New Book Review: The Border by Steve Schafer

Hey all, it’s Sarah!

I found out about this novel through Source Books. They sent out an email blast about an eARC on NetGalley. Trouble on the Mexico/American border sounded timely and interesting. It also happened that I was reading Marcus Sedgwick’s Saint Death at the same time, which is another older novel about trouble at the border. I was struck by the fact that this novel could hold its own, when compared to a book by a well-known award winning author. The story and characters were distinct enough that I could clearly keep both stories straight….which can be hard when you are reading four books at once.  😉


Pato, Arbo, and siblings Marcos and Gladys are the only survivors of a quinceañera execution.  They are now on the run from a local Mexican gang and their only hope of survival is crossing into the United States. With no time to cross legally or find a guide, the group attempts to cross on their. The border is a harsh desert, where they attempt the impossible task of avoiding immigration for either side, the gang, and staying hydrated/safe against the elements. The group will need to work together, even though the cracks in their friendship are already starting to show. Pato and Gladys are developing feelings for each other, to against her brother’s wishes. The four will also need to confront the reasoning behind the gang’s attack.

I found the characters interesting. Their journey was compelling, though grueling and gritty. I thought that there was an attempt to create more romantic drama within the group, which seemed unnecessary, but it wasn’t a major issue. This group seemed to have unrealistic luck both bad and good, but it wasn’t distracting. Overall, I enjoyed the reading experience.


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