Format Read: Paperback
Source: the author/pr firm/publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 7, 2014
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Blurb from goodreads:
What was that?" Savi whispered anxiously. "It couldn't be Vexel, could it?" Again, they heard more rustling in the woods, they knew it was getting closer.
Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics, accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn't stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.
When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.
A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.
Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the "last chance" marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.
When the four drag themselves out of the river, they're bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.
Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel, who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.
Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.
I finished the whole book this afternoon. I couldn't put it down. Once you get past the first few pages, it is non-stop action. These poor kids are fighting for their lives. The author had me on the edge of my seat, barely giving me a time to catch my breath before throwing something else at me. I'll admit I was pretty impressed with this book. The first few pages had me thinking this was going to be a book filled with teenage angst and was going to be pretty dull. So, I am happy to admit that I was really really wrong. These kids have teenage issues but they all have personal issues that they work out while they are in the woods fighting for their lives. It's pretty amazing that kids with nothing in common (except both boys being hot for Jade) come together as friends.
I only had two issues with any of the things in the book. The first was the snakebite scene. A bite from a venomous snake is pretty quick and they rarely hang on. They also broke every rule in the book when it comes to treating one. (The way to treat a bite has changed a lot) There also seemed to be A LOT of "top of the food chain" predators in a somewhat small area of forest but it made the all that much scarier and I can over look that part.
I really liked this book and I am looking forward to the second book. Escape Through the Wilderness was action filled and tense. There are some sweet moments as the kids bond and some funny ones as they try to cheer each other up. The story will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. I would not hesitate to give this book 4.5 stars and two thumbs up. :)
About the author ~
Gary Rodriguez is a US Army veteran and recipient of the Silver Star (the nations third highest award for valor in combat). He resides in California and is President of LeaderMetrix Inc. a consulting company specializing in executive and organizational development.