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The Darkest Path

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,771 ratings  ·  350 reviews
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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Scholastic Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,771 ratings  ·  350 reviews

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Sep 26, 2013 rated it liked it
this book does many unexpected things, and it does them well.

i'm not sure if this is the first part of something, the way so many YA books are, but i really hope it is a standalone. the way the character is left at the end, with so many unresolved issues, but with a firm purpose in mind, is excellent, and i kind of don't want to see those issues resolved. those scenes would only diminish the strengths of the book, the elements that make it stand out from so many of its kind.

and if you're just tu
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
I don’t have much to say on this one. It’s an average story. I read it in one sitting, and it’s quite an easy book to fly through, but at no point did it blow me away.

The story follows Cal, a boy who has been captured by a military like government who has taken over sections of America. He runs away after killing the man who runs the dog kennel when he tries to hurt a dog Cal has bonded with. I honestly picked this book up just for that tidbit with the dog, because I’m always up for a cute human
Once Upon a Twilight
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
Including a country at war with its self and a cultish regime that threatens to tear apart two brothers, the Darkest Path strikes you as a hauntingly original novel. With Darkest Path being his third book, Jeff Hirsch shows improvement in his mastery of storytelling. On a whole, Hirsch’s writing really shines when he creates scenes of tension and turmoil. It’s the dramatics that pull the reader in and invoke such strong emotions. But lets not forget about how he also manages to create great char ...more
Victoria Scott
Spectacular book with thrills galore and wonderful world-building. Jeff Hirsch is a master of suspense.
Be prepared to get up close and personal with what life can be like for the masses during a modern day civil war. The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch follows young Cal as he struggles to make sense of the war around him, while trying to get both himself and his brother across enemy lines and hundreds of miles to return to the family they have not seen in six years. Under a charismatic leader, an army of religious fanatics have risen up against a less-than-perfect American government and one by one s ...more
Jul 27, 2013 rated it liked it
At times filled with scary comparisons that could totally happen (just check out the endpages that have a picture of the takeover from The Glorious Path before and after the book's plot that make it starkly realistic) this has similarities to The Eleventh Plague with a futuristic and plausible occurrence that will make any reader think.

In this story, centered around two brothers, they struggle to survive in the United States where a religious group is fighting to take over the states by infiltr
Hunter Travis
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The darkest path is good. It had up and downs. It had happy spots and sad spots. It also had a small love part and it had a little rebellion. it may have had assassinations but i wont say if it did or not. I recommned this to action lovers or people who love jeff hirsch books. I also rate it a 5 star.
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads, ya
A really good YA read. This one will appeal to those not looking for romance or supernatural themes. The pacing is quite fast and should keep most young readers turning the pages. The ending leaves room for a sequel or could be used as a creative writing jump off point.
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen, sci-fi
A boring, action-packed book... an oxymoron, but true.
Anna Lane
The Darkest Path is dystopian with the breakdown of a divided America. It is action-packed –military, helicopters, and full of thrills.

A few notes:
Callum Roe isn’t some perfect protagonist, and we have a tough female girl, Nat, a great companion who would rather fight and risk her life than stay in a comfortable house not helping others. She is stubborn as well, and she doesn’t want to live knowing that she could’ve helped people but didn’t.
I like the way the author uses the Path as an analogy
S. Whitaker
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Originally published in the Broadkill Review

Jeff Hirsch’s third novel with Scholastic, The Darkest Path, a YA dystopian adventure, is a descent into hell for young Callum Roe, who flees the fanatical Path Army that sweeps across the United States like a dark shadow. America is in the grips of a second Civil War. The 1% are even richer, and more untouchable than before, and the poor are poor, and forced into situations that aren’t safe or pretty. The Federal Army is weakening, the infrastructure
Hayded Copp
Cal is a 15-year-old boy from Arizona. He is currently stuck in a government place called path. Cal works in a kennel with the attack dogs. The man who trains the dogs is a horrible person. He abuses the dogs to make them aggressive. Cal eventually shoots him for a good reason. He is saving a dog that makes the entire book better. The dog is lovable because he goes from nervous to fully trusting. The dog's name is bear and he is a legend. I think a bear is one of my favorite book characters.
Zachery  Reeves
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book but was a little bit sad it wasn't a continuation of the Eleventh Plague. It was good and had a lot of controversial plot points that were intriguing to play out. For me, I would have enjoyed if it was a continuation but it was good even without continuing the Eleventh Plague.
Marsden F
the darkest path was full of twisted mysterious turns that kept you on edge. throughout the book I was entwined in the dark plot that took a young boy and his companion a German shepherd through various challenges that resulted in new enemies, friends, and responsibilities. The Darkest Path was a great book that was very captivating and kept me on the edge of my seat.
Joey Butler
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was insanely accurate at what I think the world will be like soon. The country splitting like this because people only care about the rich, that's basically what's going on now. The Feds and the Path are the two different powers fighting for the USA. This boy in the story is like 15, it never actually said. His brother and him were captured by The Path, and they were forced to join or die. They obviously joined but later, the older boy tried escaping with his brother, but his brother b ...more
Aug 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Check out Scott Reads It! for reviews, giveaways, & more!
I actually own all of Jeff Hirsch's YA titles and they have been sitting on my shelf for a while. I finally felt an urge to read one of Hirsch's books recently when I received The Darkest Path in the mail. The Darkest Path is one of hundreds of dystopian books that I've read this year. The Darkest Path isn't the strongest dystopian novel, but it is extremely entertaining and was worth a read!
I personally wanted to learn more about Th
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
In the year 2026, there is a civil war raging in the USA. The nation is split up into two parties. There is the army of the Glorious Path which is a militant religion based on the teachings of a former US soldier, and what's left of the US Federal Government.

