a sniper scout. But things are going south for the two of them. They have a huge blow-up in the heat of the action, but can they pull it together and focus on the gunfire and mayhem at hand?
This is an action-packed adventure that would work as a feature-length animation and is the proper length of 117 pages, which would equal roughly 117 minutes of screen time. This script would also work for a live-action film. The action progresses in a strong way, punctuated by dialogue between the two main characters, and later characters that are introduced into the scenes, like Arron, Gene, and Jasper. Revenge is also a key theme. Sheldon is talented at writing quick action scenes, multiple scenarios, plot twists, and dramatic tension between characters. There is a lot going on here, but the script is easy to follow, and definitely keeps you on edge until the end. Lines like "If it moves, kill it" demonstrate that these are tense, taut situations that are more show than tell. There are heroes in jeopardy, religious overtones (Reverend Wormwood and Levi), but nothing preachy. It adds dimension and an anchor to the story. Due to its graphic violence and mature language, this would not be suitable for young readers, and some adults easily triggered, but overall, fans of superhero movies and other action-packed works will appreciate Frontier America by Dan Sheldon.