Six years ago fifteen-year-old Callum Roe and his younger brother, James, were captured and forced to convert to the Glorious Path. While working in the Path's dog kennels, Cal became very close to becoming one of the Path's deadliest secre
Ben Lehman
This is the very first book I have read by Jeff Hirsch. I was not quite sure what to think of “the Path”. The book never really tells you what it is exactly so there is a lot of room for imagination of what it could be. All the main character, Cal, wants is to get to where he thinks is home. He and his brother were captured six years ago. When he finds out that he is going into the military, he doesn’t want to leave his brother. One day he finds a dog and falls in love with it. When the owner of ...more
Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it
The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch is a novel for those who like dystopian books, and books about family. The Darkest Path takes place in 2026 where there's a war between a former soldier who created his own government, and what is left of the U.S. national government. It follows the story of two brothers, Callum and James Roe, who flee from the terrors of what is to come when someone finds out about what they've done. I like this book, but for many reasons there are times where I don't like it. I ...more
Jamison K.
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
"The Glorious path wants complete control of the country. Those they capture are given the choice: Join or be Killed". "The Darkest Path" is a book of thrills, excitement, romance, and suspense. It is a book that has it all. The book is amazingly described with detail that you can picture the setting as its been given. This book is one that you will never forget, because of the excitement and thrills it brings. If you have read the book " The eleventh Plague" and liked it then this is the book f ...more
Derek Pohlmann
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book 5/5 stars because the book is good and relates well into the future. I would recommend this book to others because its very well wrote and just a good story. I would recommend this book to fiction readers or people who like to read about futuristic events. In this book there is Cal and his brother get kidnapped to a group who is trying to take over the U.S. Cal wants to go and find his parents but his brother has found his "path". One day Cal is doing a job when he finds a dog. ...more
Mitchell Davis
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I would only recommend this book if you have read the first book by Jeff Hirsch, The Eleventh Plague. If you had read The Eleventh Plague, then I highly recommend it because it follows a lot of the kind of scene and story as the other book. I think the title is a great one because the path chosen is a very dark and unsettling plot and story line. My feelings towards the characters, plot, and ending of the book were mostly good. The story went together perfectly. Cal and his brother were forced t ...more
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it
The main character Callum Roe and his younger brother James, were captured by the glorious path they want to capture everyone so that they have can have total control the only choice that you have is to join or be killed. The guy that is in charge is a former U.S. Soldier he is teaching everyone that joins, he was forced to join six years ago. When he joined there was a war going on between glorious oath and what was left of the U.S. government Callum and James best friend works in the dog kenne ...more
May 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this one okay--an interesting dystopic take on military/government/religion. But...and this isn't something I complain about very often...this one almost had TOO much action. There was just SO MUCH going on--new problems and catastrophes and characters every few pages or so. Then that problem or catastrophe comes to an end and we're on to the next. The lack of downtime didn't allow me a chance to really engage with the story or find depth in the characters. The Path, the extreme religiou ...more
Kaden Deckard
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Darkest Path is a unique novel by itself. It never has a boring part and is always suspenseful. The main character, Cal, has many problems by the end of the book that many of them are stranded without an answer. Even throughout the book you never know what Cal will get stuck in or end up doing. It is always a mystery.

In the book it cannot just read it, you have to think about what is going to happen and if this could ever happen in real life. That is the mystery about this book. It is so rea
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Darkest Path is a book written by Jeff Hirsch which is about a war between the Glorious Path, and the U.S. government. The book focuses on one character most who's name is Callum Roe, also know as Cal. Cal works in the Path's dog kennels, training and taking care of the dogs they have. Cal has a relationship with this one dog names Bear, one of the Path's commanders wants to train bear to be an attack dog, but Cal doesn't want Bear to be. Cal kills the commander takes Bear and runs away.
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is one of the best I have read, and I encourage everyone who loves action and adventure to read it. When I was reading this book, I felt as if I was in the book. I got nervous and happy. I even thought of my dog when I read about Cassie's dog. I would have done the same thing if I was her. The one thing I did not like was that Cassie's brother refused to go with Cassie, which infuriated me because I would have drag my sister along. The book was fantastic, though. Once you get through ...more
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
When I first started reading this book, I was hesitant, as it wasn't very exciting, and I had other things I wanted to do. But after the first forty pages, I got pulled into the story, and was unable to put it down until I finished it.
I found Cal's struggles to be very realistic, and the author did an amazing job cluing us in on what Cal was thinking, and why he was thinking that.
I have to say, though, Bear's inclusion did seem a little forced, and I was really left wondering what purpose the do
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book. It is all about how one idea can destroy the world, a lot like hitler almost did. In this book a rebel group called the darkest path is taking over the united states and is causing tons of fear. Cal and his brother are stuck in the middle of this war and Cal wants to run away but his brother is loyal to the cause. So Cal and his new dog bear decide to run away. But as Cal and bear soon find out, the world is in a lot worse shape then they thought. This book keeps you turnin ...more
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Here are some things about me.

I live in an extremely Brazilian section of an extremely Greek neighborhood—Astoria, Queens, which is just to the right of Manhattan. (That's as you face Manhattan. If you were, say, lying on your back in the middle of Central Park with your head in a northerly position, we would be to your left) I live there with my wife who has a blog and our two cats who do not. O